Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford loan program allows students to borrow low-cost educational loans from the federal government. To be eligible for a Direct Stafford loan, students must be enrolled at least 6 hours (5 hours for the Graduate College and School of Public Health). Repayment of these loans begins 6 months after students leave school or fall below half time enrollment. There are 2 types of Federal Direct Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. For detailed information about Federal Direct Stafford loans, visit the U.S. Department of Education.

Subsidized (Undergraduates Only)

Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford loans are need based loans. They are subsidized in that the federal government pays the interest on the loan until repayment begins.


Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans are not need based. Interest begins accruing from the date of first disbursement. You can choose to pay the interest quarterly while in school, or you can allow it to accumulate and be capitalized when repayment begins.

Interest Rates

There are a variety of interest rates for Federal Direct Stafford loans, depending on date of disbursement, subsidized/unsubsidized, undergraduate/graduate, fixed/variable rates. The rates can range from around 3%-8%. See complete interest rate information here.

Origination Fees

There is a 1% origination fee for Federal Direct Stafford loans. So, if you borrow $1,000 in Federal Direct Stafford loans, you will receive a net disbursement of $990.


Disclaimer: If students choose to use an outside lender, FTCC is prohibited from selecting or recommending any specific outside lenders to students.  Students can search for a complete list of national lenders who participate in the Federal Stafford Loan Programs through the Department of Education website at