Graduate Stafford loans are fixed-rate federal loans available to graduate students who attend a college or university at least half-time.
While Stafford loans used to be available to graduate students as both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, as of July 1, 2012, graduate students are only eligible for unsubsidized Stafford loans. Unsubsidized Stafford loans are not made available to students based on financial need, but are instead offered to all students who meet minimum eligibility requirements.
Graduate students pay a fixed interest rate of 6.8%, through at least June 30, 2013. Graduate and professional students have the highest annual limits of all students: $12,000 in subsidized loans. Graduate students can take out up to $138,500 over a lifetime, or $224,000 if enrolled in a health professions program.
Students are not required to begin paying off loans until six months after they graduate, or six months after they drop below half-time enrollment.
Prospective students may fill out an application for graduate Stafford loans online.