Missouri State University

Affordable Choice, Unbeatable Value - Financial Aid

Loans for Undergraduate Students

Loan requirements and application process


Loans are granted by the federal government to degree-seeking students who complete the FAFSA  and are enrolled at least half-time. You will be awarded a loan based on the information you provide on the FAFSA, including enrollment status and living arrangements.

Lunchtime study

Applying for a Stafford Loan

  1. Complete your FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 31
    We recommend that you complete the application at least two to three weeks before March 31 to be considered for maximum aid.
  2. Review your Student Aid Report after submitting your FAFSA and correct any errors
  3. Access your award letter through My Missouri State to accept or decline your aid
    Your award letter will be posted in April if you are a first year student and after grades are posted if you are a current student.
  4. Complete your Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling
  5. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to remain eligible for future aid

Types of loans for undergraduate students

Subsidized Stafford Loans »

  • Amount: The annual loan limits are $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 for sophomores and $5,500 for juniors and seniors.
  • Interest rates:
    • Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/14 and before 7/1/15: The interest rate is fixed at 4.66 percent.
  • Repayment: Interest charges and repayment of principal begin six months after you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. The government pays the interest on the subsidized loans while you are enrolled at least half time.
  • Qualifications: Subsidized Stafford Loans are given to undergraduate students based on financial need. First-time borrowers must complete online entrance counseling prior to loan approval.
  • Application: To be eligible for a Stafford Loan, you must complete the steps listed under "Applying for a Stafford Loan" at the top of this page.

Visit the Accepting a Direct Stafford Loan page for more information about how to review and accept your award.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans »

  • Amount: The annual loan limits are $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores and $7,500 for juniors and seniors.
  • Interest rates:
    • Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/14 and before 7/1/15: The interest rate is fixed at 4.66 percent.
  • Repayment: Repayment begins six months after you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. You are responsible for repaying interest from the date of disbursement. Interest payments may be made in installments or allowed to accumulate and be added to the principal.
  • Qualifications: Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are granted to both undergraduate and graduate students regardless of financial need. First-time borrowers must complete online entrance counseling prior to loan approval.
  • Application: To be eligible for a Stafford Loan, you must complete the steps listed under "Applying for a Stafford Loan" at the top of this page.

Visit the Accepting a Direct Stafford Loan page for more information about how to review and accept your award.

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students »

  • Amount: Loan amount may not exceed the student’s cost of education minus other aid received.
  • Interest rates: The current interest rate is fixed at 7.21 percent.
  • Repayment: Interest is charged from the first disbursement date, and repayment on both interest and principal begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement for the academic year.
  • Qualifications: PLUS Loans are granted to parents of undergraduate students with good credit history and who may not qualify for other types of aid or who need additional funds.
  • Application: You must complete your FAFSA, a PLUS application through the Department of Education, MSU Parent PLUS Loan application and the Master Promissory Note. More information about the application process is available online.

Perkins Loans »

  • Amount: Varies
  • Interest rates: The interest rate is fixed at 5 percent.
  • Repayment: A 5 percent fixed interest repayment begins after you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. The loan is made with government funds, and your school contributes a share; you must repay this loan to your school.
  • Qualifications: Perkins Loans are granted to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • Application: You must complete your FAFSA by March 31 to be considered for a Perkins Loan. More information about Perkins Loans is available online.

Alternative loans

  • Amount: Varies. Alternative loans are private loans designed to help student with educational expenses that exceed other available assistance.
  • Interest rates: The interest rate varies by loan provider.
  • Repayment: Varies by loan.
  • Qualifications: Your eligibility is based on credit approval.
  • Application: You can apply online for alternative loans. You should only apply for alternative loans after all federal loan program eligibility has been exhausted.

Alternative loans are private loans designed to help student with educational expenses that exceed other available assistance. They should only be used after all federal loan program eligibility has been exhausted.

Your eligibility for alternative loans is based on credit approval. You can apply online for alternative loans.

Loan terminology

Origination fee

An “origination fee” of no more than one percent of the principal is charged for direct loans according to the regulations governing the programs. The fee is deducted proportionately from each payment before the loan funds are disbursed to the school to offset the cost of the loan programs.  You are still responsible for repaying the full value of the loan before the fee is paid.

Master promissory note

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document completed by the student only promising to repay their loans and any accrued interest and fees to the federal Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of student loans.

In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans received over several years of study. The MPN must be completed online.