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.

Loan Stats

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in 2019-2020 1,412 (or 53%) of our full-time, first-time students borrowed some amount of educational loans to help pay for school. Of these, 1,366 (or 52%) borrowed from the Federal Direct loan program, while 294 (or 11%) borrowed from other student loan sources.

Of all undergraduate students, 8,122 (or about 41%) borrowed federal student loans to help pay for school. 

According to internal data, undergraduate borrowers (those who graduated with any level of student loan debt) who graduated in 2020-2021 did so with an average Federal Direct loan obligation of $23,261. 

Looking at post-graduation, Missouri State University's official 3-year cohort default rate (CDR), based on student borrowers who went into repayment in FY2018, is 3.9%. In FY2017 and FY2016 the university's default rates were 6.6% and 5.6%, respectively.

The FY2018 national cohort default rate is 7.3%. The Department released a summary of the FY 2018 official cohort default rates by institution type.

Applying for a Stafford Loan

  1. Complete your FAFSA by the priority deadline of February 1st
    We recommend that you complete the application at least two to three weeks before February 1st 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 January 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

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.