The Federal Stafford Loan Program

Federal Stafford Loans are awarded to United States citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled in a degree program and are attending school at least half­time (6 credits hour per term). Non degree students (certificate students) and students who are in default on a prior Federal Stafford Loan are not eligible. (Certificate students can seek funding from private loans).

Since July 2012 subsidized federal loans are no longer available to graduate students.

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan: Students may borrow up to $20,500 annually. The maximum unsubsidized loan granted for the year is calculated as the difference between the student’s cost of attendance and the sum of his institutional grants, outside scholarships and federal work study jobs. The interest rate and repayment terms for unsubsidized loans are identical to the subsidized Federal Stafford Loan except that interest accrues during the in school period. However, the interest payments can be deferred until a student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
  • Graduate Plus Stafford Loan: Graduate and professional students may be permitted to borrow under the PLUS program. Students may borrow up to Cost of Attendance less any financial aid (grants and loans). The terms and conditions for repayment are the same as the PLUS loan for parents of undergraduate students.

Federal Stafford Loan Resources

Grace Counseling (PDF): information on what to do before your loan repayment period begins. 

Click here to visit the U.S. Department of Education's Loan Calculator page to find out an estimated repayment amount depending on the chosen payment plan. If you are not sure what loans you have contracted, visit the National Student Loan Data System website. This site will give you the details and summary of your federal loans (however, it does not include information about private loans).