Financial Aid

Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Maximum Amounts

There are limits on the maximum amount you are eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limit) and in total (aggregate loan limit). The actual amount you can borrow each year depends on your year in school, whether you are a dependent or independent student and other factors, and may be less than the maximum amounts shown in the loan limit chart. The Office of Financial Aid will determine what types of loans and how much you may borrow.

Undergraduate Student Annual Loan Limits

Depending on your financial need, your Base Limit amount may be subsidized or unsubsidized. If you have education expenses in excess of the Base Limit plus other aid, you may also borrow the additional unsubsidized loan (as long as you don't exceed the total annual loan limits).

Dependent Students

  Base Limit for Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Additional Unsubsidized Total Annual Loan Limit
Freshman
(0-24 earned credit hours)
$3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore
(25-48 earned credit hours)
$4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior, Senior
(49 or more earned credit hours)
$5,500 $2,000 $7,500

Independent Students*

  Base Limit for Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Additional Unsubsidized Total Annual Loan Limit
Freshman
(0-24 earned credit hours)
$3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore
(25-48 earned credit hours)
$4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior, Senior
(49 or more earned credit hours)
$5,500 $7,000 $12,500

Undergraduate Student Aggregate Loan Limits

Once you have reached the lifetime maximum total limit, you are no longer eligible to borrow in the Stafford Loan program as an undergraduate student, until that loan debt has been repaid.

  Subsidized Loan Limit Total Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Dependent $23,000 $31,000
Independent* $23,000 $57,500
*Students whose parents were denied the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents are eligible for Independent Student loan limits.

Graduate Student Annual Loan Limit

Please note: beginning July 1, 2012, Congress has eliminated the Subsidized Loan for graduate students. As a graduate student, the only type of loan you may now receive in the Stafford Loan program is unsubsidized.

  Total Annual Limit
Graduate Student $20,500

Graduate Student Aggregate Loan Limit

Previous Stafford Loan borrowing, such as at the undergraduate level, is included in your Aggregate Loan Limit. Any amount that has been repaid, however, is no longer included and is available to borrow again.

  Total Lifetime Limit
Graduate Student $138,500

Need Additional Funding?

If you've exhausted your annual or lifetime limits in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program, you may want to consider one of the following credit-based loan programs: