How to Apply
For both the subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans, you must first submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as described under Grants – How to Apply.

After the financial aid process has been completed, you must submit the following to complete your loan file:
    • A completed Triton College Loan Request Form
    • A completed Master Promissory Note (online at
    • An Entrance Interview for all new borrowers (online at

For a more detailed explanation of the Direct Stafford loan application process, please see the information posted on  

Federal Direct Student Loan Program (Direct Stafford Loan)

Stafford Student loans let students borrow money for college at a low interest rate. Repayment begins six months after you cease to be enrolled in six or more credit hours of school.
You may borrow up to $3,500 in a subsidized loan, if eligible.
A student who has successfully completed the first year of a program of study of undergraduate education (with a minimum of 30 credit hours), but who has not yet successfully completed the remainder of the program, may borrow up to $4,500 for the second year of study.
Additionally, dependent students may borrow up to $2,000 in an unsubsidized loan, and independent students may borrow up to $6,000 in an unsubsidized loan.
Annual Student Loan Limits
  Dependent Students Independent Students
(0-29 credit hours completed)

   $3,500 Subsidized
+ $2,000 Unsubsidized
   $5,500 Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized  

   $3,500 Subsidized
+ $6,000 Unsubsidized
   $9,500 combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized
(30+ credit hours completed)

    $4,500 Subsidized
+  $2,000 Unsubsidized
    $6,500 Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized

    $4,500 Subsidized
+  $6,000 Unsubsidized
  $10,500 Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Subsidized Stafford Loan - 3.76% Fixed Interest Rate
A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest while attending school with at least half time enrollment. The federal government "subsidizes," or pays, the interest during that period on behalf of the student.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - 3.76% Fixed Interest Rate
An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you are in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.
Parent PLUS Loan - 6.31% Fixed Interest Rate
A PLUS loans is a federal loan that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The borrower must not have an adverse credit history. The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received. If a parent borrower is unable to secure a PLUS loan, the undergraduate dependent student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans to help pay for his or her education.


  Loan Repayment


  150% Subsidized Usage Limit

Important Information for New Borrowers (Students with No Outstanding Federal Loan Balance as of July 1, 2013)
There is a limit on the maximum period of time that students can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. If this limit applies, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the length of your academic program. The maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current academic program (available in the course catalog).

If you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). If you are a part-time student or enrolled for only one term, your maximum eligibility period will be adjusted based on your enrollment.

Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, the maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.

If you do not complete your program within your maximum eligibility period and you enroll in the same program, you will become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans, from the date of your enrollment after meeting the 150% limit.

For a more detailed explanation of the 150% Subsidized Usage Limit, please see the information provided by the Department of Education: 150PercentFactSheet.pdf.


Are you thinking about taking out a federal student loan to help pay for college or career school? Check out this video to learn about your responsibilities as a borrower and what you should consider when taking out loans for college.

Are you unsure about the loan repayment process or wondering when you need to begin making loan payments? Check out this video to learn about what to expect when your federal student loan enters repayment.