Is the Stafford Loan a Federal Loan?

Q: Is the Stafford Loan a federal loan?

A: Yes, the Stafford Loan is the most popular federal loan in the Department of Education student aid program.

The Federal Stafford Loan is an affordable option for both undergraduate and graduate students. Stafford Loans come with fixed interest rates and are available as either subsidized or unsubsidized loans.

Subsidized Stafford Loans are awarded on the basis of financial need and come with a reduced fixed interest rate. Also, interest that accrues while you are in school is subsidized (paid for you).

If you are a regular student enrolled in an eligible program at least half time, you may receive a Stafford Loan. You must also meet other general eligibility requirements.

To get a Stafford Loan, you apply using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), just the way you would for other federal student aid. You can complete the FAFSA online at

The FAFSA is free, but you will need help from a parent to complete the online form.

After you complete the FAFSA, your school will receive information from the Department of Education that will help them to determine how much, and what types, of financial aid you will be eligible to receive.

Most likely, you will be offered Stafford Loans as part of your Award Letter from your school. The Award Letter will also have instructions regarding how to apply for the financial aid being offered.