How do I apply for a Federal Stafford Loan?

Borrowers must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before they can obtain Federal Stafford loans.

How to Apply, Step by Step

  1. Complete the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA (for returning students). These forms may be filed at
  2. Receive a financial aid award letter by mail or email. This letter will summarize the financial aid available to the student, including the Federal Stafford Loan.
  3. Contact your college financial aid office to accept the financial aid and student loans.
  4. Sign any associated paperwork such as the Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  5. Once these steps are complete, the college will disburse the funds to the student’s account (usually once per academic term, with no disbursement equal to more than half the funds).
  6. After the funds are applied to tuition and fees (and room and board, if the student is living in college-controlled housing), any remaining money will be refunded to the student.