All About Stafford Loans for Undergraduate Education
The Stafford Loan program offers a scheme greatly beneficial for independent students. The independency of a student is verified on the basis of several criteria which have been postulated by FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If a candidate qualifies for an independent student category, then the financials of his parents will not be included in FAFSA education, thus allowing him to borrow more. The following FAFSA dependency questions outline these criteria:
- The first criterion is of age. The candidate should be born before January 1st, 1987.
- The candidate should be enrolled for a professional, master’s, doctorate or graduation program.
- In the scenario where the student is married, then his dependency will be evaluated on the basis of the children he has and also the other people in the family who are dependent on him for more than half their support.
- Another evaluation criterion would be the parental situation of the candidate, if he had lost them before or after age 13, or was living in some foster care.
- Also if the candidate is homeless, as determined by entities such as the high school of the candidate, school district homeless liaison, director of an emergency shelter, director of a traditional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of housing and urban development and director of homeless and runaway youth basic center or transitional living programs.
- Apart from that, the candidate serving the U.S. Armed forces for a purpose other than training is recognized as an independent candidate.
A candidate who meets any one of the above mentioned criterion will be treated as an independent candidate, otherwise he has to use his parent or guardian information on the FASFA form or on any other financial aid application form.
The amount that one stands to receive from as a Stafford Loan is based on his grade level and also on the general reputation of the candidate as a student in the institution. The independent students will be eligible for a higher loan amount as they will be paying for their education devoid of any assistance from their family. However, it is important to note that even if a student is applying for Stafford loans as an independent candidate and is financing his education on his own, his dependency will still be evaluated by the institution.
Unfortunately, there are scenarios where you may not qualify for the maximum amount required to finance your education as per your award letter. However, there is no need to be disappointed about this; you still have the option of seeking out additional loan funding from private organizations providing private student loans which enable you to procure the full expense of your education while deducting any other financial aid you may be receiving. After completing your education, you can consider the student loan consolidation of your loans to reduce the burden of cumbersome monthly installments.