Federal Direct Stafford Loans
The Federal Direct Stafford Loan program provides low-interest educational loans to students enrolled at least half time. There are two different types of Stafford loans:
- Subsidized – the federal government pays the interest while student is in school and during the six-month grace period
- Unsubsidized – interest acrues while student is in school and during the grace period.
Direct Stafford Loan (Subsidized)
This loan is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The federal government pays interest on this loan while the student is enrolled in school (at least half-time, pursuing a degree or certificate) and during a six month grace period after leaving in-school status. The fixed interest rate for the life of the loan is based on the date of the first disbursement. For loans disbursed between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 the interest rate will be 3.4%. To learn more about interest rates, please refer to the sections below.
Direct Stafford Loan (Unsubsidized)
This loan is non-need based and the student borrower is responsible for the interest which accrues on the loan while enrolled and prior to repayment. The student may choose to make interest payments during the in-school period or capitalize the unpaid accrued interest when repayment begins. Interest rate is 6.8%.
Undergraduate Stafford Maximum Annual Loan Limits
|$5,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount may be subsidized||$9,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount may be subsidized|
|$6,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount may be subsidized||$10,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount may be subsidized|
Junior & Senior (each year)
|$7,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount may be subsidized||$12,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount may be subsidized|
Maximum Debt (Aggregate Limits)
|$31,000 – No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$57,500 – No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
Undergraduate Interest Rates
Loans First Disbursed
|July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011||4.5%||6.8%|
|July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012||3.4%||6.8%|
|July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013||3.4%||6.8%|
Stafford Loan Authorization Instructions
If you have been awarded a Stafford Loan, please follow these steps to accept the award:
- Go to http://therock.nwc.edu and log in (only students can log in to theROCK with their username and password)
- Click on the Finances tab
- Select the "Financial Aid Awards' section in the upper-left of the page
- Select the aid year
- Click on the "terms and conditions" to read and then accept
- Now you can choose to accept, change or decline loans on the "accept award offer" tab
- Finally, if you are accepting your first Stafford loan at Northwestern you must sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete Entrance Counseling on the Direct Loan website. Sign in to the "Manage My Direct Loan" section using your FAFSA PIN.