The Direct Stafford program allows eligible students to borrow funds directly from the federal government with no credit check involved

The Direct Stafford program allows eligible students to borrow funds directly from the federal government with no credit check involved

Students generally begin repaying principal loan funds six months after graduating, withdrawing or ceasing half-time enrollment

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In order to be considered for federal student and parent loans, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the specified deadlines.

Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits for undergraduates; 4.5 credits for graduates) each semester to be eligible. Direct Stafford Loans can be awarded as subsidized, unsubsidized, or both based on financial need and level of study.

Subsidized Direct Loans are awarded to undergraduate students based on financial need. Interest on the loan is subsidized by the federal government during the student’s enrollment and grace period.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans are non-need-based loans awarded to graduate and undergraduate students. Accrued interest is the responsibility of the student during enrollment and grace period.

First-time Direct Stafford Loan borrowers are required to complete an Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before loan funds can be disbursed. Both can be completed online at

*For undergraduate Direct Loans, the subsidized portion (based on need) cannot exceed: $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 for sophomores, or $5,500 for juniors and seniors.

**Dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS Loan are eligible for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans at the independent student level.

*Dependent students who were awarded additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans due to parent’s ineligibility for PLUS Loans are limited to independent student aggregate levels.

Once a student has reached annual or aggregate Direct Stafford Loan limits, he or she must explore alternative funding options.

Graduate/professional students can also borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan to supplement their financial resources. While Direct Stafford Loans have annual and aggregate limits, creditworthy borrowers may borrow a PLUS for up to the student’s cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance. As with Direct Stafford Loan borrowers, the student must be enrolled at least half-time in order for the borrower to receive a PLUS Loan. Additionally, the student must file the FAFSA.

Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow a Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) to help pay for the student’s educational expenses

Prospective PLUS borrowers must complete the online PLUS Application at If the applicant is not approved for a PLUS due to adverse credit, he or she can obtain a creditworthy endorser (excluding the student for parent borrowers) to receive the loan. If approved, the borrower must complete a Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), also at

  • If an endorser is needed, the student cannot be the endorser.
  • If you are approved with an endorser, you must complete PLUS Credit Counseling.
  • If you are denied PLUS and choose not to apply with an endorser, the Office of Financial Aid will offer the student an additional Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan ($4,000 for freshmen and sophomores; $5,000 for juniors and seniors).
  • On the PLUS application, you will be given the option of delivering any credit balance (refund) to yourself or to the student after the funds are disbursed. Kean University’s policy is to refund any credit balance from a PLUS Loan to the parent, even if he or she selected student on the application.
  • The student must meet satisfactory academic progress standards and other Federal Student Aid requirements in order for Kean to certify a Parent PLUS application.
  • Independent students enrolled in an eligible certification program are ineligible for a Graduate PLUS Loan, which is made available to students enrolled in a program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree.
  • When logging in to sign your MPN, select “PLUS MPN for Graduate/Professional Students,” which is separate from the MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans.

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