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Loans

Information you need to know about federal education loans

Be informed and stay informed

Direct Stafford Loans

Direct Stafford Loans are the Department of Education's major form of self-help aid. At ESU, funds for the Direct Stafford programs are borrowed from the Federal Treasury.

  • A subsidized loan (available for undergraduates only) is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged interest during the time that you are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government subsidizes the interest during these periods.
  • There is a time limitation placed on subsidized loans. Loans for first-time borrowers originated on or after July 1, 2013 will be limited to no more than 150% of the published length of the borrower's academic program. The eligibility for a 4-year degree would be 6-years. Once a student exceeds this eligibility period, any Direct Subsidized loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 will lose subsidy and the student will become responsible for the interest that accrues on these loans.
  • An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest will accrue from the day that the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If interest is allow to accumulate, it will be capitalized any time the loan enters repayment. If you choose to pay the interest as it accumulates, you will repay less over the life of your loan.

Additional information:

  • For undergraduate students whose disbursement is between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 the interest rate is 5.05%.
  • For undergraduate students whose disbursement is on or after July 1, 2019 the interest rate is 4.53%
  • Graduate students are not eligible for interest subsidies as of July 1, 2012. 
  • The unsubsidized interest rate for graduate students is 6.60% when the disbursement takes place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. The interest rate will be 6.08% if the first disbursement takes place on or after July 1, 2019.
  • Please note that the interest rates also changed from fixed to variable-fixed, meaning that the interest rate can change every July 1, but any loan taken under that rate will remain fixed for the life of the loan.
  • New loans whose first disbursement is before October 1, 2019 will have an origination fee of 1.062%. New loans whose first disbursement is on or after October 1, 2019 will have an origination fee of 1.059%.

Eligibility for Direct Stafford loans will be detailed on your award letter, and you must utilize Hornet 365 to accept the award offer. Once a loan has been accepted, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will create a loan application on your behalf with the Department of Education. The loan is not considered valid until the student has completed a Master Promissory Note (MPN) which serves as your application and promise to repay the loan. The MPN can be completed by going to the Federal Student Loan website.

In addition to the MPN, students must also complete Direct Entrance Loan Counseling at least once at ESU. Entrance Loan Counseling serves as a review of your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Stafford loan borrower, and loan proceeds cannot be disbursed unless a student has completed it. This requirement can also be completed by going to the Federal Student Loan website.

You have the right to cancel all or a portion of Direct Stafford loan proceeds by contacting the Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships, & Veterans Services prior to disbursement or 14 days after disbursement.

Alternative/Private Educational Loan

Students may apply for an alternative or private educational loan through a lender; however, we recommend that you complete the FAFSA and use the Direct Stafford Loan program as your primary education loan source.  The Direct Stafford loans may have lower interest rates, better repayment terms, and loan forgiveness options.

Students who are interested in private educational loans may obtain more information on our Private Educational Loan page.

Parent Plus Loans

Information on Federal Direct Parent Plus loans.

Loan Repayment and Forgiveness

Learn how to repay your loans and information on loan forgiveness.

Federal Direct Graduate and Professional Plus Loans

Graduate and professional degree students are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program.

Base Stafford Subsidized/Unsubsidized

Freshmen (0-29 hours)

$3,500

Sophomore (30-59 hours)

$4,500

Junior (60-89 hours)

$5,500

Senior (90+ hours)

$5,500

Second Bachelors

$5,500

Teacher Certification

$5,500

Graduate

$8,500

Additional Unsubsidized Dependent/Independent

Freshmen (0-29 hours)

$2,000/$6,000

Sophomore (30-59 hours)

$2,000/$6,000

Junior (60-89 hours)

$2,000/$7,000

Senior (90+ hours)

$2,000/$7,000

Second Bachelors

$2,000/$7,000

Teacher Certification

$7,000

Graduate

$12,000

Total combined Dependent/Independent

Freshmen (0-29 hours)

$5,500/$9,500

Sophomore (30-59 hours)

$6,500/$10,500

Junior (60-89 hours)

$7,500/$12,500

Senior (90+ hours)

$7,500/$12,500

Second Bachelors

$7,500/$12,500

Teacher Certification

$12,500

Graduate

$20,500

Note: Independent students include students whose parents were denied a Parent PLUS Loan

Graduate students are no longer eligible for Subsidized loans as of July 1, 2012

Total Aggregate Limit

Dependent, Undergraduate, Second Bachelor, Teacher Certification

$31,000 - only $23,000 may be subsidized

Independent Undergraduate, Second Bachelor, Teacher Certification

$57,500 - only $23,000 may be subsidized

Graduate or Professional

$138,500 - only $65,500 may be subsidized

Note: Graduate limit includes Stafford Loans received as an undergraduate.