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Stafford Loans are federal student loans available to nearly any student, regardless of need, in order to supplement other types of student financial aid. Stafford loans are offered under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program, and schools typically choose one program or the other. The FFEL program requires you to find a preferred lender -- typically a list is available from the school -- whereas the federal government is the lender for the Direct Loan program. Stafford loans come both as subsidized and unsubsidized loans, depending on student need.