The largest source of low-interest loans administered by the U.S. Department of Education is the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. Federal Direct Stafford Loan funding is available to all undergraduate students who have completed the FAFSA, enrolled as a matriculated student in an eligible degree program, registered for at least six credit hours per term, are U.S. citizens or resident aliens, and who are not in default on a prior student loan. Creditworthiness is not a requirement for the Stafford loan.
Stafford loans are either subsidized (e.g., the loan does not accrue interest while the student is enrolled in at least six credit hours) or unsubsidized. Subsidized Stafford loans are awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the financial data provided by the student on the FAFSA and in conjunction with other forms of financial aid awarded to the student. Unsubsidized Stafford loans are available to students who may not have "need," as described previously, but who would benefit from having access to a low-interest student loan program. Unlike the subsidized Stafford loan, the government does not pay the interest that accrues for unsubsidized Stafford loan borrowers, even while they are enrolled in at least six credit hours in an eligible program of study.
Through either subsidized or unsubsidized loans, students can borrow the following maximum annual amounts:
In addition to the Federal Direct Stafford Loan limits listed above, independent students (or dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan) may borrow additional amounts under the unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan program, as follows:
In addition to annual borrowing limits, students are also limited in the total amount they can borrow from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program during their undergraduate and graduate academic careers. These limits are referred to as aggregate loan maximums and will vary depending on the student's dependency status and degree being sought. The aggregate amount a dependent undergraduate student may borrow from the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loan programs combined is $31,000 (with no more than $23,000 in the subsidized loan.) Independent undergraduate students or dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a Federal PLUS Loan may borrow a total of $57,500 (with no more than $23,000 in the subsidized loan.) On average, students who graduate from Monmouth University borrow approximately $18,500 in Stafford loans with an expected monthly payment of $205.
Monmouth University is a direct lending institution, meaning that the University's Financial Aid Office will notify the student when to sign their Electronic Master Promissory Note (E-signature MPN) for their Stafford loans. The student need not seek a loan application from a private banking institution. Borrowers should be aware that their loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and it will be accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.
Monmouth University is responsible for delivering the funds to the student; funds will be transferred electronically to the student's account. All first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers must participate in a loan counseling session before receiving the first disbursement of their loan proceeds. For your convenience, you are able to complete this session online. Please click here to begin the entrance counseling session.
The interest rate for both the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans for the 2013-2014 academic year are 3.86%.
For students who borrow under the unsubsidized Stafford loan program, the interest must be paid by the borrower. This can be done in one of two ways. While the student is enrolled, the borrower can pay the interest as it accrues. Alternatively, rather than pay the interest during periods of enrollment, borrowers can have that interest capitalized, which means adding it to the principal amount borrowed. All capitalized interest must be repaid. The important thing to note here is that capitalized interest becomes principal in this process. Thus, students who use this second option end up paying interest on accrued (and then capitalized) interest.
For all Stafford loan borrowers, repayment of principal and interest begins six months after graduation or termination of enrollment on at least a half-time basis. The federal government requires that students complete an exit counseling session when they graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time attendance (i.e., less than six credits). For your convenience, you are able to complete this session online. Please click here to begin the exit counseling session. To get an idea as to what your repayment amounts may look like, please take a look at the standard repayment table.