Federal Direct Stafford Loan

All undergraduate students can borrow a base amount of Stafford annually which may be subsidized or unsubsidized dependent on need as determined by the FAFSA.

  • $3,500 for freshman level of study (0 to 25 credits) for a full academic year;
  • $4,500 for sophomore level of study (26 to 56 credits) for a full academic year; and
  • $5,500 for each year of junior and senior level of study (57 to 120 credits) for a full academic year.

In addition, all students regardless of dependency status may borrow up to $2,000 unsubsidized Stafford loan each academic year. All independent students, or dependent students whose parents have been denied a parent PLUS loan by a lender, are eligible for an additional $4,000 each year for freshman or sophomore level of study, and $5,000 each year for junior or senior level of study. Graduate level students may also qualify for Stafford loans for half-time enrollment in a graduate program.

Aggregate loan limits do apply. For more information about the Stafford loan program, refer to Student Aid on the Web under Federal Student Aid Programs from the U.S. Department of Education.

Repayment begins no later than six months after dropping below half-time enrollment, withdrawal, or graduation from the college.  Several methods of repayment are available to help borrowers successfully repay their obligation.

Subsidized Stafford Loan

A Subsidized Stafford Loan has better terms than an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The subsidy means that the federal government will pay the interest which accrues while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program and continuing through one six-month grace period following a student dropping below half time.  This loan is subject to a federal processing fee assessed at time of disbursement. 

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

An unsubsidized Stafford loan is not need based. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you are in school or during other periods of nonpayment, when you enter repayment it will be capitalized. In other words, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.  This loan is subject to a federal processing fee assessed at time of disbursement.