Federal Direct Stafford Loans
Federal Stafford loans are made through the William D. Ford federal direct-loan program and comprise direct-subsidized and direct-unsubsidized loans.
Federal direct-subsidized student loans are need-based. The federal government pays the interest that accrues on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time and during the six-month grace period. Only undergraduate students are eligible for subsidized loans per federal regulations. While interest does not accrue initially, if the student was a first-time borrower as defined by the Department of Education on July 1, 2013, or thereafter, and attends school for longer than 150 percent of the length of the published program, interest will begin to accrue at that time.
Federal direct unsubsidized student loans are not need-based. All students who meet general eligibility requirements may qualify. The student is responsible for all interest that accrues while he or she is enrolled at least half time. Interest begins to accumulate from the date of the first loan disbursement and is billed quarterly. Students may choose to pay the interest that accumulates or have it capitalized. Paying the interest as it accumulates will reduce the amount of interest that must be repaid.
Students must be enrolled in a degree program at least half time to be eligible for student loans. Application for student loans are made by filling out and submitting the FAFSA. Basic eligibility requirements must be met, as determined by the federal government. A 1.062 percent origination fee is deducted from the loan before it is disbursed and paid to the U.S. Department of Education for loans that are first disbursed between Oct. 1, 2018 and Sept. 30, 2019. As a result, while the borrower repays 100 percent of what he or she borrows, plus interest, only 98.938 percent will be received, which can be applied toward the tuition bill. If a student has paid his or her bill in full before the loan disbursement is processed, the loan money will be given as a refund and can be used for other educational expenses, such as books, supplies, travel, or living expenses.
Direct loan servicing provides online access using the FSA ID to access information on existing direct loan(s), including account information, loan balance, change of address capability and account management. Direct-loan forms, including the entrance-loan counseling form and loan agreement form (MPN), are available here as well.
Loan borrowers should be aware that federal loan(s) will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Note that the length of the program the student is engaged in will be reported in months, since we have a nontraditional student population, in which students are not limited to a full-time fall/full-time spring enrollment pattern.
To apply for federal direct loans, complete the FAFSA, the entrance-loan counseling form and the Federal Loan Agreement for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN). The FAFSA needs to be renewed annually.
Effective July 1, 2013, subsidized loan eligibility for new borrowers is limited to the equivalent of six years for students in a bachelor’s program and the equivalent of three years for students in an associate program.
Note: If you received a Direct Subsidized Loan that was first disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.
Learn more about the federal direct loan program:
Name: SUC Empire State College
Undergraduate Associate: 0916
Undergraduate Bachelor's: 0913
Graduate: 5680 (for graduate students applying for Veteran Tuition Awards)
Students planning to attend summer 2019, fall 2019 or spring 2020 may apply for aid by submitting the 2019-2020 FAFSA on or after October 1, 2018.