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Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Student loans have varying repayment terms and interest rates and must be repaid. Current Federal interest rates and fees are available on

For the class of 2020, 72.9 percent of students borrowed to help with educational costs. For undergraduates, the median amount borrowed by students was $26,720.

MassArt participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The Direct Loan Program is a federal student aid program administered by the Department of Education. Students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education, and repay to an approved Federal Student Aid Loan Servicer, while MassArt's Office of Student Financial Assistance originates and processes the loan. Graduate students are eligible to borrow up to $20,500 in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan in one academic year.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is provided to all graduate students regardless of financial need. The student is responsible for the interest accruing while they are enrolled in school, during grace periods, and during authorized deferment periods. During this time, students may either pay the accumulating interest or capitalize the interest. Capitalization means the unpaid interest will be added to the principal balance of the loan at the beginning of the repayment period.

Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, withdraws from the college, or drops to less than half-time enrollment. In order to receive a Stafford Loan, a student must be enrolled for at least six credits per semester and must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

Stafford Loan Instructions for New Borrowers 

At MassArt, we counsel students to only borrow federal loans and to seek alternative loans as a last resort.

Graduate Federal Stafford Loan Limits

Grade LevelCombined Annual Stafford Loan LimitAggregate Stafford Loan Limit
(Lifetime Stafford Loan Limit)
Graduate Students$20,500$138,500
(no more than $65,000 may be subsidized)