Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Student Loan Limits

The federal Stafford loan programs carry both annual and cumulative(lifetime) limits. Eligibility for all Federal Direct Loans will be based on cost of attendance, the estimated family contribution (EFC) as determined by FAFSA, other aid received, and the loan limits set by the U.S. Department of Education.  Students may never qualify for more than the cost of attendance for the college or the annual loan limit.  The charts below show the maximum amounts you may borrow.

Annual Limits

Subsidized + Unsubsidized
Dependent Freshman  $5,500 $3,500
Dependent Sophomore $6,500 $4,500
Dependent Junior/Senior $7,500 $5,500
Independent Freshman $9,500 $3,500
Independent Sophomore $10,500 $4,500
Independent Junior/Senior $12,500 $5,500
Graduate/Professional * $20,500 N/A

Lifetime Limits

Subsidized + Unsubsidized
Subsidized **
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 $23,000
Independent Undergraduate $57,500 $23,000
Graduate/Professional * $138,500 $65,500

* The graduate debt limit includes loans received for undergraduate study.
** Graduate subsidized Stafford loans are no longer available as the federal government has ended the subsidized loan program for graduate students.

150% Subsidized Loan Limit

Below are the maximum lengths of time for which a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans depending on their academic program. If a student reaches the 150% Subsidized Loan Limit, they are no longer eligible to borrow any additional Direct Subsidized loans. Also, if they continue attending, they will lose the interest subsidy on their previously borrowed loans beginning on the first day of continued enrollment.

Length of Degree Program Maximum Eligibility Period
2 Years 3 Years
4 Years 6 Years
5 Years 7.5 Years