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Direct Loan Limits


Annual and lifetime (total debt) limits for subsidized and unsubsidized student loans are mandated by the U.S. Department of Education. The amounts include the outstanding principal balance on the loans (excluding interest and other charges).

Annual Direct Loans Limits
 Dependent Undergraduate Students Subsidized Limit Unsubsidized Limit Total Annual Limit
Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
 Independent Students & Dependent Students whose parents were denied a PLUS Loan Subsidized Limit Unsubsidized Limit Total Annual Limit
Freshman $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $7,000 12,500
Graduate Students None $20,500 $20,500
Aggregate (Lifetime) Direct Loan Limits
Subsidized Limit Unsubsidized Limit Total Lifetime Limit
Dependent Undergraduate Students $23,000 $8,000 $31,000
Independent Undergraduate Students & Dependent Students whose parents were denied a PLUS Loan $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Graduate Students (includes UG loans) $138,500 $138,500

  • All "Maximum Total Debt" amounts (lifetime limits) include both DIRECT and FFELP subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
  • The graduate total debt limit includes subsidized and unsubsidized student loans received during undergraduate study.
  • Beginning Fall 2012, Federal Direct Subsidized Loans will no longer be offered to graduate students.