Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

What is a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

A Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a low-interest loan available to students who are enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program, and must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, a U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's Island), a U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C Alien Registration Receipt Card
  • be registered for the Selective Service.
  • file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by College policy.
  • not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal educational loan.

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan can be subsidized or unsubsidized but cannot exceed the annual limits provided below.

The subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need as determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Federal government pays interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time, through the grace period, and authorized deferment periods.

An unsubsidized student loan does not qualify for a federal interest subsidy and therefore the interest will start to accrue on the loan immediately following disbursement.

  • If you choose to not pay the accruing interest, it will be added to the principal amount of your loan and will increase the amount you have to repay.
  • If you pay the interest as it accumulates, you'll repay less in the long run.

Payment of principal is deferred while students are enrolled in school at least half-time.  After you graduate, withdraw, or drop to less than half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period - during which time no payment on principal will be due.  Repayment on the principal amount begins at the conclusion of the grace period.  At repayment, the minimum monthly payment is $50.  The maximum monthly payment is that amount that will repay your loans in 10 years.  There is no penalty for early repayment.  

The interest rate for the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loan, with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015, is a fixed 4.66%, with an 8.25% cap.  Loan funds are disbursed via EFT (electronic funds transfer) to Hampden-Sydney in two disbursements, one at the beginning of each semester, and are credited directly to the tuition account.  A 1.072% federal fee is deducted from each disbursement.

For loans where the first disbursement is made on or after October 1, 2014, the federal loan fee is 1.073%. 

Base annual limits effective 5/8/2008 for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan (combined subsidized and unsubsidized):

  • $5,500 for 1st year undergraduates
  • $6,500 for 2nd year undergraduates
  • $7,500 for each remaining undergraduate year
  • $10,500 for each year of graduate/professional study

Deferment Options

Repayment Options

Cancellation Options

Loan Forgiveness

Loan Consolidation