September 15, 2006
Stafford Loans 201 – More of What You Need to Know!
Here are some very important items you need to know to help your children in financial aid decisions:
1) Stafford Loan is a TYPE of loan, not a loan company. A Stafford Loan can be taken out through many different companies, such as StaffordLoan.com or directly from the federal government through the Direct Loans program.
2) You have to fill out a FAFSA and submit it to be awarded a Stafford Loan.
3) Deadlines ARE important. There is a limited amount of financial aid each school has to award, so it’s important to get your FAFSA filed on time so that you’re considered early on in the process. If you submit your FAFSA late, you may miss out on financial aid completely!!
4) Not everyone who submits a FAFSA will get a Stafford Loan. Subsidized Stafford Loans are only for need based students, but unsubsidized Stafford Loans can be awarded to anyone. The important thing to remember is that to be awarded financial aid, your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC – what the government thinks you can contribute towards the cost of education) must be lower than the cost of attendance. If it is equal to or higher than the cost of attendance, then you won’t get federal financial aid.