Financial Aid

Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans

The Federal Student Loan Program is the government's largest form of self-help aid. The program assists students by providing low-interest loans to help cover the cost of education.

How Much Can You Afford to Borrow?
Before you accept loan funds, take a minute to think about how much you need, and can afford to borrow. It is better to prioritize and make sacrifices while in college than to struggle with large loan payments that limit financial resources for years after graduation. Borrow Responsibly!
Your Rights and Responsibilities
As a borrower you do have rights in dealing with your loan and loan holder. You also have clear responsibilities as well.
Your Rights
  • You are entitled to a copy of your Repayment Schedule and Disclosure Statement.
  • You have the right to be notified in writing if your loans are sold or transferred for servicing.
  • You are entitled to a repayment period of at least five years.
  • You have the right to prepay any part of your loan at any time without penalty.
  • If you qualify, you have the right to defer your loan payments.
  • You are entitled to have any questions about your student loan answered by your lender, guarantor, or the U.S. Department of Education.
  • You have the right to have your loan cancelled as a result of death or total and permanent disability.
  • You have the right to a graduated or income-sensitive repayment schedule.
  • If you first borrowed on or after 10/7/98 and have a debt of at least $30,000, you are entitled to an extended repayment schedule.
  • You are entitled to receive the original Promissory Note when your loan is paid in full.
Your Responsibilities
  • You must notify your lender or servicer if you change your name, address or enrollment status (i.e., you withdraw, graduate, drop to less than half-time enrollment or change your school of attendance).
  • You are responsible for knowing the terms of your student loans. You should keep copies of all student loan documents in a safe place.
  • You must repay your loan whether or not you complete your studies, are satisfied with the education you receive or are able to find employment.
  • You must make your loan payments on time.
  • You must begin making payments at the end of your grace period whether you have received a repayment schedule or not. If your first payment due date is nearing and you have not received a payment schedule, you must immediately contact your lender or servicer.
  • If you are unable to meet a schedule payment, you must contact your lender or servicer as soon as possible. The lender or servicer may be able to help if you seek assistance before you are late making a payment.
  • When you graduate, withdraw or drop to less than half-time enrollment, you must give your school your expected permanent address, the name and address of your expected employer and the address of your closest relative. Your school will forward this information to your guarantor, lender or loan servicer.
Stafford Loan Limits
Maximum Annual Loan Limits

By Federal regulation, there are annual limits to the amount you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loan funds (see below). You may be awarded less than the annual limit if you are receiving other financial assistance that causes you to exceed your cost of attendance budget. Federal regulations also require proration of student loan funds for those who will be graduating in December of the aid year. In addition, associate degree seeking students may only borrow up to the sophomore grade level.

Grade Level

Credit Hours Earned

Base Loan Amount

Additional Unsubsidized Eligibility

Additional Unsubsidized

Indep Students or Dep Students w/PLUS Denial


0 – 29 $3,500 $2,000 $4,000


30 – 59 $4,500 $2,000 $4,000


60 – 89 $5,500 $2,000 $5,000


90 + $5,500 $2,000 $5,000


NA $8,500 $12,000 NA

Aggregate Loan Limits

In addition to the annual limits, Federal regulations restrict borrowers to the following aggregate limits in both Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan funds. Note: No more than $23,000 ($65,500 for graduate student borrowers) may be subsidized loan funds.

Undergrad Dependent Student Borrowers Undergrad Independent Student Borrowers Graduate Level Student Borrowers
$31,000 $57,500 $138,500

  150% Subsidized Loan Eligibility

As of July 1st, 2013, first-time borrowers may only receive federal Direct Subsidized loans for a maximum of 150% of the published length of the program in which they are currently enrolled. A first time borrower is defined as a individual who had no outstanding balance on a FFELP or Direct loan when borrowing a new Direct loan on or after July 1, 2013. Students who have exhausted eligibility may not receive additional subsidized loans. In addition, subsidized loans previously borrowed will lose further government subsidy - accruing interest will become the responsibility of the borrower. Additional Information and Examples

Stafford Loans may be Subsidized or Unsubsidized

Subsidized Stafford Loans are awarded based on financial need as determined by your FAFSA results. You will not be required to pay interest while you are in school. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during this period.

