Understanding the process

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No matter how much your family earns and how substantial your assets, you qualify for an unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan.
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The many benefits of the federal Stafford loan program, including attractive interest rates and deferred payments, are yours for the asking.

Your first step in applying for a federal student loan is to understand what’s involved. This section walks you through the process.
Applying for financial aid

Completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your starting point for applying to most student financial aid programs.
Understanding your expected contribution

Based on the information you provide on your FAFSA, the government estimates how much your family can afford to spend on college costs, known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Reviewing your Student Aid Report (SAR)

The government sends you a SAR, summarizing the information you provided on the FAFSA and indicating your EFC.
Evaluating your award letters

If you've applied for financial aid at the schools where you've been accepted, you will find out how much financial support the school is offering by an award letter.
Completing your loan application

The FAFSA begins the federal financial aid process. If your award letter includes a Stafford loan, you need to complete the application process.
Receiving the loan proceeds

You've applied for the loan, it's been approved, and you've signed the promissory note. Find out when the loan proceeds are sent to your school.


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