Frequently Asked Questions: Stafford Loans
The MAXIMUM annual loan amount for a Stafford Loan is $20,500 ($12,500 for independent post-baccalaureate students; $5,500 for dependent post-baccalaureate students). Learn more about your dependency status. The MAXIMUM aggregate limit for the Stafford Loan (including undergraduate borrowing) is $138,500 ($65,500 of which can be subsidized).
Estimated cost of attendance
-(subtract) other financial assistance*
= your unsubsidized eligibility
*Other financial assistance may include scholarship and/or fellowships if applicable.
Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 will have a fixed interest rate of 6%. Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017 have a fixed interest rate of 5.31%. The interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full.
Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018 have a 1.066% federal origination fee. Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017, have an origination fee of 1.069%. The origination fee is deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made.
Yes, you have to apply every year. Federal Stafford loans do not "renew" automatically.
Complete your Entrance Counseling and sign your Master Promissory Note online through the Department of Education's Direct Loan Servicing website.
Repayment begins six months after completion of the degree program or after dropping to less than half-time enrollment status (less than 6 credits per semester).
Stafford funds are disbursed equally among semesters enrolled in the student's academic year. Loan funds are disbursed to the student's SAGE account. The earliest a student can receive a refund for loan funds in excess of tuition is 10 days before the start of the semester, per federal regulations.
Once you have confirmed your intention to enroll, the pending Stafford Loan will be posted as a credit to your SAGE account as soon as your eligibility has been determined, generally two to three weeks after completing the application and providing all required documentation.
Students who have been awarded financial aid in excess of tuition, fees and other charges may apply for a refund to assist with the cost of off-campus living expenses and books, which are not charged to the student account. Refunds will be available no sooner than 10 days prior to the first day of classes. However, new students must meet several documentation requirements before they can receive a refund. If awarded Stafford Loans, students will be required to complete an entrance interview and loan counseling in addition to signing the Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note before receiving a refund. In addition, students must have registered for classes. For new students, registration will generally not take place until the week of orientation.
Students should plan to bring enough personal funds to cover all living expenses for at least one month until all necessary registration and loan paperwork has been completed.