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Credits & Loan Limits Per Grade Level

In order to advance to the next grade level, undergrads must earn a certain number of credits:

Grade Level Credits Required
Freshman 0-27
Sophomore 28-55
Junior 56-87
Senior 88 or more

For example, at the end of your first two semesters, you do not become a sophomore unless you have earned at least 28 credits (including transfer credits).

The amount of money you may borrow through the federal Direct Loan program depends on your grade level:


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

Lifetime Limits

Subsidized + Unsubsidized

Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 $23,000
IndependentUndergraduate $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
2 Years 3 Years
4 Years 6 Years
5 Years 7.5 Years