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Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Office of Student Financial Assistance at MassArt highly recommends students in certificate programs not borrow, if at all possible. Changes in federal law regarding student loans will severely limit a student's ability to borrow federal loans to get a bachelor's degree at a later date.

Student loans have varying repayment terms and interest rates and must be repaid. The interest rates listed below are the estimated rates for the 2017-2018 academic year; however, the promissory note is the final word on the correct rate.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

This federally funded loan program is available to certificate students enrolled for at least six credits per semester. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan program enables students to 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.

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.

Application Process

In order to apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, students must file the annual FAFSA. Once the Office of Student Financial Assistance determines your eligibility for financial aid, then the Stafford Loan(s) for which you are eligible will be offered to you on your financial assistance letter.

The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan 

This loan is provided based on having financial need. The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while the student is enrolled in school for at least six credits per semester, during grace periods and during authorized deferment periods. The current interest rate for undergraduate Subsidized Stafford Loans for the 2017-2018 school year is fixed at 4.45 percent. Rates vary from year to year.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan 

This loan is provided regardless of financial need. The student is responsible for the interest accruing while he/she is 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 principle balance of the loan at the beginning of the repayment period. The current interest rate for undergraduate Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for the 2017-2018 school year is fixed at 4.45 percent. Rates vary from year to year.

For 2017-18, Federal Direct Stafford Loans have a 1.069 percent origination fee if disbursed on or after 10/1/16. For loans disbursed on or after 10/1/17, the origination fee is 1.066 percent. The origination fee is subtracted from the loan before disbursement.

Stafford Loan Instructions for New Borrowers >>

Certificate Federal Stafford Loan Limits

The aggregate Stafford Loan limit for a dependent student is $31,000 ($23,000 of which may be subsidized). The aggregate Stafford Loan limit for an independent student is $57,500 ($23,000 of which may be subsidized).

Number of Credits CompletedDependent Student
Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Independent Student
Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized
0-29 Credits Completed$5,500
(no more than $3,500 may be subsidized)
$9,500
no more than $3,500 may be subsidized)
30-59 Credits Completed$6,500
(no more than $4,500 may be subsidized)
$10,500
(no more than $4,500 may be subsidized

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate/TPP Federal Stafford Loan Limits

The aggregate Stafford Loan limit for a dependent student is $31,000 ($23,000 of which may be subsidized). The aggregate Stafford Loan limit for an independent student is $57,500 ($23,000 of which may be subsidized).

Grade LevelDependent Student
Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Independent Student
Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized
0-29 Credits Completed$7,500
(no more than $5,500 may be subsidized)
$12,500
no more than $5,500 may be subsidized)