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The Federal Stafford Loan is a non-credit based student loan for undergraduate and graduate students. There are two basic types of Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Both have a 6 month grace period (a period of time when a student is no longer enrolled for at least half-time and not required to make payments) and fixed interest rates, which are determined each year on July 1st. For interest rates, please refer to the Loan Comparison Chart.

 

Deadline to Accept Stafford Loans:
The deadline to accept Summer 2020 Federal Direct Stafford Loans is 7/24/2020 to avoid cancellation.

Types of Stafford Loans

Subsidized Loans

Government pays the interest on behalf of the student while the student is in the deferment period and grace period. Once in repayment, the student is responsible for paying the interest on the loan as well as the principal amount borrowed.

The student’s cost of attendance must exceed his/her Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to be eligible for “need-based” aid (such as grants, scholarships and subsidized loans).

The EFC is based on information collected from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The total amount of the subsidized loan combined with other “need-based” aid cannot exceed the student’s “financial need.”

Subsidized loans are available only to undergraduate students.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Time Limitation

Students who are considered new borrowers or first-time borrowers are limited in the amount of time they may qualify for interest subsidy.

Once these students have exceeded 150% of the published length of their current degree program, they will be:

  • Ineligible to borrow any more Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Eligible to borrow more Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans as long as the Total Aggregate Limit has not been met
  • Responsible for any interest that accrues on the Federal Direct Subsidized loans after exceeding the 150% limit

Unsubsidized Loans

Government does not pay the interest on behalf of the student. Instead, the borrower is responsible for all the interest that accrues and capitalizes from the time the loan disburses.

Independent students may be eligible for greater unsubsidized amounts than dependent students.

Though it is non-need based aid, the amount of unsubsidized loan combined with other aid cannot exceed the total estimated cost of attendance.

Stafford Loan Eligibility Criteria

Students Must:

  • File the FAFSA.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Be fully admitted and meet UCF Admission requirements.
  • Be classified as degree seeking at UCF in an eligible program.
  • Enroll for at least half-time at UCF in UCF classes at time of disbursement. For more information regarding half-time enrollment please view our Program Eligibility Chart.
  • Maintain UCF’s Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Complete all required To-Do List Items.
  • Complete verification (if selected).
  • If in receipt of a Federal Stafford Direct Loan during this academic year at another institution, make sure that the remainder of that loan is canceled before applying for a loan at UCF.
  • Complete the online Master Promissory Note if this is your first time borrowing a Federal Direct loan.
  • Complete the online Entrance Counseling if this is your first time borrowing a Direct Loan at any school.

Students Cannot:

  • Default on any educational loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant at this or any other institution.
  • Borrow in excess of federal loan limits.

Transfer Students

If you were awarded a Federal Stafford Direct Loan during this academic year at another institution, make sure that the remainder of that loan is canceled at your previous school before applying for a loan at UCF.

Receiving financial aid disbursements from another institution within the same academic year may have an impact on your remaining aid eligibility at UCF. The amount of loans received at a previous institution may affect your eligibility to receive loans at UCF.


Before you apply for any type of financial assistance, make sure you meet the general eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for the Federal Stafford Loan

  1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current aid year. We recommend that you file by the priority deadline of December 1st.

  2. After UCF receives the results of the FAFSA from the Federal Processor, we will automatically offer the maximum Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan based on your eligibility.

  3. Accept, reduce, or decline your offered loan(s) for each term separately on the myUCF View Financial Aid screen by clicking the “Accept/Decline Awards” button and indicating your selection.

Fill out the FAFSA

If you’re not ready to apply for federal student aid, but you’d like to estimate your aid, check out FAFSA4caster. The FAFSA4caster is an early eligibility estimator that can help you plan ahead when it comes to paying for college.

UCF School Code:

003954

UCF’s Priority Date for FAFSA:

December 1

Borrowing Limits

The total combined amounts a student may borrow in subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans may not exceed the annual loan limits or aggregate limits, which are specified in federal regulations.

The amount of the subsidized loan combined with other “need-based” aid cannot exceed the student’s “financial need.” The EFC is based on information collected from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is a time limitation on Federal Direct Subsidized loans.

Although the unsubsidized loan is a non-need based aid, the amount of the unsubsidized loan, combined with other aid, cannot exceed the total estimated cost of attendance.

All awards, including accepted Direct Stafford Loans, are subject to change if corrections to your financial aid package are required.

Annual Limits

Annual loan limits are determined by class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.) and dependency status.

