Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

A Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a federally-sponsored, low-interest loan available to assist with educational expenses. The funds for this loan come directly from the U.S. Department of Education. They will remain the lender for the life of the loan and the loan will not be sold.

Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for a Direct Stafford Loan if:

  • you are a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen and
  • you are a student admitted to a degree program and
  • you have submitted a FAFSA to be processed by FIT Financial Aid Services

Types of Direct Stafford Loans

Subsidized Loans

Students who demonstrate financial need qualify for the subsidized loan, which means that the federal government pays the interest while the student is in school at least half-time (6 credits).

Academic Year 2021-2021

The interest rate for a subsidized Direct Stafford Loan is at a fixed interest rate of 3.73% for undergraduate student loans disbursed after July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2020. A federal origination fee of 1.057% (if the loan is disbursed before October 1, 2022) will be subtracted from the disbursed amount of the subsidized Stafford loan.

Unsubsidized Loans - Undergraduate

Students who do not demonstrate financial need may be eligible for the unsubsidized loan, which means that they will be charged interest while in school, but may defer payment until completion of school. Upon entering repayment, interest is added on to the principal (capitalized) which increases the amount of the loan that needs to be repaid. Students are advised to pay the interest on the loan while in attendance, if they are able.

Academic Year 2021-2022

The interest rate for a subsidized Direct Stafford Loan is at a fixed interest rate of 3.73% for undergraduate student loans disbursed after July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. A federal origination fee of 1.057% (if the loan is disbursed before October 1, 2022) will be subtracted from the disbursed amount of the unsubsidized Stafford loan.

Unsubsidized Loans - Graduate/Professional

Graduate and Professional students are eligible for unsubsidized loan, which means that they will be charged interest while in school, but may defer payment until completion of school. Interest is added on to the principal (capitalized) which increases the amount of the loan that needs to be repaid. Students are advised to pay the interest on the loan while in attendance, if they are able.

Academic Year 2021-2022

The interest rate for an unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan is at a fixed interest rate of 5.28% for graduate student loans disbursed after July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. A federal origination fee of 1.057% (if the loan is disbursed before October 1, 2022) will be subtracted from the disbursed amount of the unsubsidized Stafford loan.

Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment

Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, borrowers of federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans will be required to complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment before receiving loan disbursements. The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment is an online session that will let you see how much you have borrowed, preview monthly payments, and explain concepts like capitalization. The goal is to help you understand how your loans affect your financial future:

  • Knowing how much you owe in federal student debt will allow you to make informed choices before agreeing to borrow more money to pay for higher education.
  • Calculating monthly payments and the median salary you can expect after graduating from college will give you a better understanding of your obligation.
  • Breaking down basic loan concepts such as interest accrual, capitalization, and the difference between private and federal student loans will help you better understand the balance for repayment.

Log in to Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment using your FSA ID and password to complete the session.

How to Apply

  1. Completed the financial aid application process by filing a FAFSA and other required documentation.
  2. If you are not awarded a Direct Stafford Loan, request one using the Direct Stafford Loan Request Form
  3. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  4. Complete an Entrance Counseling Session/Interview.
  5. Enroll in at least six credit hours per term in your degree program.
  6.  Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment.

Loan Amount Eligibility

Subsidized Eligibility

Additional Unsubsidized Loan Eligibility

   
Student Loan Limits ALL Undergraduate Students Dependent students
whose parents were
denied PLUS loans,
Independent,
& Graduate students
2021-2022 Fixed Interest Rate Interest Rate Cap
Freshman $3,500 $ 2,000 $ 4,000 3.73 %  8.25 %
Sophomore $4,500 $ 2,000 $ 4,000 3.73 %  8.25 %
Junior $5,500 $ 2,000 $ 5,000 3.73 %  8.25 %
Senior $5,500 $ 2,000 $ 5,000 3.73 %  8.25 %
Graduate Student      N/A N/A $ 20,500 5.28 % 8.25 %