Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Both undergraduates and graduate students may receive Federal Direct Student Loans.

If you are an undergraduate student, you may be eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan ranging from $3,500 to $5,500 per year based on your grade level and dependency status. It is interest free while you are enrolled in school and it is awarded based on financial need as determined by your FAFSA.

Both undergraduate and graduate students qualify for a non-need-based Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan ranging from $4,000 to $7,000 for undergraduate students and up to $20,500 for graduate students. Interest on this type of loan accrues while you are in school. You may pay on this loan while attending Ship or after you leave school.

First-time loan borrowers of a Federal Direct Loan must complete a Master Promissory Note (eMPN) and Entrance Counseling at StudentLoans.gov.

Undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 semester credits at the end of drop/add period to receive a Federal Direct Loan. Students enrolled in less than 6 credits are considered less than half-time and may apply for an Alternative Loan to cover the cost of education.

The chart below details the maximum loan amounts for which you may be eligible for per academic year. You will automatically be offered the maximum allowable loan limit per year, and it is your responsibility to accept the loan type and amount that best meets your financial needs.

Annual Federal Direct Loan Limits Base Loan Eligibility* Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Undergraduate Level - Dependent Students
Students with 0-29 earned credits (Freshman)
$3,500
$2,000
Students with 30-59 earned credits (Sophomore)
$4,500
$2,000
Students with 60-89 earned credits (Junior)
$5,500
$2,000
Students with 90+ earned credits (Senior)
$5,500
$2,000
Teacher Certification or Second Bachelor's Degree
$5,500
$2,000
     
Undergraduate Level - Independent Students and Dependent Students whose Parents were Denied PLUS
Students with 0-29 earned credits (Freshman)
$3,500
$6,000
Students with 30-59 earned credits (Sophomore)
$4,500
$6,000
Students with 60-89 earned credits (Junior)
$5,500
$7,000
Students with 90+ earned credits (Senior)
$5,500
$7,000
Teacher Certification or Second Bachelor's Degree
$5,500
$7,000
     
Graduate or Professional Student
$20,500 (ALL unsubsidized)
     
Total Borrowing Allowed (sum of all years)
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 ($23,000 max subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate or Dependent Undergraduate with PLUS Denial $57,500 ($23,000 max subsidized)
Graduate/Professional $138,500 ($65,000 max subsidized) (includes borrowing on an undergraduate level)
* Base Loan Eligibility may be either subsidized or unsubsidized as determined by student's need on the FAFSA


Loan eligibility may decrease if you receive other financial aid that covers a portion of educational costs. Federal regulations will not allow total aid to exceed the cost of attendance. If you are a graduate student, be aware that a graduate assistantship tuition waiver might reduce your loan eligibility.

To borrow a Federal Direct Loan, you need to complete a Master Promissory Note (eMPN) at StudentLoans.gov.

Already a current student at Ship and need information about your financial aid package? Check your financial aid status on your myShip portal. And be sure to check out the helpful links below about paying for college.