Federal Stafford Loan revamped

Molly Gallegos

Recipients of single term Stafford loans might need to reorganize their budgets within the next few months.

Effective Oct. 1, government regulation for the disbursement of Federal Stafford Loan funds changed. One term only Stafford loans are now required to have two disbursement dates as opposed to a single lump sum distributed in the beginning of the semester.

“A majority of students will not be affected,” said Bonnie Behm, director of Financial Assistance. “Our concern is mainly in alerting students who use the loans for personal expenses.”

In an attempt to circumvent budgetary issues, the previous government provision for the loan expired Sept. 30 and was not reenacted.

According to Behm, the new policy will have a bearing on between 200 and 300 students, most of whom are graduate students using one-term Stafford loans to pay for housing, food and other personal expenses. The Office of Financial Assistance is mostly concerned with the fact that students will not receive the full refund in the beginning of the semester, but rather half on Jan. 10, and the remainder on March 12.

“We just want students to be aware of what effect receiving half of the loan will have on their budgets,” Behm said. “Students need to take a look at their budgets and see how the loan is being applied to personal expenses.”

The Federal Stafford loan proves to be the most affordable and convenient for students, thus Behm advises against shopping for alternative loans. She proposes reorganizing budgets to fit within the new disbursement calendar.

Notices were sent Thursday via e-mail to students most likely affected by the new policy. Students will also receive information regarding their one term Stafford loans along with their award packages in the next few weeks.