Federal Direct Stafford Loan

This loan program is available to all students. Federal direct loans are low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education that are administered by EMU. It is the U.S. Department of Education's major form of self-help financial aid and is available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. There are two types of federal direct loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Because the funding for the federal direct loan program comes straight from the U.S. Department of Education, you do not have to find a lender to borrow through the program.

Please disregard any offers you may receive about the federal direct loan program through private banks and other lenders. Since Eastern is a federal direct lending participating university, you may not use a private lender to apply for a federal loan.

Applying for a Federal Direct Loan

When you complete the FAFSA, you are applying for all of the aid programs for which you may be eligible, including direct loans.

If a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) has been offered to you as part of your aid package it will appear on your financial aid award Letter. You can accept or decline these loans just as you would any other aid program assistance offered to you. Additionally, if you are accepting all or part of the loan, you are required to complete entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note.

Loan Limits

Annual Loan Limits - Stafford Loan
Dependent Students

First-Year Undergraduate (0–24)

  • Subsidized loans: $3,500
  • Additional Unsubsidized loans: $2000
  • Combined Loan Limits: $5,500

Second-Year Undergraduate (25–55)

  • Subsidized loans: $4,500
  • Additional Unsubsidized loans: $2000
  • Combined Loan Limits: $6,500

Third-Year Undergraduate (56+)

  • Subsidized loans: $5,500
  • Additional Unsubsidized loans: $2000
  • Combined Loan Limits: $7,500
Independent Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)

First-Year Undergraduate (0–24)

  • Subsidized loans: $3,500
  • Additional Unsubsidized loans: $6000
  • Combined Loan Limits: $9,500

Second-Year Undergraduate (25–55)

  • Subsidized loans: $4,500
  • Additional Unsubsidized loans: $6000
  • Combined Loan Limits: $10,500

Third-Year Undergraduate (56+)

  • Subsidized loans: $5,500
  • Additional Unsubsidized loans: $6000
  • Combined Loan Limits: $12,500

Graduate and Professional Students
The Subsidized Stafford Loan program has been eliminated for graduate students beginning fall 2012. Graduate students will only be offered Unsubsidized Stafford loan funding.

  • Unsubsidized loans: $20,500
Aggregate Loan Limits – Stafford Loan

Dependent Understand Students

Subsidized loans: $23,000
Additional Unsubsidized loans: $8,000
Combined Loan Limits: $31,000

Independent Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)

Subsidized loans: $23,000
Additional Unsubsidized loans: $34,500
Combined Loan Limits: $57,500

Graduate and Professional Students (including undergraduate loans)

Subsidized loans: $65,500
Additional Unsubsidized loans: $73,000
Combined Loan Limits: $138,500

Interest Rates

Undergraduate
  • Subsidized
      • July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016: 4.29%
      • July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017: 3.76%
      • July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018: 4.45%
  • Unsubsidized
      • July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016: 4.29%
      • July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017: 3.76%
      • July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018: 4.45%
Graduate
  • Unsubsidized
      • July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016: 5.84%
      • July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017: 5.31%
      • July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018: 6%

General Requirements

Once you are awarded a federal direct student loan, you must fulfill certain conditions before loan funds can be credited to your account. These include, but may not be limited to:

Completion of a Loan Entrance Counseling

Entrance counseling is actually a counseling session which is designed to help you better understand your obligation as a borrower and provides other useful information on the loan process. Entrance counseling is required for all of first time, first-year borrowers. Click here to complete Entrance counseling.

Completion of a Master Promissory Note

Direct Loan borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Enrollment of at least Half Time

Please review the chart below to make sure you are meeting the enrollment criteria.

Undergraduate

Full-time: 12 or more 
3/4 Time: 9, 10 or 11 
1/2 Time: 6, 7 or 8

Graduate

Full-time: 8 or more 
3/4 Time: 6 or 7 
1/2 Time: 4 or 5

Loan Repayment

The direct loan program offers loan repayment plans designed to meet the needs of almost every borrower. Direct loans are funded by the U.S. Department of Education through your school and are managed by the Direct Loan Servicing Center, under the supervision of the Department. The direct loan program allows you to choose your repayment plan and to switch your plan if your needs change.

Stafford loan repayment begins six months after you graduate, fall below half time (six credit hours for undergraduate and four hours for graduate students) or leave school.

If you return to school or if your enrollment increases to at least half time, there are deferment options that you could qualify for which will delay your repayment. It is important that you contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center if your enrollment changes or if you are having problems making your payments.

To find out more about repayment options before receiving a direct loan, borrowers may contact their school's financial aid office or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800.4.FED.AID.

If you currently have a direct loan and would like the exact payment amount on your loan, you can find it out online at the website for the Direct Loan Servicing Center or you can call the center at 888.447.4460.

For More Information

Contact us or NSLDS.

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