Stafford Loan Limits

The federal Stafford loan programs carry both annual and cumulative (lifetime) limits. Your SAR (Student Aid Report) lists your cumulative loans, but it is important that you also keep records of all your loan transactions. You can also look up your loan history online using NSLDS.

Annual Limits

  Maximum
Subsidized + Unsubsidized
Maximum
Subsidized
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

  Maximum
Subsidized + Unsubsidized
Maximum
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 my lifetime limit?

If you reach your lifetime loan limit, you cannot receive any more of that type of loan. If you exceed your 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 a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans for 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