Direct Student Loans (formerly known as Stafford)
Offered by the federal government, these low-interest loans are for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) at participating schools. Direct Loans include both subsidized and unsubsidized loan options.
Direct Subsidized Loans - Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with financial need determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on the information reported by the student on their FAFSA. Interest is paid by the government while you are enrolled at least half-time, during the six month grace period, and in deferment. The loan payments may be deferred while in school
Direct Unsubsidized Loans - you are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Unlike the subsidized option, you are responsible for paying the interest that accumulates while you are enrolled at least half-time, during the grace period and during deferment. The loan payments may still be deferred while in school.
The Federal Perkins loan has a lower interest rate and longer grace period than the standard direct loans, but is not subsidized. Perkins loans offer a low-interest loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Exceptional financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on the information reported by the student on their FAFSA. Federal Perkins Loans are made through a school's financial aid office. Your school is your lender, and the loan is made with government funds. You must repay this loan to your school. More information is available at the school financial aid office.