Stafford Loans (Student)

In order to receive Stafford loans, a student must:

  • Complete a FAFSA (and submit any additional documents that may be requested via your WESS account)
    • For example verification documents such as taxes or citizenship requirements.
  • Be registered at least half time (6 credits for Undergraduate students; 4.5 credits for Graduate students)
    • Students in a Post Baccalaureate program through the graduate school must be enrolled in 6 credits in order to qualify for the Stafford loans.

Students may borrow up to the maximum Stafford amount available for the number of credits you have successfully completed. If your FAFSA shows demonstrated need, a portion of your Stafford Loan will be awarded as subsidized (undergraduates only). For the subsidized loan, the Federal government pays interest while you are enrolled in school (at least half time and six-month after you graduate, withdraw or fall below halftime). After your eligibility for subsidized loans is determined, the balance of your eligibility will be in the unsubsidized program. You will be responsible for all interest that accrues on your unsubsidized loan from the date of disbursement.

Students who are graduating after the Fall or Winter term will get a prorated loan amount based on the number of credits they are enrolled in for the various terms. The loan amounts cannot exceed 50% the annual loan limits described below. 

Undergraduate

Annual Loan Limits- Stafford Loan
(Undergraduate)

Dependent Students

Limit for Subsidized Loans

Limit for Unsubsidized Loans

Combined Amount

First Year Undergraduate (Freshman)

$3,500

$2,000

$5,500

Second Year Undergraduate (Sophomore)

$4,500

$2,000

$6,500

Third Year and Beyond Undergraduate (Junior and Senior)

$5,500

$2,000

$7,500

 

 

 

 

Independent Students
(and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)

Limit for Subsidized Loans

Limit for Unsubsidized Loans

Combined Amount

First Year Undergraduate (Freshman)

$3,500

$6,000

$9,500

Second Year Undergraduate (Sophomore)

$4,500

$6,000

$10,500

Third Year, Fourth Year (Junior and Senior) and Post Baccalaureate students

$5,500

$7,000

$12,500

 

Aggregate Lifetime Loan Limits - Stafford Loan
(Undergraduate)

 

Limit for Subsidized Loans

Limit for Unsubsidized Loans

Combined Amount

Dependent Undergraduate Students

$23,000

$8,000

$31,000

Independent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)

$23,000

$34,500

$57,500

 

Graduate 

Annual Loan Limits- Stafford Loan

(Graduate and Professional Students)

 

Yearly limit for Unsubsidized Loans

Graduate and Professional Students (Master’s Program and above)

$20,500

 

 

Aggregate Lifetime Loan Limits- Stafford Loan

(Graduate and Professional Students)

 

Combined Amount – includes any subsidized loans previously borrowed and any loans borrowed as an Undergraduate

Graduate and Professional Students

$138,500 (No more than $65,000 of this aggregate amount may be in the form of subsidized loans)

 

Interest Rates

Interest Rates on Subsidized Loans
(in school interest rates)

 

Interest Rate Subsidized 
Stafford Loans 
(Undergraduate Students)

Interest Rate 
Other Stafford Loans 
(Graduate and Unsubsidized)

2008-09

6.0%

6.8%

2009-10

5.6%

6.8%

2010-11

4.5%

6.8%

2011-12

3.4%

6.8%

2012-13

3.4%

6.8%

2013-14

3.86%

5.41%

 

 

Interest Rate Subsidized Stafford Loan(Undergraduate)

Interest Rate Unsubsidized Stafford Loan(Undergraduate)

Interest Rate Unsubsidized Stafford Loan(Graduate) 

2014-2015

4.66%

 4.66%

 6.21%

 

Loan Deferments

Under the Federal Loan Program, you can defer (postpone) repayment if you are:

  • Enrolled in school at least half time
  • A graduate fellow
  • Participating in a rehabilitation program for the disabled
  • Unemployed or suffering from economic hardship (forberence)

Interest on subsidized Stafford Loans is paid by the Federal government during authorized deferment periods, but interest on unsubsidized Stafford Loans will accrue.

Federal Regulations

  • You are under no obligation to accept funds simply because they have been included in your award letter.
  • If you have defaulted on a previous loan, you will not be eligible.
  • You must be enrolled in a school at least half time to be eligible (6 credits for an Undergraduate/Post baccalaureate and 4.5 credits for a Graduate).
  • There is a required 2 step process the student must complete in order to secure a Direct Stafford Loan

FEDERAL STAFFORD LOAN ENTRANCE COUNSELING 

In accordance with federal regulations, first-time Stafford loan borrowers must complete entrance counseling on the web at https://studentloans.gov. The student must first “Sign In” then choose “Complete Counseling” then select “Entrance” No loans can be credited to a student’s account until Entrance Counseling and MPN are complete. 

  FEDERAL STAFFORD LOAN MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN)

The Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a promissory note under which you may receive multiple subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans over a maximum ten-year period. In accordance with federal regulations, first-time Stafford loan borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the web at https://studentloans.gov. The student must first “Sign In” then choose “Complete MPN” then select “Subsidized/Unsubsidized” No loans can be credited to a student’s account until Entrance Counseling and MPN are complete

Please review the following video for a step by step tutorial on the Stafford loan 2 step process:  

Estimate Monthly Loan Payments

Repayment Plans

There are various repayment plans. You can select a repayment plan at the time you leave (exit) school. You will need to figure out which is the best for you.

  • Standard Repayment – under this plan you will pay a fixed monthly amount for a loan term of up to 10 years. Depending on the amount of the loan, your loan term may be shorter than 10 years. This plan has a minimum monthly payment of $50 + interest.
  • Extended Repayment -this plan is similar to the Standard plan, however it allows for a loan term of 12-30 years, depending on the total amount borrowed. Stretching out the loan term reduces the size of each payment, but it increases the total amount repaid over the lifetime of the loan.
  • Graduated Repayment – This plan starts off with lower payments, which gradually increase every two years. The loan term is 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount borrowed. The monthly payment must be at least the interest that accrues and must also be at least $25. The monthly payment can be no less than 50% and no more than 150% of the monthly payment of the standard repayment plan.
  • Income Contingent Repayment – Payments are based on the borrower’s income and the total amount of debt. Monthly payments are adjusted each year as the borrower’s income changes. The loan term is up to 25 years. At the end of 25 years, any remaining balance on the loan will be discharged. The write-off of the remaining balance at the end of 25 years is taxable. The minimum monthly payment is $5.
  • Income based repayment – similar to the income contingent plan but this plan caps the monthly payments at a lower percentage of a narrower definition of discretionary income.

Students who have borrowed prior loans in the FFELP Program (Federal Family Loan Program) have the option to consolidate all of their Federal Student Loans with the Federal Direct Loan Program.