The Department of Education clarifies that the term “Stafford Loan” refers to a subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan made to students on or prior to July 1, 2010. However, many people and schools also informally use “Stafford Loans” or “Direct Stafford Loans” to refer to both direct subsidized and unsubsidized student loans made via the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. When a school says they offer “Stafford Loans”, this means they offer Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Read the full article on the Federal Student Aid website.