Stafford Loan Programs

‌‌Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized loans are interest-free while you are in school or otherwise have a deferment (authorized break from payments). As an example, let’s say you spent four continuous years in college, plus two years in graduate school. You have a subsidized loan from your first semester for $1,000 with a 4.45% interest rate. After completing your schooling, you would only owe the original $1,000, thanks to the subsidized nature of the loan. If your loan was unsubsidized, you would owe your loan balance, plus any accrued interest.

Borrowing Limits

The aggregate limit for undergraduate dependent students is a total of $31,000 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized). The aggregate limit for undergraduate independent students and dependent students whose parents cannot borrow a Parent PLUS Loan is a total of $57,500 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized). The aggregate limit for graduate/professional students is $138,500 (up to $65,500 may be subsidized from undergraduate borrowing).


If you have consolidated your federal student loans or intend to consolidate after graduation, your subsidized loans will not be affected. Even though you pay via a single check or electronic payment, your unsubsidized and subsidized loans are separated in consolidation in case of future deferments.

Interest Rates & Fees for the 2017-2018 Academic Year


Direct Interest Rate
 Subsidized and Unsubsidized Undergraduate Stafford Loans
1.069% prior to 10/1/17; 1.066% on or after 10/1/17 
Unsubsidized Graduate Stafford Loan
1.069% prior to 10/1/17; 1.066% on or after 10/1/17

Applying for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan 

For first time borrowers, there are 3 steps to applying for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan which will take approximately 25-30 minutes. Repeat borrowers who have already completed a Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling for previous years need to complete Step 3.

Before you begin: You will need your FSA ID and the name, address, and phone numbers of two adult references (living in the U.S.) with different addresses.

Attention MAC Users, you must use Internet Explorer or Firefox for your browser in order to complete your Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling. Safari is not compatible with the Department of Education's website.

STEP 1: Electronically sign the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
If you would prefer to work with another lender or as a transfer student have borrowed in the past and would like to continue working with that lender, please contact our office for further instruction.

STEP 2: Complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling 
This counseling is a federal requirement and will inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower under the Federal Stafford Loan program.

STEP 3: Download the 2017-2018 Stafford Loan Certification and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Assistance to finalize the loan process.