Direct Stafford Loan Program

  • A Direct Student Loan is money authorized by the Federal Government to help pay for your college costs. These funds must be paid back to your lender upon your withdrawal from school or graduation.
  • The interest of The Direct Stafford Loan can be subsidized or unsubsidized, which is determined by an analysis conducted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program.
    • For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years). If you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150 percent of 2 years = 3 years). 
    • Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.
  • Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while in school at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods.
  • Unsubsidized loans accrue a low interest as soon as it is applied to your tuition.
  • Students are limited to the amount they can borrow annually.
Dependent
Subsidized
Unsubsidized
Total
Freshman
$3,500
$2,000
$5,500
Sophomore
$4,500
$2,000
$6,500
Junior or Senior
$5,500
$2,000
$7,500

 

Independent
Subsidized
Unsubsidized
Total
Freshman
$3,500
$6,000
$9,500
Sophomore
$4,500
$6,000
$10,500
Junior or Senior
$5,500
$7,000
$12,500
Graduate
-
$20,500
$20,500

 

  • Repayment of the loan does not occur as long as the student is enrolled half time or until six months after last date of attendance. However, it can be paid back at anytime without penalty.
  • Repayment of the loan will be completed in a ten year time frame.
  • Make sure to review the criteria to maintain your financial aid eligibility