Loans

Federal Stafford Loans
Eligibility Requirements

Federal Stafford Loans are available to most IU students, regardless of financial need or credit history. You can apply for a Stafford Loan if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or national, a U.S. permanent resident, or eligible noncitizen
  • You maintain at least half-time student status (six credit hours for undergraduates, four credit hours for graduate students)

Loans can be used to pay for tuition and fees, room and board, books, and other education-related expenses. You must reapply for Stafford Loans every year by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). An origination fee of 1 percent applies to all Stafford Loans.

Types of Stafford Loans

There are two types of Stafford Loan: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Subsidized Stafford Loans

  • Available to undergraduate students only
  • Must have demonstrated financial need
  • U.S. Department of Education pays interest that accrues while recipient is enrolled at least half time
  • Available at lower interest rate than unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  • Interest rates are subject to change every July 1

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

  • Available to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Do not have to demonstrate financial need to qualify
  • Available at a higher rate of interest than subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Recipient pays all accrued interest
How Much You Can Borrow
Annual Maximum If Eligible
Status Dependent Student
Maximum Subsidized Stafford Loan if Eligible Maximum Total Stafford Loan (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) if Eligible
Freshman $3,500 $5,500
Sophomore $4,500 $6,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $7,500
Graduate or Professional N/A N/A
Status Independent Student
Maximum Subsidized Stafford Loan if Eligible Maximum Total Stafford Loan (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) if Eligible
Freshman $3,500 $9,500
Sophomore $4,500 $10,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $12,500
Graduate or Professional N/A $20,500

Lifetime Maximums If Eligible

Status Maximum Subsidized Stafford Loan if Eligible Maximum Total Stafford Loan (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) if Eligible
Undergraduate Dependent Student $23,000 $31,000
Undergraduate Independent Student $23,000 $57,500
Graduate/Professional $65,500 $138,500
Doctoral Optometry $65,500 $224,000

Time Limit to receive Subsidized Stafford Loans

First-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 need to be aware of limits on the maximum period of time that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. You may only receive Direct Subsidized Loans for up to 150% of the published length of your program. For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). There are some enrollment situations where you may become responsible for paying the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loan. Be prepared and view the chart at Federal Student Aid.

Loan Exit Counseling

When you are about to graduate or drop below half-time enrollment, you will be asked to complete Loan Exit Counseling. Exit Counseling is an interactive tool that will provide you with information on repaying your federal student loans. You will receive an email from our office notifying you how to complete the exit counseling process. You can also find information at the Federal Student Loans website.

Repaying Federal Stafford Loans

Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time status.

Additional student loan repayment information is available through the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid website.

You can also start thinking about repayment options now by taking the following steps:

Apply for a Federal Stafford Loan

If you complete the FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for a Federal Stafford Loan in addition to other federal student aid programs. Learn how to apply for aid »