Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan borrowing limits


Graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized loans.

Effective for loans made for payment periods that begin on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized loans. However, if you are a graduate or professional student, you may still qualify for up to $20,500 in unsubsidized loans each year.

Annual limits

Dependent undergraduates
(except students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan)

First year total $5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)
Second year total $6,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)
Third year and beyond total (each year) $7,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)

Independent undergraduates
(and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan)

First year total $9,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)
Second year total $10,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)
Third year and beyond total (each year) $12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)

Graduate and professional students

Total amount (each year) $20,500
(unsubsidized only)

Students who fall into certain categories may qualify for loan amounts different from the limits listed above.

  • Students enrolled in certain health professions programs may be eligible for higher unsubsidized Stafford Loan limits. Your financial aid office will determine your eligibility.
  • If you are taking coursework that is not part of an eligible program such as preparatory coursework or pursuing a teacher certification after you have a degree, you have different loan limits:
    • If you are taking preparatory coursework required for enrollment in an undergraduate degree or certificate program (course of study not to exceed 12 months), you would be eligible to borrow up to $8,625 (maximum $2,625 subsidized) as an independent student or dependent student whose parent is not eligible for PLUS.
    • If you are taking preparatory coursework for enrollment in a graduate or professional program, you would be eligible to borrow up to $5,500 as a dependent undergraduate student and up to $12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)  for an independent student or dependent student whose parent is not eligible for PLUS.
    • If you already have a baccalaureate degree and are taking coursework necessary for state certification (or professional credential) required for teaching, you would be eligible to borrow up to $12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized).
  • For new Direct Loan borrowers (you don't have an outstanding balance on a prior Direct Loan) on or after July 1, 2013, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program in which you are enrolled. If you exceed this Direct Subsidized Loan limit, you become responsible for the accruing interest on the Direct Subsidized Loans. More information available here.

Aggregate [total combined debt from all outstanding Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized or unsubsidized)]

Dependent undergraduates
(except students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan)

Total cumulative amount $31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)

Independent undergraduates
(and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan)

Total cumulative amount $57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)

Graduate and professional students

Total cumulative amount $138,500 (maximum $65,500 subsidized includes Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized or unsubsidized) for undergraduate study)