Graduate Federal Direct Stafford Loans
If you wish to borrow a Direct
Stafford Loan that is not already part of your current
award package, please contact your aid counselor to
determine eligibility. Loan details provided
by the government can be found on their website
here. The Customer Service phone line is:
(800) 848-0979 or (315) 738-6634.
If you wish to decline a Direct Stafford Loan which you
have received at Tufts, simply send your request in
an email to:
To see how much you have
already borrowed in federal loans, please log
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Direct Stafford Loan
The Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan is a federally subsidized loan, which means that there
are no interest charges while you are enrolled at least half time, and for six months after you leave school or drop
below half time. This six month period is called a grace period.
Graduate students may borrow up to $8500 in
subsidized loans per academic year. See the
chart below for full details on loan limits. The
interest rate for Graduate borrowers is 6.8%.
Loan amounts are divided in half and disbursed per
semester. A fee of 0.5% is charged,
subtracted from the amount borrowed.
Important changes to the Federal Direct
Stafford Loan program per the Budget Control Act of
2011 for the 2012-13 academic year:
Elimination of the subsidy on Direct Stafford
Loans made to graduate students: Effective for
loans originated on or after July 1, 2012, graduate
and professional students will no longer receive
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans. The total
amount that students can borrow per year remains at
$20,500, however the full amount will be
Elimination of the upfront fee rebate on
Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Beginning July 1, 2012, borrowers will be
charged the full origination fee of 1%. The 13-14
loan fee is expected to be 1.051%.
Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
Any student ineligible for a Subsidized
Direct Stafford Loan may borrow an Unsubsidized Direct
Unsubsidized means that all interest charges for
this loan are the responsibility of the borrower.
The rate is 6.8% fixed for the life of the loan.
Fees are 1%. The 13-14 loan fee is expected to
be 1.051%. Loan limits are shown below.
Borrowers can choose to make interest payments by
checking off the appropriate box on the Master
Promissory Note. You may choose to capitalize
the interest (add interest charges to the amount
owed) but this will significantly increase the total
amount of your debt burden at repayment.
Here is a link to details about
You must contact your loan servicer to obtain a
deferment of your loans.
Stafford Loan Limits
The Department of Education sets annual and aggregate
(i.e. lifetime) limits on the amount of debt a
student can obtain from the federal government. The
chart below summarizes the current limits for the
Federal Direct Stafford Loan.
$20,500—No more than $8,500
of this amount may be in the form of a
July 1, 2012, Subsidized Direct Loans will be
eliminated for graduate students.
$138,500—No more than $65,500 of this amount
may be in the form of a Subsidized loan.
If you are a first time Direct Stafford Loan borrower you
must complete a
two step electronic process: 1)
submit a Master Promissory Note, and 2)
complete Entrance Loan Counseling. Please be aware that failure to complete
either step will
result in cancellation of your loan.
1. Complete the
Master Promissory Note.
A Master Promissory Note (MPN) needs to be
completed only once while at Tufts. It will take approximately 30 minutes.
a. You will need a valid e-mail address, and must have the PIN given to you when you completed your
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have lost your PIN
to have it sent to you electronically.
b. Have on hand the names, addresses and phone numbers of two
people (friend or family) that will
be required as references.
(NOT Financial Awareness Counseling).
First time loan borrowers must go
here to complete the government required
loan counseling. Graduate Students who borrow
both Direct Stafford and PLUS loans will click on
the Combination link. If you complete the
Stafford counseling only, and then choose to
borrow PLUS, you must then return again to
complete the Combination counseling. For
this reason we encourage all Graduate student
borrowers to complete the Combination counseling
initially to save time and simplify the process.
Loans will not
be disbursed until the two step process has been completed.