Federal Direct Stafford Loans (student only)

How To Apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan

  1. Complete the FAFSA for the current academic year.
  2. Comply with any requests from Office of Financial Aid for additional documentation. Any outstanding requirements you may have will be listed on your MAX account.
  3. Once all requirements are completed, a financial aid award package will be completed for you and available to view on your MAX account. All eligible students will be "offered" a Federal Direct Stafford Loan.  
    • The student will need to log into his/her MAX account to and accept (or decline) the loan. For instructions on navigating your MAX account, please click here.
    • Once the loan(s) have been accepted (or declined), if you wish to make any further changes you must complete a Loan Request Change Form or contact the Office of Financial Aid at 717-871-5100. Please note that only the student may make changes to his/her Federal Direct Stafford Loan.

First-Time Borrowers

In addition to the steps above, you must also complete: Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note through www.studentloans.gov.


To log into your account, you will need your:

  • Social Security number
  • First two letters of your last name
  • Date of Birth
  • 4-digit FAFSA Pin number
    • If you do not remember your Pin, you can 'Request a Duplicate' through www.pin.ed.gov.

Entrance Counseling:

  1. Once you have logged into your account, you can click on the link in the center of the page that says "Complete Counseling".
  2. On the next screen, make sure to click the first option "ENTRANCE COUNSELING"
  3. If Millersville University is not already listed for you, you will need to search under "Add School to Notify" by first selecting the school state and then school name. Once selected, click "Notify School"
    • At the bottom of this page, make sure you are selecting the correct student type (i.e. Undergraduate or Graduate).
  4. You should now be at the beginning of the Entrance Counseling. Go through and answer all questions, click on all tabs and fill in all blanks. 
    • If you do not know the answer to the purple "Check Your Knowledge" questions off hand, the answer will be directly above.
  5. Once you have finished each page of the Entrance Counseling, make sure to click "Submit" so that Millersville receives notification this step has been completed. 

Master Promissory Note:

  1. Once you have submitted the Entrance Counseling, you will see a link to "COMPLETE MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE". Click on this link.
  2. Enter personal information
    • Select Millersville from the list of PA schools
  3. Provide two personal references
  4. Continue clicking through each step until you have signed and completed the form.
  5. You will receive a confirmation once your Master Promissory Note has been completely submitted
NOTE: It is Federal Regulation that these steps must be done so that the student understands the terms of his/her loan and repayment. Until you complete these two steps, you will not receive any Federal Loans awarded to you.

New Loan Regulations

NEW 150% Subsidized Stafford Loan Limit  - applies to any first -time borrow from July 1, 2013 and beyond.


Differences between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct SUBSIDIZED Stafford Loan Federal Direct UNSUBSIDIZED Stafford Loan
Eligibility is based on financial need. Eligibility is NOT based on financial need.
The Federal Government pays the interest on the loan as long as the student maintains a half time enrollment status of 6 credits per semester (undergraduate and graduate students). The Federal Government DOES NOT pay the interest on the loan. Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.
Repayment on both the interest and principal begins SIX months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time - graduates, withdraws, does not return the following semester, stops attending classes, or drops below 6 credits. The student has two options in the repayment of the interest. It can be paid while enrolled in school (check the box on the Master Promissory Note indicating you wish to pay the interest) OR the loan interest can be capitalized - that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount. In both cases, repayment on both the interest and principal will begin SIX months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time - graduates, withdraws, does not return the following semester, stops attending classes, or drops below 6 credits.

Dependent Student Yearly Loan Limits

The amount a student can borrow each academic year is based on the student's academic level at the time the loan is processed. The amounts listed are the maximum yearly amounts. If the student receives other financial aid, the loan amount may be less. The follwoing chart is based on a dependent student.

Earned Credits Base Federal Direct
Stafford Loan
Subsidized or
Unsubsidized
Unsubsidized TOTAL
0 - 29.9 credits $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
30 - 59.9 credits $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
60 - 89.9 credits $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
90+ credits $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Certification $5,500 $0 $5,500
Graduate/Professional $8,500 $0 $8,500
  • Students may cancel all or a portion of the loan within 14 days after the date the school has sent notification that the loan funds have been credited to the student's account. Contact the Office of Financial Aid (717-871-5100) to cancel or reduce the loan, submit a Loan Change Form online or download the Loan Change Form and return it to the Office of Financial Aid (both forms are available through Financial Aid Forms under Quick Links to the left)
  • The loan MUST BE REPAID to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) through one of the Direct Loan Servicers. 
  • The student is the borrower.
  • Student has up to 10 years to repay the loan depending on the size of the student's debt.
  • During the repayment period, under certain circumstances, the lender may grant deferments, forbearances, or cancellations. A list of deferments and cancellations is provided at the time the student signs their Promissory Note.
  • Awarded to degree seeking undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled for at least 6 credits.
  • The school can refuse to certify a student's loan application OR certify the loan for an amount less than the student would otherwise be eligible. The school must document the reason for its action and explain the reason to the student in writing. The decision of the school is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • A student can receive a subsidized and unsubsidized loan for the same period.
  • Fees of up to 1.072% may be deducted from the total loan amount at the time of disbursement.
  • Loan funds are disbursed in at least 2 installments.

Independent Student Yearly Loan Limits

In addition to the base amount listed in the previous section, INDEPENDENT STUDENTS or DEPENDENT STUDENTS whose parents have been DENIED a PLUS loan, may borrow an additional amount. The amounts listed are the maximum yearly amounts. If the student receives other financial aid, the loan amount may be less.
Earned Credits Base Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Sub or Unsub) Base Direct Unsubsidized Loan Additional Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan Academic Year Limit
0 - 29.9 credits $3,500 $2,000 $4,000 $9,500
30 - 59.9 credits $4,500 $2,000 $4,000 $10,500
60 - 89.9 credits $5,500 $2,000 $5,000 $12,500
90+ credits $5,500 $2,000 $5,000 $12,500
Certification $5,500 $0 $7,000 $12,500
Grad/Prof $0* $8,500* $12,000 $20,500

*Due to changes in federal regulation (Budget Control Act of 2011), beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, Graduate students (seeking a Master's Degree or higher) will no longer qualify for a Subsidized Loan - all Federal Direct Stafford Loans will be Unsubsidized.

Aggregate Lifetime Loan Limits

LEVEL Aggregate Limit Comments
Undergraduate Education (dependent student) $31,000 $23,000 max Subsidized
Undergraduate Education (independent student) $57,500 $23,000 max Subsidized
Graduate Education $138,500
*Due to changes in federal regulation (Budget Control Act of 2011), beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, Graduate students (seeking a Master's Degree or higher) will no longer qualify for a Subsidized Loan - all Federal Direct Stafford Loans will be Unsubsidized.

Keeping Track of your Federal Loans

Are you confused about how to keep track of your federal loans?  

Due to changes in federal regulations, your loans may have been sold and sent to different lenders/servicers.  As a borrower, you may have several different federal loans serviced by different companies. 

In order to keep track of your federal loans, you can use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to view detailed information about your loans and current servicers.  Please note, this is only for federal loans (Stafford, Perkins, Grad PLUS) and does not include any private/alternative loans.

www.NSLDS.ed.gov