Federal Stafford Loans
Stafford Loans are available to College of DuPage students who are enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours (1000-level or above and/or approved remedial courses) each term of the loan. You must also be enrolled in classes leading to a U.S. Department of Education-approved certificate or degree. Loan amounts are based on your grade level at College of DuPage, i.e. freshman or sophomore, and your dependency status according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Note: Students who receive their maximum Stafford Loan eligibility during the academic school year will not have any Stafford Loan eligibility for the summer term.
To apply for a Federal Stafford Loan, a student first must meet the following general eligibility requirements:
- U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Have received a high school diploma, GED or pass the Ability to Benefit Test
- Be enrolled in classes leading to a U.S. Department of Education-approved certificate or degree. Check this list for ineligible degree/certificates (PDF) for financial aid purposes
- Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe repayment of a Pell
- Be at least a half-time student for each term of the loan
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (32 Kb PDF)
To begin the application process (PDF) for a Federal Stafford Loan, a student first must submit the FAFSA. Students are encouraged to apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. After the Office of Student Financial Assistance receives your results and any additional information requested, you will receive an award letter notifying you of your loan award.
The amount you may borrow (PDF) is based on your level of financial need, your dependency status and your grade level at College of DuPage. Students may qualify for a subsidized loan, an unsubsidized loan, or a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
All first-time Stafford Loan borrowers at College of DuPage must complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling prior to receiving their loan funds. Failure to complete Loan Entrance Counseling will stop the processing of your loan.
A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need, as determined by FAFSA.
With a subsidized loan, you will not be charged interest during your in-school deferment period and six-month grace period. The federal government will subsidize the interest during these periods.
An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. This means the interest that accrues on your loan during your in-school deferment and six month grace periods will be your responsibility. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized ñ that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount. This will increase the amount you have to repay. If you choose to pay the interest as it accumulates, you will repay less overall.
Transfer Students: If you received a Stafford Loan at another school during the academic school year, you will have your Stafford Loan award prorated at College of DuPage. This may result in your not being eligible for the full Stafford Loan award or not being eligible at all for a Stafford Loan at College of DuPage.
Office of Student Financial Assistance
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2220, (630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151
Mondays to Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.