Federal Loan Limits
"Federal Loan Limits" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 8th January 2012
The maximum amount an undergraduate student may borrow each year is determined by the student’s dependency status—dependent or independent—and by his or her year in school. Dependent undergraduate students may borrow Stafford loans of up to the maximum amounts shown in the chart below. Independent students may borrow the same amounts in subsidized Stafford loans as dependent students, plus an additional $4,000 a year in the first two years of their academic program and $5,000 a year for the remainder of the program, though the unsubsidized Stafford loan program.
Graduate and professional students are financially independent and can borrow up to $18,500 ($8,500 in subsidized Stafford and $10,000 in unsubsidized Stafford) per year. No student can borrow more money than the established cost of attendance at the school he or she attends.
In addition to annual borrowing limits, there are cumulative limits. Dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to $23,000 during their education. Independent undergraduate students may borrow up to $46,000, but only $23,000 of this total can be in subsidized loans. Graduate and professional students may borrow up to $138,500 for their education, including any undergraduate loans, with a maximum of $65,000 in subsidized loans.
Know more -
- Annual Stafford Loan Limits For Dependent and Independent Student
- Aggregate Stafford Loan Limits For Dependent and Independent Student
- Perkins Loan Limits
Annual Borrowing Limits in Federal Stafford Student Aid Programs (Aggregate Loan Limits) Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans:
|Academic Year||Dependent Undergraduate Student* (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)||Independent Undergraduate Student (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)||Graduate and Professional Students|
|First year||$5,500||$9,500||$20,500 — no more than $8,500 may be in subsidized loans|
|No more than $3,500 may be in subsidized loans|
|No more than $4,500 may be in subsidized loans|
|Third, Fourth and Fifth-Year and Beyond Students||$7,500||$12,500|
|No more than $5,500 may be in subsidized loans|
|Teacher certification||$5,500||$12,500—no more than $5,500 may be in subsidized loans|
|Total amount you can borrow (Maximum Total Debt From Stafford Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits)||$31,000||$57,500|
|No more than $23,000 may be in subsidized loans||$138,500**—no more than $65,500 may be in subsidized loans (includes any Stafford loans you received for undergraduate study)|
- * If you’re a dependent student whose parents are unable to obtain a federal PLUS loan, you may be eligible to borrow the same amount in unsubsidized loans as an independent student.
- ** Graduate and professional students enrolled in certain approved health professions programs may borrow up to $224,000.
- The amounts shown in the chart above are the maximum amounts that you may borrow for an academic year (annual loan limits) and in total (aggregate loan limits).
- These are combined annual and aggregate loan limits for Stafford Loans received under both the FFEL and Direct Loan programs. You might receive less than the maximum if you receive other financial aid that’s used to cover a portion of your cost of attendance.* The maximum amount you may borrow will also be less in certain situations, such as if you are an undergraduate student enrolled in a program of study that is shorter than an academic year.
- Graduate and professional students enrolled in certain health profession programs may receive additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan amounts beyond those shown above.
- Your school can refuse to certify your loan or can certify a loan for an amount less than you would otherwise be eligible for if the school documents the reason for its action and explains the reason to you in writing. The school’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.
- Perkins Loans are not included in this chart. Aggregate Perkins limits, which are separate from Stafford Loan limits under federal statute, are $8,000 for any student who has not completed the first two years of undergraduate study, $20,000 for an undergraduate who has completed at least two years but does not have a BA/BS, and $40,000 for graduate students. Annual Perkins Loan limits are $4,000 for undergraduates and $6,000 for graduate students.
- Under the 1992 amendments to the Higher Education Act, all graduate students are defined as independent for purposes of Title IV aid eligibility.
- PLUS loan cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
- Including amounts borrowed as undergraduate.
- Some students in the health professions can borrow up to $189,125.
- Subject to the sum of the annual cost of attendance limitations.
Unless otherwise noted, the sources for aid awarded, for student charges, and for student fee revenue are as follows:
- University of California: Student Financial Support, Office of the President
- California State University: Academic Affairs, Access and Retention, Office of the Chancellor
- California Community Colleges: Student Financial Assistance Programs, Office of the Chancellor
- Independent Nonprofit Institutions: Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) and California Student Aid Commission
- Proprietary and Specialty Institutions: California Student Aid Commission
- Loan Data for Independent Nonprofit and Proprietary Institutions: U.S. Department of Education, National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
- Disposable Personal Income: Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Median Household Income: Housing and Household Economics Statistics Division, Income Statistics Branch, Bureau of the Census
- State General Fund and Student Fee Revenue Expenditures: California State Department of Finance
- Consumer Price Index: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor