Stafford Loan

Stafford Loan

Direct federal loans are fixed-rate student loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending college at least half-time. Federal loans are the most common type of financial aid to assist with paying for school.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans are available to all students who submit a FAFSA.  This loan may be subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination of both.  With a subsidized loan, which is awarded based on financial need, the federal government pays interest that accrues while you are in school. The unsubsidized loan is not based on need; interest that accrues while in school must either be paid monthly or deferred and capitalized (added to the original loan balance). Financial need is determined by the One Stop

Loan funds are disbursed directly to Southern New Hampshire University in equal amounts over each term of enrollment for the academic year. There is a 6-month grace period prior to repayment following graduation, withdrawal, or a drop below half-time status.

In order for first-time borrowers to receive Stafford Loan funds, the online Federal Entrance Interview and Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed. The Federal Entrance Interview and the Stafford Loan MPN can be completed at www.studentloans.gov.  Our Stafford Loan Activation Quick Guide can walk you through these steps.

See the Loan Counseling page for additional information on repayment options.

Additional information

Interest Rate

  • Direct Subsidized Loans (Undergraduate Students): Fixed at 3.86%
  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Undergraduate Students): Fixed at 3.86%
  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Graduate): Fixed at 5.41%

Annual Loan Limits

Dependent Undergraduate Students

  • First year (0-29 credits): $3,500 subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized
  • Second year (30-59 credits): $4,500 subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized
  • Third year and beyond (60 or more credits): $5,500 subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized

Independent Undergraduate Students

  • First year (0-29 credits): $3,500 subsidized, $6,000 unsubsidized
  • Second year (30-59 credits): $4,500 subsidized, $6,000 unsubsidized
  • Third year and beyond (60 or more credits): $5,500 subsidized, $7,000 unsubsidized

Graduate Students:

The annual maximum is $20,500. Graduate students are only eligible to receive an unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Aggregate (Lifetime) Loan Limits

Dependent Undergraduate Students

$31,000 of which $23,000 can be subsidized

Independent Undergraduate Students

$57,500 of which $23,000 can be subsidized#

Graduate Students

$138,500 of which $65,500 can be subsidized