How Do You Create a Direct Stafford Loan Estimate?


Quick Answer

Create a direct Stafford loan estimate by applying to an institute of higher education, completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and receiving a financial aid package from the college's financial aid office. The loan offer from each school varies based on several factors.

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Full Answer

  1. Apply for college

    Apply to as many four-year colleges or universities, community colleges, or trade schools as you are interested in. Pay the application fees, fill out the applications in full, and supply any supplementary documentation. When prompted, indicate that you are planning to apply for financial aid.

  2. Complete the FAFSA

    Go to the FAFSA website of the U.S. Department of Education, create an account, a federal student aid personal identification number and a unique password. Fill out the application, providing the personal and financial information of you and your parents. When you are prompted near the end, specify the schools you have applied to where you want the FAFSA assessment to be sent.

  3. Receive an offer of aid

    Receive financial aid packages from the schools to which you applied. These are usually a combination of grants, scholarships and loans from federal, state and school sources. Offers are based on your enrollment status, the amount your family is expected to contribute and the total costs to attend the school. The amount of the direct Stafford loan you are eligible for is part of the package. If your aid is need-based, you may receive a subsidized Stafford loan, which means that while you are in school and for six months afterward, the federal government pays the interest on your loan. Otherwise, if you receive an unsubsidized Stafford loan, you pay the interest for the full term of the loan.

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