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Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan program is provided by the US Department of Education and is available for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students who are enrolled at least half-time. In order to be awarded Stafford loans, students must submit a FAFSA and have it submitted to UTSA. Please view the links below for information regarding Direct Stafford Loans.

Eligibilty for Stafford Loans

  • Must have a FAFSA on file with UTSA
  • Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Must enroll at least half-time at UTSA
  • For subsidized loan, must demonstrate financial need

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Subsidized Stafford Loan

Subsidized Stafford loans are awarded on the basis of need. The interest that accrues on this loan while a student is in school is subsidized (or paid) by the federal government. Typically, the government will subsidize the interest rate until the loan enters into repayment (to include the grace period of the loan). Due to legislative changes, subsidized Stafford loans made July 1, 2012 through July 1, 2014 will begin to accrue interest during the grace period.

Elimination of Subsidized Loan after 150% of Program

Congress permanently limited Subsidized loans to 150% of the length of a student's academic program effective for new borrowers after July 1, 2013. Those attending a 4 year school like UTSA, can have a maximum of 6 years to be eligible for subsidized loan. If you reach the 150% limitation and are still in school, the interest subsidy will end for all outstanding subsidized loans disbursed after July 1, 2013. Although repayment does not begin, the student will become responsible for interest accumulation at this point. For additional reading and resources, please visit the following: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/images/DirectSubsidizedLoanTimeLimitation.pdf

Important Notice for Graduate Students
Due to legislative changes, effective July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized Stafford loans.

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Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Unsubsidized Stafford loans are not awarded based on need. The student is responsible for the interest payments from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. You have the option to pay the interest as you continue to attend school or let the interest accumulate and be added to the principal of your loan. This means that interest will "capitalize" and the total amount you repay will be higher than if you paid the interest all along.

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Interest Rates & Origination Fees

Interest rates for Federal Direct Stafford loans are now tied to 10-year U.S. Treasury Notes based on legislation signed into law August 2013. Each year interest rates could vary.

Undergraduate Student Interest Rate:

2014-2015
Subsidized Loan for Undergraduate Students: 4.66%
Unsubsidized Loan for Undergraduate Students: 4.66%
Origination Fees: 1.072%
The maximum interest rates could increase to in any given year is 8.25%.

Graduate Student Interest Rate

2014-2015
Unsubsidized Loan for Graduate Students: 6.21%
Origination Fees: 1.072%
The maximum interest rates could increase to in any given year is 9.5%.

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Steps to Receive a Stafford Loan

  1. Students must accept loan(s) on ASAP
  2. Students must complete Stafford Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov
  3. Students must sign an Electronic Master Promissory Note (EMPN) at www.studentloans.gov

Please be mindful of Enrollment Requirements for disbursement of Stafford loans. Typically, if all requirements are met, Stafford loans disburse no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of term.

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Yearly Loan Limits & Maximum Total Debt

The amount of Stafford loan you may receive in an academic year (fall, spring, summer) is pre-determined by the federal government.

Dependent Undergraduate Students:

 
Classification
Yearly
Subsidized Maximum*
Yearly
Unsubsidized Maximum
Yearly
Combined Maximum
Freshman (0-29 hours)
$3500
$2000
$5500
Sophomore (30-59 hours)
$4500
$2000
$6500
Junior/Senior (60+ hours)
$5500
$2000
$7500
Post-Bac Teacher's Certification
$5500
$2000
$7500
Maximum Total Debt:
$31,000 ($23,000 may be subsidized)

*NOTE: Eligibility for Subsidized Stafford loan is determined by your need, according to information provided on your FAFSA. Should you not qualify for the Subsidized Stafford loan, the amount will be awarded as Unsubsidized Stafford.

Independent Undergraduate Students:

 
Classification
Yearly
Subsidized Maximum*
Yearly
Unsubsidized Maximum
Yearly
Combined Maximum
Freshman (0-29 hours)
$3500
$6000
$9500
Sophomore (30-59 hours)
$4500
$6000
$10,500
Junior/Senior (60+ hours)
$5500
$7000
$12,500
Post-Bac Teacher's Certification
$5500
$7000
$12,500
Maximum Total Debt:
$57,500 ($23,000 may be subsidized)

*NOTE: Eligibility for Subsidized Stafford loan is determined by your need, according to information provided on your FAFSA. Should you not qualify for the Subsidized Stafford loan, the amount will be awarded as Unsubsidized Stafford.

Graduate Student Loan Limits

Unsubsidized Loan
$20,500/Academic Year
Maximum Total Debt**
$138,500 ($65,500 may be subsidized)*

*NOTE: Effective July 1, 2012, Subsidized Stafford loans are no longer available to graduate students per legislative changes.

**NOTE: Graduate maximum total debt includes all subsidized and unsubsidized loans received during undergraduate study.

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Terms of Repayment & Exit Counseling

If you are graduating or ceasing to be at least a half-time student, you must complete Stafford Loan Exit Counseling at www.studentloans.gov. You can view the total amount of Stafford loans borrowed anytime by logging on to www.nslds.ed.gov. Standard repayment is typically 10 years, however there are other options. View our website for repayment strategies.

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