The Federal Stafford Loan program provides financial aid for both graduate as well as undergraduate students. Stafford Loans are part of the Direct Loan program, and nearly all students are eligible to receive either subsidized or unsubsidized loans.
Note: As a result of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, FFEL Stafford Loans are no longer made by private lenders. Instead, all new federal student loans come directly from the U.S. Department of Education under the Direct Loan Program. This article preserves information for former students in repayment.
As of July 2010, all Stafford Loans are made available through the Direct Loan Program. As part of this program, the federal government loans the money to the student. There are two types of Federal Stafford Loans:
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used by students to apply for all federally-funded student loans, including the Stafford Loan program. Depending on the student's status, dependent undergraduate students can:
The loan limit for graduate students is up to $20,500 per calendar year.
In the 2012 / 2013 school year, the interest rate for subsidized loans is 3.4%, while the interest rate on unsubsidized loans and graduate loans is 6.8%. Repayment is required once the student falls below half-time status. Once in repayment, there are four schedules to choose from:
The Standard, Graduated and Income-Based repayment plans allow terms of up to 10 years.