Subsidized Loan Calculation:

Cost of Attendance (COA)

- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

- Estimated Financial Aid (EFA)

Subsidized Eligibility

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are not based on need. You will be required to pay interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. You may elect to have the interest accumulate while in school, however, this will result in greater loan indebtedness.

Unsubsidized Loan Calculation:

Cost of Attendance (COA)

- Estimated Financial Aid (EFA)

-Subsidized Loan Eligibility

UnSubsidized Eligibility

Stafford Loan Interest Rate and Origination Fee
Stafford loan interest rates are determined each year on July 1st. The 2015-16 interest rate for undergraduate student loans is 4.29% for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The interest rate for graduate student loans is 5.84%.

The U.S. Department of Education holds out an origination fee for every subsidized and unsubsidized loan. This fee helps offset the cost of funding these low interest loans. The origination fees for loans disbursed before October 1, 2014 is 1.072%. The origination fee for loans disbursed after October 1, 2014 is 1.073%.

Stafford Loan Eligibility Requirements
Master Promissory Note (MPN) Requirement

You must complete a Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at before your loan funds will be disbursed. Once your Federal Direct Loan MPN is signed and processed, you should not be required to sign another MPN for subsequent loans for ten (10) years as long as you are not in default with prior or current Federal loans and do not file bankruptcy at any point.

Entrance Loan Counseling Requirement

If you are a first-time borrower at Missouri Western, you must complete Entrance Loan Counseling online at before you loan funds will be disbursed.

Enrollment Requirement

You must enroll in, and attend, a minimum of six (6) credit hours (excluding CED and audited courses) to remain eligible for Federal student loans. (Five credit hours for graduate students.)

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirement

You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined in the University catalog to remain eligible for student loan funds. More Information

Exit Loan Counseling Requirement

If you graduate, withdraw, or drop below 6 credit hours, you are required to complete Exit Loan Counseling online at A hold will be placed on your academic records until this requirement has been satisfied.

Loan Reduction or Cancellation
Stafford loans may be reduced or cancelled at any time during the award year if aid received from ALL funding sources causes you to exceed your unmet need or cost of attendance budget as defined by federal regulations.

Treatment of Loan Funds if you Withdraw or Stop Attending Class.

If you withdraw or stop attending class, federal regulations require Missouri Western to return the portion of Title IV program assistance that you did not earn. Additional information regarding the return process in available online at. More Information

Stafford Loan Request/Disbursement Process
Missouri Western will automatically package your Stafford Loan eligibility based on the information provided on your FAFSA and include this information on your award notification.

If you elect to accept Stafford Loan funds, the Financial Aid Office will calculate and certify your loan eligibility and submit a request for funds.

Your loan funds will be received by Missouri Western in two equal disbursements and will first be applied to your charges for tuition, fees, room, board, and other University expenses. Remaining funds will be released to you.

By Federal regulation, student loan funds MUST be used for educational related expenses.

Federal Regulations prohibit the disbursement of Federal Stafford Loan proceeds to freshman, first-time borrowers until 30 days after classes begin. Students should be prepared to cover expenses, such as books, until loan funds are released to the school.

Student Loan Repayment
Repayment Terms

Repayment begins six (6) months after you withdraw, graduate, or drop below six (6) credit hours. (Five credit hours for graduate students.)

Make Your Payments on Time

Your loan holder will provide information about repayment and will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. It is important that you make your full loan payment on time according to your repayment schedule. If you do not, you could end up in default, which has serious consequences.

Student loans are real loans—just as real as car loans or mortgages and must be repaid.

You have a choice of several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. Additional information is available online at

If you experience difficulty repaying your student loans after you leave school, you may qualify for deferment, forbearance, or alternative repayment options. It is important that you remain in contact with your loan holder and keep your loans in good standing.

Your Personal Loan History

The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) provides information on your federal loans including loan types, up on NSLDS or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY 1-800-730-8913). To access NSLDS, go to amounts, outstanding principal and interest, and the total amount of all your loans.

How much will my monthly payments be?

To estimate your monthly payment, please complete the Repayment Calculator online at