How to Apply for a Federal Stafford Loan

There are two types of Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. You may be eligible for one or both types, as shown on your award notification. Freshmen may borrow up to $3,500, sophomores up to $4,500, juniors and seniors up to $5,500, and graduate students up to $20,500 annually. In order to accept your loan eligibility please return your signed award notification to our office. If you wish to borrow less than the amount you were awarded please indicate the accepted amount on your award letter. Federal regulations require the loan proceeds be disbursed in two equal amounts.These amounts will be disbursed no more than 10 days before the beginning of the enrollment period for the student. The Department of Education will withhold 1.059 percent in fees from the previous listed amounts.

Additional unsubsidized amounts up to $4,000 (freshmen/sophomores) and $5,000 (juniors/seniors) may be applied for upon your parents denial of a PLUS loan.

On May 7, 2008 President George W. Bush signed into law new legislation that is intended to benefit students through additional financial aid opportunities. The new bill introduced an additional unsubsidized Stafford annual limit of $2,000 for undergraduate dependent students. The bill also introduced an additional $2,000 unsubsidized loan amount for independent students and dependent students whose parents have been denied a Plus loan. It is our understanding that you would only receive one increase of $2,000. The bill does not appear to offer a dependent students $2,000 and then another additional $2,000 based on a parents Plus denial.

Elon will now participate in the Direct Loan program administered by the Department of Education. First-time borrowers are required to complete a Master Promissory Note with the Department of Education at

If you are a first time Stafford borrower you also will need to complete your Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling at This is a federal requirement to receive a Stafford loan, and your loan cannot be processed until it is complete.

Learn more about Elon’s Code of Conduct.

Steps in Applying

If you wish to borrow a Stafford Loan please follow the steps listed below.

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Return your signed award notification accepting your loan eligibility to the Financial Planning Office.
  3. Complete and sign a Master Promissory Note with the Department of Education at
  4. If you are a first time Stafford borrower complete entrance loan counseling at