Stafford Loan Limits
"Stafford Loan Limits" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 9th January 2012
Dependent undergraduate students:
May borrow up to $3,500 in Year 1, $4,500 in Year 2, and $5,500 in other undergraduate years.
Independent undergraduate students:
May borrow up to $7,500 in Year 1, $8,500 in Year 2, and $10,500 in other undergraduate years. These amounts include additional unsubsidized loan amounts.
Dependent undergraduates whose parents are denied a PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) may borrow additional UNSUBSIDIZED Stafford Loan funds. These annual loan limits are: $4,000 in Years 1 and 2, and $5,000 in other undergraduate years.
May borrow up to $20,500.
PLUS loan eligibility is expanded to include PLUS loans for Graduate and Professional Students.
Dependent undergraduate limit is $23,000; independent undergraduate limit is $46,000; graduate limit is $138,500.
Maximum Annual Loan Limits For Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans
|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 Degree Student|
|First Year||$5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$20,500—No more than $8,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Second Year||$6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$20,500—No more than $8,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Third and Beyond (each year)||$7,500— No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$20,500—No more than $8,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Maximum Total Debt From Stafford Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits)||$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$57,500—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$138,500—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.|
Note to consider:
- 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. The information in this guide was compiled in the summer of 2009.
- Congress was considering a proposal that would eliminate the FFEL Program, beginning with the 2010–11 school year, and would have Stafford, PLUS and consolidation loans funded from the Direct Loan Program. For up-to-date information, please visit www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov.
- Different Types of Student Loans or Grants After You Graduate
- Federal Stafford Loans and Grants
- Differences between Direct lending and the FFEL Program related to default prevention
- Federal Loan Limits For Dependent and Independent Student
- Dependent vs. Independent Student? Determine Dependency Status For Federal Student Aid
- Federal Student Loans vs. Private Loans
- Before you search for the best student loan