Federal Direct Stafford Loans
Federal Direct Stafford Loans are low-interest loans available to students attending school at least half-time. These loans will be either Subsidized or Unsubsidized.
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. For a Subsidized Loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while the student is in school and during a period of deferment. Graduate students are not eligible for Subsidized Loans.
Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
Unsubsidized Loans are not based on need and are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Students are responsible for paying all interest on Unsubsidized Loans. If you choose not to pay interest the interest while you are in school or in periods of deferment or forbearance, the interest will accrue and be added to the principal amount of your loan.
The government has set annual loan limits based on number of credit hours earned, dependency status, and whether the student is seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree.
Dependent undergraduate students may borrow the following maximums per academic year:
Independent students may borrow the following maximums per academic year:
These maximums apply to one loan or a combination of Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for dependent students. Interest rates are fixed at 6.8%. Repayment begins six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans (parents and graduate students)
Your parent may borrow a Federal PLUS Loan if you are an undergraduate student enrolled at least half time. Graduate students enrolled at least half time also eligible to participate in this loan program. The annual loan limit is the student’s cost of education minus any other financial aid received, and the borrower must pass a credit check to receive the loan. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. Parent borrowers will begin repayment on the PLUS loan approximately 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. A parent borrower may request a loan deferment while his or her child is enrolled at least half time and for an additional six months after the child ceases half-time enrollment. Graduate PLUS Loans will be in deferment while the student is in school and for six month after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Interest will accrue on the PLUS Loan during deferment. Parents and graduate students may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow it to be added into the principal.