The Office of Financial Aid automatically awards Stafford loans to students who have applied for federal aid and meets all criteria to receive Federal Title IV funding.
Stafford loans amounts are subject to federally mandated limits. Learn more about
loan limits by clicking here. There are also enrollment requirements for stafford loans: undergraduate students
must enroll in a minimum of six credits hours per semester and graduate students must
enroll in a minimum of four credit hours per semester to be eligible for any stafford
U.S. Department of Education regulations require all first time borrowers of Federal Subsidized Stafford and Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans to complete Entrance Loan Counseling. You must complete Entrance Loan Counseling only once during your undergraduate career. We are unable to release your Student Loan funds until you have completed this requirement. We are now able to offer entrance counseling online, please click here.
U.S. Department of Education regulations require Federal Stafford and Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan recipients to complete Exit Loan Counseling when graduating from or when leaving Southern Miss. Students who borrowed Stafford and/or Unsubsidized Stafford Loans can meet this requirement online, please click here.
Please note that you will be required to provide three personal references for Exit Loan Counseling. One of these references must be the address of your immediate next of kin. All references should be adults who live at separate addresses. Addresses must include street and/or P.O. Box numbers, city, state, zip codes, and complete phone numbers.
Southern Mississippi Cohort Default Rate is 9.7%
A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment
on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal
Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY),
October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to
the end of the second following fiscal year.
Official Cohort Default Rate Search
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. It receives data from schools, agencies that guaranty loans, the Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other U.S. Department of Education programs. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell grants that are tracked through their entire cycle: from aid approval through closure. For more information on NSLDS, click HERE.
A Deferment is a period of time during which no payments are required and interest does not accrue (accumulate), unless you have an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. In that case, you must pay the interest.
The most typical loan deferment conditions are enrollment in school at least half time, inability to find full-time employment ( for up to 3 years), and economic hardship ( for up to 3 years). Other deferment conditions are loan-specific.
You must continue making payments on your loan until you're notified that your deferment or forbearance has been granted. If you don't, and your request is denied, you'll become delinquent and could end up in default.
You can consolidate (combine) multiple federal student loans with various repayment
schedules into one loan. Your payments might be significantly lower and you can take
a longer time to repay (up to 30 years) if you consolidate. Also, you might pay a
lower interest rate than you would on one or more of your existing loans.
Please compare the cost of repaying your unconsolidated loans with the cost of repaying a consolidation loan. Consolidation can double total interest expense because you can have a longer period of time to repay, you'll repay more interest.
For a list of your loans eligible for consolidation, contact your lender.
For more information, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs. Click on the "Repaying" tab, then click on "Loan Consolidation."