William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

This federal program, created by the U.S. Department of Education, enables students to borrow to help pay educational expenses. MassBay is responsible for determining eligibility based on the results of the FAFSA and current federal regulations. The loan(s) are taken out in the student’s name, and there is no credit check required to qualify for this program. All recipients must complete federally mandated Loan Entrance Counseling and complete a master promissory note (MPN)prior to disbursement of funds. Exit Counseling must be completed before graduation, at termination of enrollment, or if enrollment drops below six credits in a semester.

Students must be enrolled in at least six credits in a semester in order to be eligible. Loans will not be credited to your account or be applied as anticipated aid until both the Entrance Counseling and MPN have been completed.

Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based and do not accrue interest while a student is enrolled.

Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non need-based and interest accrues while a student is enrolled. Students may choose to defer the interest and pay it with the principal amount upon graduation, or pay the interest on a quarterly basis while still enrolled.

PLUS Loans

The Direct PLUS loan is a credit-based loan which allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid already awarded. Cost of attendance includes the total cost of tuition, fees, books, transportation, and personal and living expenses. Applications for the Direct PLUS loan are processed online through the U.S. Department of Education student loan website at:


Private student loans, also referred to as alternative student loans, are offered through a variety of lending institutions.

The student is the borrower, but these loans require a cosigner. Repayment typically begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or falls below half-time enrollment. Interest accrues through the duration of the loan, beginning at disbursement. Interest rates may be based on a debt-to-income ratio and/or the credit of the borrower. Most students are eligible for Federal Direct Stafford loan funds. We recommend exhausting this option before considering borrowing funds from private loan sources.

More information on private loan lenders is available online at the following website: