Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program makes low-interest loans available to dependent and independent undergraduate students enrolled for at least six credits per semester. You may qualify for either:

  • A subsidized loan (based on financial need), where the federal government pays the interest while you are in school or in a period of deferment; or
  • An unsubsidized loan , where you pay the interest after the loan is disbursed until you can repay the loan in full.

Check the Federal Direct Stafford Loan limits to see how much you may be able to borrow.

View the information for Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers .

NOTE: Effective July 1, 2012, the federal government will no longer subsidize the interest during the six-month grace period after you are no longer enrolled in school at least half-time or in a period of deferment. During the grace period you won’t have to make loan payments (unless you choose to), but the interest accrued during those six months will be added to the principal amount of your loan once the grace period ends.

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan application process works as follows.

  • You complete the FAFSA and indicate on it the amount of loan interest. Alternatively, you may submit a signed statement that includes the date, your name and student ID number, and the amount of loan interest. (Note that summer loan requests must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office.)
  • You complete entrance counseling* online at Direct Loan Servicing .
  • We originate your loan once you are registered for at least six credits and have completed entrance counseling.
  • Direct Loan Servicing mails you the Master Promissory Note and makes it available online for your electronic signature.
  • Once the Master Promissory Note is approved and guaranteed, loan funds are released during each fall and spring semester approximately 30 days after the semester starts (as long as the loan is approved prior to the start of the semester).

* If we are able to determine that you have had a prior Federal Stafford Loan, we will not require the completion of the Federal Stafford Loan entrance counseling.

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents who want to borrow money for your education through the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loan program must complete the PLUS Loan request form found on the College's forms menu. Alternatively, they may submit a signed, dated statement that includes your name and student ID number; their name, address, Social Security number, phone number and date of birth; a statement that they are not in default on a federal student or parent loan; a statement that you are their dependent; and the amount of funding they’re requesting for each term.

PLUS Loan eligibility is determined by the following calculation.

Cost of Attendance – Expected Financial Aid = PLUS Loan Eligibility

If your parent is denied a PLUS Loan, you may be eligible to borrow additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds by submitting a signed, dated statement that includes your name and student ID number; a request for the additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan; and a copy of your parent's PLUS Loan denial letter.


You must submit your federal loan request three weeks before the end of the current semester you are enrolled in, except when requesting a fall/spring loan. For example, if you have attended at an eligible level during the fall semester, you can submit your fall/spring request three weeks before the end of the spring semester. Loans take about three to five weeks to process, and if loans are approved before the billing due date they will hold your course registration.

Loan Exit Counseling

If you have received Federal Direct Stafford Loans at Montgomery County Community College and have graduated or will be transferring, you are required to complete exit counseling. You may complete this counseling online at Direct Loan Servicing.

Loan Ombudsman

If you need to resolve problems or disputes regarding Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans, Guaranteed Student Loans, SLS Loans or Perkins Loans, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman or call toll free 1-877-557-2575.

Private/Alternative Educational Loans

While these types of loans are solely your responsibility, you may contact our office to determine how we can work best with the lender that you select.