Class Level Credits Earned
Freshman 1–29
Sophomore 30-59
Junior 60-89
Senior 90-120

Loan Borrowing Limits Per Academic Year

Fall & Spring Loan Limits

Dependent Students
Class Level Maximum Subsidized Additional Unsubsidized Combined Subsidized & Unsubsidized
Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Independent Students
Class Level Maximum Subsidized Additional Unsubsidized Combined Subsidized & Unsubsidized
Freshman $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Graduate N/A $20,500 $20,500

Summer Loan Limits

Dependent Students
Class Level Maximum Subsidized Additional Unsubsidized Combined Subsidized & Unsubsidized
Freshman $1,750 $1,000 $2,750
Sophomore $2,250 $1,000 $3,250
Junior/Senior $2,750 $1,000 $3,750
Independent Students
Class Level Maximum Subsidized Additional Unsubsidized Combined Subsidized & Unsubsidized
Freshman $1,750 $3,000 $4,750
Sophomore $2,250 $3,000 $5,250
Junior/Senior $2,750 $3,500 $6,250
Graduate N/A $10,250 $10,250

NOTE: A dependent student whose parent has been denied a PLUS loan during the current aid year may be eligible to receive Federal Stafford loans at the independent level with proof of PLUS loan denial from the lender. A PLUS loan letter of denial from the lender is only valid for one aid year.

Aggregate Limits

The total amount that a student may borrow for the academic career is called the aggregate limit, which is specified in federal regulations.

Once the aggregate limit has been reached, students are no longer eligible to borrow Federal Stafford loans.

Per federal regulations, a student who exceeds the aggregate loan limit is ineligible to receive any additional federal student loans or federal aid, including the Federal Pell Grant, until the overage is resolved.

Undergraduate Students

Academic Career Maximum Subsidized Additional Unsubsidized Combined Subsidized & Unsubsidized
Dependent Undergraduate $23,000 $8,000 $31,000
Independent Undergraduate $23,000 $34,500 $57,500

Graduate Students

Academic Career Maximum Subsidized
Graduate (includes Undergrad amounts) $138,500

Aggregate Checklists

Students who receive either the Subsidized or Total Aggregate Limit checklist on the To-Do List must log on to the NSLDS web site to review their loan history. NSLDS will only include the running total of disbursed loans and will not include any undisbursed loans.

Students who receive the checklist could either be approaching the Subsidized or Total Aggregate Limit (depending on the checklist) with less than one year remaining in eligibility or potentially have reached the limit.

Students with any aggregate warning status must undergo careful review before the Stafford loan eligibility can be determined. In order for students to be selected for loan eligibility review, loan eligibility criteria must be met and students must not do the following:

  • Default on any educational loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant at this or any other institution.
  • Borrow in excess of federal Aggregate limits. See the above Total Aggregate Limit chart.

Once the loan eligibility has been reviewed, the Aggregate checklist(s) will be removed from the To-Do List.

NOTE: Students who have incomplete required documents on the To-Do List or who are selected with Verification, will not have access to accept loans until all required documentation has been submitted and Verification has been completed.

Information for Stafford Loan Recipients

Disbursement of Loan

Disbursement of financial aid is the process in which financial aid awards (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) are posted to the student’s account. As this process takes place, students may see changes to their anticipated aid, awards, and charges. Learn more about loan disbursements.

Loan Adjustment and Reinstatement

The online Loan Adjustment Request form is available at the start of each semester up until the adjustment/reinstatement deadline. If you would like your loan eligibility reviewed for either an increase or reinstatement, you may submit an online Loan Adjustment Request Form by the following deadlines:

2019-2020 Award Year Deadlines

Loan Period Adjustment / Reinstatement Deadline
Fall 2019 11/15/19
Spring 2020 4/03/20
Summer 2020 7/24/20

2020-2021 Award Year Deadlines

Loan Period Adjustment / Reinstatement Deadline
Fall 2020 11/16/20
Spring 2021 3/29/21
Summer 2021 TBD

Proration of Direct Loans for Graduating Seniors

Federal regulations require schools to prorate the Federal Direct Stafford Loan amount for graduating undergraduate students when their final period of enrollment is less than a full academic year.

Graduating seniors who are only attending one semester of the academic year may have their Federal Direct Stafford Loans prorated based on the number of credit hours they are enrolled.

Loan Proration Formula

Prorating limits the amount of subsidized/unsubsidized loans that a graduating senior may borrow for their final semester based on the following formula:

Actual number of undergraduate credit hours enrolled, divided by the number of credit hours in an academic year (24), times the Annual Federal Direct Stafford loan limit (as determined by class standing)

Offered loans are initially calculated based on a projected full-time cost of attendance for the fall and spring semesters.

After the Drop/Swap/Add period, Federal Direct Stafford loans are recalculated and prorated based on the student’s actual enrollment. Note that the actual loan amount may be also impacted by the student’s total aggregate loan limit.

Private and Federal Direct PLUS (Parent Loan for Dependent Students) loans may be available to supplement the student’s expenses.

Exceptions

Loan proration requirements do not apply to graduate or professional certificate students.