In order to be eligible for the Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, the student must be enrolled in at least half-time enrollment (six credits for undergraduates and three credits for graduate students). Loan limits vary based on dependency status and total number of completed credits.

Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans, which, as of July 1, 2012 are available only to undergraduate students, are:

  • Limited by the student's financial need
  • Do not accrue interest as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are:

  • Not limited by the student's financial need,
  • Collect interest after the first disbursement of the loan
  • Require the student to be enrolled at least half-time

Getting started

First time borrowers

Federal Stafford Direct Loan borrowers must complete both an Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note before these loans can be disbursed.

In the event the Student Financial Services Center has notified the student of needing additional documentation, this can also prevent the loans from being disbursed until they have been received and processed.

Student walking from O'Grady Library

Rates and fees

  • Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan: 4.45 percent
  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 4.45 percent
  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 6.00 percent

*All Direct Stafford Loans are charged a 1.069 percent origination fee upon disbursement.

  • Disbursement

    Student financial aid will be disbursed after the 100 percent add/drop refund period each term. Students on the modular schedule (eight week schedule), will have their aid disbursed at the end of the 100 percent add/drop refund period for the eight week schedule. To view anticipated disbursement dates, please refer to the disbursements tab on your SFSC Student Aid Portal.

  • Loan servicers

    After a loan has been disbursed, the Federal Department of Education will assign it to one of their loan servicers. Students will receive a notice in the mail to notify them of their servicer's contact information. The loan servicer will be responsible for collecting payments and processing deferments and forbearances on the student's loans.

    Students can access their loan history and their loan servicer's contact information by calling Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.

    Schools are required to submit all loans to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  This information is accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.  If you have any additional questions regarding NSLDS please contact Student Financial Services.

  • Terms and conditions

    All terms and conditions associated with a student loan are available via your Master Promissory Note.  A Master Promissory Note is available for printing at the time it is completed and we highly recommend students print and save any loan documentation.  If you failed to print your original Promissory Note they are available upon request from your loan servicer.  For additional loan details including repayment options and the necessity for repaying loans please visit  

  • Exit counseling

    Students who graduate, drop below half-time or stop attending and have borrowed Direct Stafford Loans will be required to complete an exit counseling session.

    The exit counseling must be completed even if the student plans to return to the university or has transferred to another school.