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Federal Student Loans

Several types of federal student loans for college students and parents are available.

Federal Stafford Loan

Eligibility for federal student loans is based on the results of your FAFSA. Loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to your financial need and other components of your financial aid award. You must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) each semester to receive a Stafford Loan.

Stafford Loans have fixed interest rates (see below). Repayment begins six months after you graduate or are no longer enrolled in college at least half-time.

Subsidized Stafford Loans will not accrue interest while you are enrolled in school at least half time. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans will begin accruing interest at the time of disbursement. Both types of loans will be assessed an origination fee by the US Department of Education (see below).

To apply for a Stafford Loan, you must first file a FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office will evaluate your eligibility for a loan. The amount you may borrow per academic year depends on your grade level and dependency status:

Dependent student

  • Freshman $5,500, up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized
  • Sophomore $6,500, up to $4,500 of which may be subsidized
  • Junior/Senior $7,500, up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized

Independent student

  • Freshman $9,500, up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized
  • Sophomore $10,500, up to $4,500 of which may be subsidized
  • Junior/Senior $12,500, up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized

You will receive an award letter and an entrance counseling form that you must sign and return. New borrowers should view this addendum for more information. You must also complete a Stafford Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov before we will receive your loan funds. Upon graduation, all students must also complete exit counseling

Federal Parent PLUS Loan

PLUS loans are available to parents who have a dependent student enrolled in college at least half time. The loans are guaranteed by the federal government. See below for interest rates and origination fees. Financial need is not a prerequisite for borrowing, but the parent must meet credit requirements. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed, but the borrower can request deferment while the student is enrolled at least half time. The student must file a FAFSA to determine dependency status. To apply, the parent (borrower) must submit a Parent PLUS Loan request and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.

Interest Rates (7/1/14 - 7/1/15)

  • Stafford Loans - 4.66% fixed interest
  • Parent PLUS Loans - 7.21% fixed interest

Interest Rates (7/1/13 - 6/30/14)

  • Stafford Loans - 3.86% fixed interest
  • Parent PLUS Loans - 6.41% fixed interest

Origination Fees (beginning 10/1/14)

  • Stafford Loans - 1.073% origination fee
  • Parent PLUS Loans - 4.292% origination fee

Origination Fees (12/1/13 - 9/30/14)

  • Stafford Loans - 1.072% origination fee
  • Parent PLUS Loans - 4.288% origination fee


If federal loans are insufficient to meet your borrowing needs, you may wish to investigate the additional loan options on the Private Student Loan tab.