A Stafford Student Loan is a federal aid program. It has a fixed interest rate that is reset every July 1. By law, it cannot exceed 6.8 percent. This loan is in deferment (repayment not required) as long as the student remains enrolled on at least a half-time basis. Once a student is no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis, the Stafford Loan has a six-month grace period before it goes into repayment. The monthly repayment amount depends on the total amount of your combined student loans, the length of the payment period and the repayment option which you choose.
Subsidized & Unsubsidized
For a Subsidized Stafford Loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you’re enrolled on at least a half-time basis. For an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, the student is responsible for the interest from the time the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid in full. You can pay the interest as you go through school or allow the interest to accrue while you are in school.
The amount of your student loans depends on several variables including your expected family contribution from the FAFSA, other types of financial aid you receive, and your grade level. Depending on eligibility limits, a student might receive a loan which is only subsidized or only unsubsidized or a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
The process is easy, almost too easy. In order to determine your eligibility for this loan you must first complete a FAFSA. Once SWOSU has received your FAFSA data and any other supporting documents which are required, we will notify you of your financial aid award package. You can stop by the Student Financial Services office in the Stafford Building, Room 224, to get a copy of your award letter, or call the office to have one mailed to you. Notifications will be sent to the student’s campus e-mail notifying her/him to the financial aid award. Students can review their aid on Self Service, under Financial Aid.
Students who use all federal aid eligibility in fall and spring may not have remaining funds for summer. Summer is a trailer to our academic year.
After returning your award letter, first-time borrowers must complete an on-line loan application, also known as the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. You can access the online application at www.studentloans.gov. You will need your Federal Student Aid I.D. to complete the process.
You cannot apply for a student loan until you have completed the FAFSA and received an award letter from SWOSU.
You will receive a Notice of Guarantee and Disbursement, which contains estimated disbursement dates and the amount of your loan check. Stafford Loans have an origination fee of $1.059 which is deducted from the loan amount. The origination fee for PLUS Parent Loans is $4.236. Loan funds are credited to your SWOSU account. Money remaining from your loan after your bill is paid is given to you as a refund on your selected refund preference within 14 days. You may view setup options for your refund preference on Self Service, under Financial Aid. You must be enrolled at least half time and making satisfactory academic progress to receive your loan funds. All loans are paid in two parts – half at the beginning of the loan period and half at the midpoint of the loan period. This means for a fall/spring loan the first disbursement will be made during the fall semester and the second disbursement will be made for the spring semester.
Dependent students who received their maximum loan eligibility during the academic year often only have a Parent PLUS Loan or an Alternative Student Loan as their remaining option for summer term. These are only awarded if no other federal loan option exists.