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FAQs - Financial Aid

Q: How do I apply for a Direct Stafford Loan?

A:  The FAFSA is the only application necessary to receive Federal Direct Stafford Loans but you must accept your loans on MaineStreet in order to receive them.

For guidance on how to accept your award on MaineStreet, click here (PDF).

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Q: What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans?

A: Students are offered two different types of Direct Stafford Loans, depending on their need.

  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans do not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half time in a degree program.  Loans disbursed after 07/01/2012 the interest begins to accrue or to be paid by the student once the student enters into the six-month grace period and loans disbursed prior to 07/01/2012 interest begins to accure or to be paid by the student at the time of principal repayment.
  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans accrue interest while the student is in school and during repayment.

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Q: What is the current Direct Stafford Loan interest rate?

A: The current Direct Stafford Loan interest rates were set on July 1, 2013.

  • 3.86% on Subsidized and Unsubsidized Undergraduate Direct Stafford Loans
  • 6.41% on Unsubsidized Graduate Direct Stafford Loans

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Q: How much can I borrow in Direct Stafford Loan funds?

A: Federal regulations specify the maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan amount students can borrow each academic year, depending on grade level. Actual loan eligibility is specified on a student’s individual financial aid award and may be less than the annual maximum.

Stafford Loan Limits (effective July 1, 2008)

Grade Level and Dependency Credit Hours Earned Maximum Subsidized Stafford Maximum Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized)
Dependent first-year less than 24 $3,500 $5,500
Dependent sophomore 24 -53 $4,500 $6,500
Dependent junior or senior 54 and above $5,500 $7,500
Independent first-year less than 24 $3,500 $9,500
Independent sophomore 24-53 $4,500 $10,500
Independent junior or senior 54 and above $5,500 $12,500
Graduate student any credit hours $8,500 $20,500

NOTE: Dependent students whose parents are denied a Federal Direct PLUS Loan are eligible for the independent student limits if there is a valid Direct PLUS Loan denial (dated within the last year) on file with our office.

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Q: How do I complete my Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

A:  All students borrowing a Direct Stafford Loan for the 2010-2011 academic year need to complete a new MPN.

  • Go to
  • Login using your FAFSA Pin
  • Complete Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note

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Q: How do I complete my Entrance Counseling (Interview)?

A: All first time borrowers must complete on-line Entrance Counseling.

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Q: How do I know if my loan has disbursed?

A: Login to MaineStreet and go to your Student Service Center to view your Student Account. You will see the Direct Stafford Loan listed in the detailed view of your bill if it has disbursed.

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Q: Why has my Direct Stafford Loan disbursed for less than it was approved?

A: There is a 1.051% origination fee from the Department of Education on all Direct Stafford Loans.

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Q: When will I need to repay my Direct Stafford Loans?

A: You will be granted a 6 month grace period before your loans enter repayment. The grace period begins when you graduate or your enrollment drops below half time.

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