The average student receives several thousand dollars each school year. Stafford Loans are available through many different lending institutions and are fully insured by both state and federal governments.
TIP…Did you know you may take a tax deduction for educational expenses, such as tuition, if schooling is necessary for you to keep your current job or if it is required in order to retain your current rate of pay?
- Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) must be repaid
- Lenders: Banks, credit unions, savings and loans, loan associations, schools, and, through the Direct Loan program, the U.S. Department of Education
- Insured by lender and re-insured by the state and/or federal government
- Interest rates change regularly.
- Deadlines: Apply as soon after January 1 as possible
How Do I Determine My Eligibility?
- You must be enrolled at least half-time in a participating school
- You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are issued regardless of income; students are able to borrow money whether they have financial need or not
- Students studying overseas are also eligible as long as they are earning credit from their state institution
How Much Can I Get?
The following figures represent the maximum amount of money that anyone can receive annually through the subsidized Stafford Loan program, if no other aid is being given (amounts change periodically):
The amount all students receive cannot exceed the total cost of their education less the amount of any other financial aid awarded. For example, if your total college cost for one year is $6,000 and you have received other aid such as a Pell Grant and Federal Work-Study employment that amounts to $3,500 in benefits, then the maximum amount you can borrow from the Stafford Loan program is $2,500.
TIP…The Department of https://worldpaydayloans.com/payday-loans-fl/panama-city/ Defense may repay a portion of your Stafford Loan as an incentive for you to enlist. Contact a local recruiting officer for more information.
To receive a Stafford Loan, most applicants need to fill out what is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (See Our FASFA Workshop pages.) There may also be other forms individual schools require, such as the new Financial Aid Profile application. Financial aid advisors at the school you are attending or planning on attending can help you determine what forms to fill out.
TIP…By law, you must be notified if the original lender sells your loan to another organization. Both companies should notify you of the sale and provide you with information about the new organization carrying your loan.
After your financial aid package is complete and award amounts are determined, you will either receive a Stafford Loan application in the mail from your financial aid office or you will need to request one.
Complete the form and make sure that the school you’re attending has filled out its section of the form, certifying your registration, the amount of award money you will be receiving, and the total cost of your tuition and expenses. Most schools will automatically check your eligibility for a Pell Grant before announcing the appropriate Stafford Loan amount. If you do receive a Pell Grant, the amount of your Stafford Loan may be less. In some cases, your college or university can certify a loan for less money than you’re eligible to receive, or they can refuse to certify your application altogether. If this does happen, the school must present you with written documentation for its actions. The school’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.