Federal Stafford Loan
Stafford loan recipients borrow directly from the federal government. For undergraduates (enrolled in at least 6 credit hours) Stafford loans are either subsidized - meaning no interest is charged before beginning repayment, or unsubsidized - when interest begins accruing upon loan disbursement. FAFSA results and the amount of other financial aid received are the two factors that determine whether the Stafford loan is subsidized. Therefore, changes in your financial assistance or financial need can affect the nature of your loan. All Stafford loans for graduate students (enrolled in at least 4 credit hours) are unsubsidized. Stafford loan repayment begins six months after graduating or dropping below half time enrollment. While enrolled in college at least half time there is no repayment obligation. Once repayment begins the interest rate on undergraduate subsidized Stafford loans varies depending on the date of initial disbursement:
July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012: 3.4%
July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013: 3.4%
July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014: 3.86%
July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015: 4.66%
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016: 4.29%
July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017: 3.76%
Undergraduate unsubsidized Stafford loans have a fixed interest rate of 3.76% and all graduate-level Stafford loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.31%.
Stafford Loan amounts are $5,500 the freshmen year, $6,500 the sophomore year, and $7,500 for the junior and senior years. Additional unsubsidized loans of up to $5,000 are available to undergraduates who meet the FAFSA conditions of independent status or dependent students whose parents are denied a PLUS Loan. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 per year in subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The federal government deducts 1.069% from the Stafford loan before it is disbursed. This "origination" fee helps cover the cost of administering the program.
Effective July 1, 2013, for first-time borrowers, Direct Loan subsidy ends if they are still in an undergraduate program of study that exceeds 150% of the program's typical length. Once that limit has been reached, the borrower will begin to incur interest charges on outstanding subsidized loans if the borrower is enrolled at least half time in a program (including preparatory coursework) that would otherwise qualify the borrower for a Direct Subsidized Loan.
There are three circumstances in which a borrower becomes responsible for accruing interest on outstanding Direct Subsidized Loans received for the current program and, with certain exceptions, outstanding subsidized loans received for previous programs:
- A borrower who has no remaining eligibility period for subsidized loans continues enrollment in the program for which the borrower received the loans.
- A borrower who has no remaining eligibility period for subsidized loans for a program and, after withdrawing or transferring, enrolls in a different program that is equal to or shorter in length than the prior program.
- In certain circumstances, a borrower who previously received subsidized loans and who still has some remaining eligibility period for that program withdraws or transfers from that program to a program of a shorter duration that the prior program. If the enrollment in another program results in the sum of the borrower’s subsidized usage periods equaling or exceeding the new program’s maximum eligibility period, the borrower has no remaining eligibility period and is responsible for accruing interest.
Under these circumstances, attendance in an eligible undergraduate program causes a borrower to become responsible for accruing interest even if the borrower does not request or receive a new loan.
Entrance Counseling and Electronic Master Promissory Note
The first time a student receives a Stafford loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) while at Bradley University the student borrower (not parent) must complete both Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
New freshman, new transfer students and continuing students who are new borrowers will receive a notification to their Bradley email account when to complete the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.
After you have been notified by Bradley University to do so, please go to the StudentLoans.gov website to complete both the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note. In the Manage My Direct Loan menu box “Sign In” using your Federal Student Aid ID (same FSA ID used to sign your FAFSA). From this page you can complete both the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note for your Stafford loan.
During Entrance Counseling you will learn about the Stafford loan program and answer questions over the information read. Please print a copy of your results for your records. You can receive additional Stafford loans under your Master Promissory Note for up to 10 years if you continue to attend school. Your Master Promissory Note will require two references from different households (parent/guardian should be the first reference). Please print a copy of the Master Promissory Note for your records.
If a paper copy of the Master Promissory Note is preferred, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance at 309-677-3088 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and one will be provided to you.
Students who have used a Stafford loan in previous years and have already signed a Master Promissory Note do not need to do anything else to complete the loan process.
Any questions regarding Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note should be directed to the Student Loans Office at 309-677-2616.
Federal Regulations require all students who have been the recipient of a Stafford loan to complete Exit Counseling at the time the student drops below half-time status, leaves school or graduates. Exit Counseling must be completed even if you are transferring to another school or going on to graduate school.
The student borrower must complete Exit Counseling. On-line Exit Counseling can be completed at the StudentLoans.gov website. You will need your FSA ID (same FSA ID used to sign the FAFSA) to complete the Exit Counseling. Please choose Bradley University (G01641) as the school to receive your completed Exit Counseling. The Exit Counseling will provide the total amount borrowed, interest rate, payment plan options, and information on loan consolidation, deferment and forbearances. Any questions regarding Exit Counseling should be directed to the Student Loan Office at 309-677-2616.