Stafford Loan Limits

The federal Stafford loan programs carry both annual and cumulative (lifetime) limits. The SAR (Student Aid Report) from your FAFSA contains your cumulative borrowing history, and you may also view your entire student loan history online via NSLDS.

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 $0
Medical $40,500 $0

* The annual maximum for graduate students in selected clinical psychology majors may be increased to $31,000 depending upon financial need and cost of attendance.

Lifetime Limits

Subsidized + Unsubsidized
Subsidized **
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 $23,000
Independent Undergraduate $57,500 $23,000
Graduate/Professional * $138,500 $65,500
Medical $224,000 $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.

What happens if I reach a lifetime limit?

If you reach a lifetime loan limit, you will no longer be able to receive any more of that type of loan. If you exceed the limit, aid already disbursed will be billed back. You will have to find alternate ways to finance your education. Therefore it is to your advantage to borrow only what you need for educational expenses, and to keep track of your cumulative debt. Our advisors are happy to work with you to find ways to minimize your borrowing.

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