University of Holy Cross

Federal Loans

Federal Direct Loans

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is a service of the US Department of Education. If you are eligible to borrow through the program, you do so at interest rates which are lower than those of many other student loan options, and have more favorable deferment, forgiveness, and cancellation options.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

To be eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans, you must be enrolled at least half-time in courses that fulfill requirements for your degree program.

To receive Federal Direct Stafford Loans, you must complete:

Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note before disbursement can take place.

Exit Counseling must be completed when leaving school.

There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans:

Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan: The federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled in school at least half-time. These loans are awarded based on financial need and are not available to graduate students.

Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan: You are responsible for the interest from the date of disbursement. You may pay interest quarterly or allow the interest to accrue.

Click here to view current interest rates and origination fees.

Maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan Amounts

The US Department of Education sets borrowing limits that vary by your year in school and dependency status (see the chart below). Direct Stafford Loan amounts may not exceed your cost of attendance.

If you qualify for a subsidized loan that is less than the annual subsidized loan limit, you may receive an unsubsidized loan to cover the difference between the annual limit and the subsidized loan amount.

The chart below lists the maximum loan amounts for Federal Direct Stafford Loans that dependent students may borrow per year.

Maximum Loan Amounts for Dependent Students

Student’s Academic Level Maximum* Subsidized Maximum* Combined Total (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
First-year Undergraduate
(0-29 Credits)
$3,500 $5,500
Second-year Undergraduate
(30-59 Credits)
$4,500 $6,500
Third-year and beyond Undergraduate
(60+ Credits)
$5,500 $7,500
Teacher Certification $5,500 $7,500
Graduate Students (all years) $0 $20,500

*Per term, Dependent Students whose parents are denied a Parent PLUS Loan may be eligible for additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds.

The chart below lists the maximum loan amounts for Federal Direct Stafford Loans that independent students may borrow per year.

Maximum Loan Amounts for Independent Students

Student’s Academic Level Maximum Subsidized Maximum Combined Total
(Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
First-year Undergraduate
(0-29 Credits)
$3,500 $9,500
Second-year Undergraduate
(30-59 Credits)
$4,500 $10,500
Third-year and beyond Undergraduate
(60+ Credits)
$5,500 $12,500
Teacher Certification $5,500 $12,500
Graduate Students (all years) $0 $20,500

Total Outstanding Debt for Federal Stafford Loans

The US Department of Education maintains aggregate limits on your outstanding lifetime Stafford Loan debt. The limits are as follows:

$31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized) for Dependent undergraduates.

$57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized) for Independent undergraduates.

$138,500 (no more than $65,000 of which can be subsidized) for Graduate students.

Canceling or Reducing Federal Direct Stafford Loans

You have the right to cancel or reduce the amount of your Federal Direct Stafford Loan. To do so, you must complete a Request for Revision of Financial Aid Package form.

Meeting Aggregate Limits

As a student loan borrower, you are responsible for knowing the total amount of federal loans you have borrowed. A summary of your federal loan debt is available via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov. This summary can be used to monitor the total amount of federal loans borrowed, to ensure that you are not near your aggregate limit.

Students must keep in mind that they are legally responsible for fully repaying all of their loans according to the terms outlined in their Master Promissory Note. Students are required to repay their loans regardless of whether they complete their education, are able to find employment, or are satisfied with their education. Students should make every reasonable attempt to minimize the amount that they borrow by borrowing only what they need and what they can afford to repay.

Click here to learn more about repayment options available.


 
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