Federal Direct Stafford Loans
The Office of Student Financial Assistance at MassArt highly recommends students in certificate programs not borrow, if at all possible. Changes in federal law regarding student loans will severely limit a student's ability to borrow federal loans to get a bachelor's degree at a later date.
Student loans have varying repayment terms and interest rates and must be repaid. The interest rates listed below are the estimated rates for the 2015-2016 academic year; however, the promissory note is the final word on the correct rate.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
This federally funded loan program is available to certificate students enrolled for at least six credits per semester. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan program enables students to borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education and repay to an approved Federal Student Aid Loan Servicer, while MassArt's Office of Student Financial Assistance originates and processes the loan.
Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, withdraws from the college, or drops to less than half-time enrollment. In order to receive a Stafford Loan, a student must be enrolled for at least six credits per semester and must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
Application Process: In order to apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, students must file the annual FAFSA. Once the Office of Student Financial Assistance determines your eligibility for financial aid, then the Stafford Loan(s) for which you are eligible will be offered to you on your financial assistance letter.
The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is provided based on having financial need. The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while the student is enrolled in school for at least six credits per semester, during grace periods and during authorized deferment periods. The current interest rate for undergraduate Subsidized Stafford Loans for the 2015-2016 school year is fixed at 4.29 percent. Rates vary from year to year.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is provided regardless of financial need. The student is responsible for the interest accruing while he/she is enrolled in school, during grace periods and during authorized deferment periods. During this time, students may either pay the accumulating interest or capitalize the interest. Capitalization means the unpaid interest will be added to the principle balance of the loan at the beginning of the repayment period. The current interest rate for undergraduate Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for the 2015-2016 school year is fixed at 4.29 percent. Rates vary from year to year.
For 2015-2016, Federal Direct Stafford Loans have a 1.073 percent origination fee if originated before 10/1/15. On or after 10/1/15, the origination fee is 1.068 percent. This fee gets subtracted from the loan before disbursement.
Students who receive a Stafford Loan for the first time at MassArt are required to complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note. Entrance counseling and the MPN are completed online by visiting studentloans.gov. Once you are signed in, click on "Complete Entrance Counseling" in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. After completing the entrance counseling, click on "Complete MPN" in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Stafford Loan applications are considered incomplete until the entrance counseling and Master Promissory Note have been completed.