Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Most eligible students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be offered a William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan. The type(s) and amounts of Stafford loan(s) offered will depend on factors such as federal limits, year in school, dependency status, cost of attendance, and other financial aid received. Stafford loans can be repaid in portions or in full, in advance of repayment, without any penalty. The U.S. Department of Education assigns the borrowed loan(s) to an affiliated servicer.

Application for First-Time Borrowers

The online application is available at StudentLoans.gov. The student must use their biographical information and their FAFSA PIN to complete this process. First-time borrowers must complete two steps:

  • Entrance Counseling
  • Master Promissory Note

A FAFSA PIN number is required by the student to borrow Federal Direct Stafford loans, and by a parent to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS loan. If you need to create or request a duplicate PIN number, visit pin.ed.gov

Students enrolled in the School of Continuing & Professional Studies program must also submit a SCPS Financial Aid Form.


Stafford Loan Types 

  • Subsidized: interest-free while enrolled half-time (at least six credits) per term. Eligibility is based on your financial need as determined under federal regulations.
  • Unsubsidized – accrues interest from the date of disbursement to your student account and continues until the loan is paid in full. However, students can defer payment until after graduation, separation from, or less than half-time enrollment at Manhattan College.

Interest Rates and Origination Fee

The interest rates for Stafford Loans are set by the federal government annually every July 1. 
  • For the 2013-2014 academic year, subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans will have a 3.86% fixed interest rate for undergraduates, and a 5.41% fixed interest rate for graduate students.
  • For 2013-2014, Stafford loans will disburse to the student account less the net of 1.051% mandatory, federal government origination fee; half of the borrowed amount will disburse each semester (Fall/Spring).

Borrower's Responsibilities 

You are required to begin making payments on your Federal Direct Stafford Loans after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. You have a grace period of six months before you must begin repayment, but interest will still accrue on your federal Stafford Loan(s) during this time frame. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program offers various repayment plans designed to meet the needs of almost every borrower. Plan ahead for repayment and budget wisely. 

A detailed explanation of your full rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower are available on your signed master promissory note. Stafford Loans borrowed after July 1, 2009 can retrieve electronic promissory note copies on StudentLoans.gov. All prior year borrowers should request a hard copy from their lender(s) directly.

If you are unsure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY 1-800-730-8913).

Eligibility

Stafford Loans are guaranteed by the federal government and a credit check is not required.  A student is eligible for this loan type provided the following criteria have been met: 

  • Interested students need to file a FAFSA for the intended academic year.
  • If selected for verification, the review must be completed.
  • The student is enrolled half-time (at least six credits) per term.
  • The student is in good academic standing.
  • The student is not in default on a student loan.
  • The student has not exceeded the aggregate loan limits.

Federal Direct Loan Eligibility Chart 

LOANS Amount Who is Eligible How to Apply Interest Rate and Repayment
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan Max loan limits are $5,500 for freshmen (only $3,500 may be in subsidized loan), $6,500 for sophomores (only $4,500 may be in subsidized loan), $7,500 thereafter (only $5,500 may be in subsidized loan).
Independent students may be eligible for $4,000 to $5,000 in additional loan funds.
US citizens or permanent residents demonstrating financial need Submit FAFSA and loan application Fixed rate - Begins 6 months after student leaves school or drops below half time enrollment (6 credit hours).
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Students who have not received the max Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan. Independent students may have additional eligibility. Submit FAFSA and loan application Fixed rate - Begins 6 months after student leaves school or drops below half time enrollment (6 credit hours). Interest accrues while in school.
Federal Direct Plus Loan Up to the cost of education less aid received Parents of dependent students Submit FAFSA and loan application Fixed rate - Begins 60 days after entire loan is disbursed or 6 months after student leaves school.

Disbursements & Origination Fees 

Your Federal Direct Stafford loans must be accepted and all requirements completed prior to loan disbursements. You can accept your loan by responding to your award letter and checking on your loan disbursement by viewing your account summary on Self-Service.

In accordance with federal student aid regulations, Federal Direct Loan disbursements may occur as early as ten days prior to the beginning of the semester if all requirements are met.

  • The interest rate on Stafford loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) are fixed. New loan interest rates for subsequent years are adjusted annually on July 1. For the 2013-2014 academic year, subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans will have a 3.86% fixed interest rate View past and current interest rates.
  • For 2013-2014, Stafford loans will disburse to the student account less the net of 1.051% mandatory (certified before 12/01/13) or 1.072% (certified after 12/01/13), federal government origination fee; half of the borrowed amount will disburse each semester (Fall/Spring). See the chart below.

2013-2014 Net Stafford Amounts 

Disbursed to the student account after the mandated federal government origination fee of 1.072% and rounded to the dollar. Net amounts are subject to change and depend upon finalized figures from the federal government during processing.

annual loan amounts

fall 2013

spring 2014

annual loan amounts     

CERTIFIED AFTER 12/01/13

fall or spring loans per term    

certified after 12/01/13

$2,000 = $1,980 $990 $990 $2,000 = $1,980 $990
$3,500 = $3,464 $1,732 $1,732 $3,500 = $3,464 $1,732
$4,500 = $4,454 $2,227  $2,227 $4,500 = $4,452 $2,226 
$5,500 = $5,444  $2,722  $2,722 $5,500 = $5,442 $2,721 
$6,500 = $6,432  $3,216  $3,216 $6,500 = $6,432  $3,216
$7,500 = $7,422  $3,711  $3,711 $7,500 = $7,420 $3,710 
$9,500 = $9,402 $4,701  $4,701  $9,500 = $9,400 $4,700
$10,500 = $10,390 $5,195  $5,195  $10,500 = $10,388 $5,194 
$12,500 = $12,370  $6,185  $6,185  $12,500 = $12,366 $6,183
Graduate Students:     

$20,500 = $20,286

$10,143 $10,143 Graduate Students:     

$20,500 = $20,282

$10,141

Stafford Loan Borrowing Limits 

The amount you can borrow each year for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans depends on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student. The amount you can borrow may also be limited by other factors such as other financial aid you may receive. The loans are for educational purposes and can never exceed the cost of your attendance (determined by Financial Aid Administration) less any other aid.

Loan Limits for Dependent Students

  • 1st year undergraduate (0-26 credits): $5,500 (only $3,500 may be in subsidized loans)
  • 2nd year undergraduate (27-59 credits): $6,500 (only $4,500 may be in subsidized loans)
  • 3rd/4th year undergraduate (60+ credits): $7,500 (only $5,500 may be in subsidized loans)

Loan Limits for Independent Students*

  • 1st year undergraduate (0-26 credits): $9,500 (only $3,500 may be in subsidized loans)
  • 2nd year undergraduate (27-59 credits): $10,500 (only $4,500 may be in subsidized loans)
  • 3rd/4th year undergraduate (60+ credits): $12,500 (only $5,500 may be in subsidized loans)
  • Graduate or professional student (enrolled for six credits per term and based on Cost of Attendance): $20,500 (unsubsidized only)

* With documented proof of a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan denial, a student may request in writing to be awarded the same Unsubsidized Stafford Loan limits as an independent student.

Aggregate Loan Limits

If the total of your borrowed federal loans reach the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible for additional federal loans unless you have repaid a portion of the outstanding balance.  Please contact the Financial Aid Administration office at finaid@manhattan.edu for more guidance as needed.

Dependent undergraduates independent undergraduates (or with documented proof of a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan denial) graduate students
$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500 for undergraduates—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $138,500 for graduate or professional students—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.