A Stafford loan is a federal loan program that allows students to borrow to pay for college. Loans are made directly from the federal government. If eligible, a student can receive a subsidized loan, which means that the government pays interest on the loan until the grace period ends. Unsubsidized loans are available to all students, who can elect to pay interest before or after the loan repayment period begins. For the year beginning July 1, 2015, the cumulative loan limit for undergraduates is $31,000 if a dependent and $57,500 if independent. For graduate students, the cumulative loan amount is $224,000 for medical students and $138,500 other graduate students. Interest rates are based on the federal 10-year Treasury rate plus a margin. All students applying for a federal student loan are required to complete a FAFSA loan application.
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