Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Key Features

Available to all matriculating students enrolled at least half-time, regardless of need, provided they are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and are not in default on previous federal loans. Annual loan amount is determined by the student's grade level. 

Maximum annual loan limits based on grade level for dependent undergraduate students are as follows: 

  • $3,500 Subsidized + $2,000 Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan: Freshmen (0-26 credits earned) = $5,500 TOTAL
  • $4,500 Subsidized + $2,000 Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan: Sophomore (27-56 credits earned) = $6,500 TOTAL
  • $5,500 Subsidized + $2,000 Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan: Junior/Senior (57 + credits earned) = $7,500 TOTAL

Whether loan is Subsidized is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. If student as no financial need, total annual Unsubsidized Stafford Loan eligibility would be:  $5,500 as a freshman, $6,500 as a sophomore, $7,500 as a junior or senior.

Maximum annual loan limits per grade level for independent undergraduate students or for dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan are as follows:

  • Freshman: $3,500 Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford + $6,000 Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford = $9,500 TOTAL
  • Sophomore: $4,500 Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford + $6,000 Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford = $10,500 TOTAL
  • Junior & Senior: $5,500 Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford + $7,000 Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford = $12,500 TOTAL

Whether loan is subsidized or unsubsidized is based on financial need. Stafford Loan Features:

  • Student is the primary borrower
  • Repayment automaticallydeferred until six months following graduation, provided the student remains enrolled at least half-time
  • Standard repayment term=10 years. 
  • If you have financial need, a portion of your loan may be subsidized (i.e.-federal government pays the interest on the loan while you are enrolled and during your six-month grace period. 
  • You have option of making quarterly payments on the interest on your Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
  • The interest rate on your Stafford Loan is fixed for the life of the loan. 
  • The interest rates for Direct Stafford Loans with a first disbursement made July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 are as follows:
    • Undergraduate students = 5.045%
    • Graduate students = 6.595% 
  • The Federal Direct Stafford Loan origination fee is 1.066% for Stafford Loans disbursed October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.



Apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan


For the Summer 2019/Fall 2019/Spring 2020 Semesters:

All borrowers:

1- Complete a Stafford Loan Request Form to confirm Loan amount & loan term


First time borrowers at Arcadia:

Arcadia form:

1- Complete a Stafford Loan Request Form to confirm Loan amount & loan term

Forms at Studentloans.gov (FSA ID needed):

2- Complete the Federal Direct Loan MPN

3- Complete a Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Session


See Arcadia's Lender Partnership Code of Conduct for more information on the selection of private education lenders.

Need More Information?

Learn more about Income-Based Repayment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and whether your federal student loans qualify.

Not sure what kind of loan you have or whether you've already consolidated? Check the National Student Loan Data System to be sure. If you can't remember your PIN number, you can get a new one.

Track your loan repayment.