Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 (Part B, Title IV, Amended), created the guaranteed student loan programs. The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 reauthorized the HEA and renamed the guaranteed student loan programs the FFEL Program, which now comprises Federal Stafford Loans (formerly Guaranteed Student Loans) and Federal PLUS Loans.

Student Eligibility

Same as the Subsidized Stafford Loan.

Interest Rate
Same as the Subsidized Stafford Loan, except that the government will not pay the interest on the student’s behalf and will require the student to pay all interest that accrues during the time the student is enrolled in school, during the grace period, during periods of repayment, and authorized deferment. The interest can be deferred until the student drops below half-time status or graduates. Deferment on an Unsubsidized Loan means the interest accrues on the loan and is added to the student’s principal balance after graduation or after the student drops below half-time status.


Loan Limits
Loan limits for the Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are the same as those for the Subsidized Stafford Loans; however, the combination of Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for a borrower may not exceed the annual aggregate limits for loans under the Stafford Loan Program. Maximum amounts under federal guidelines of the Stafford Loan Program are as follows:

Dependent Students

  • $5,500 Freshmen
  • $6,500Sophomores
  • $7,500 Juniors and Seniors

Independent Students

  • $9,500 Freshmen
  • $10,500 Sophomores
  • $12,500 Juniors and Seniors
  • $20,500 Graduate Students

Cumulative Aggregate Limits

  • $31,000 Dependent Undergraduate Students
  • $57,500 Independent Undergraduate Students
  • $138,000 Graduate Students (includes amounts for undergraduate study)

Fees for making an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Same as the Subsidized Stafford Loan.


Repayment, Default, Deferment and Cancellation
Same as the Subsidized Stafford Loan.