Federal Direct Loan Borrowing Limits

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans.  Your eligibility is determined after your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been reviewed.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are interest-free while you are enrolled in college at least half-time. Beginning July 1, 2012, the loans are not interest-free during the six-month grace period after you leave school.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans accrue interest while you are enrolled in college.  You can choose to pay the interest each month while in school or allow the interest to accumulate.

Your Federal Direct Student Loan offer amounts for the year are dependent upon the class levels highlighted below:


Undergraduate Students


Class LevelDependent StudentsIndependent StudentsMaximum of Subsidized Loan


Graduate Students


Class LevelAll Graduate StudentsMaximum of Subsidized Loan


 Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits


Student LevelLifetime Maximum Loan Limit
Undergraduate Dependent Students:$31,000 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans)
Undergraduate Independent Students:$57,500 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans)
Graduate/Professional Students:$138,500 including undergraduate loans (of which no more than $65,000 can be subsidized loans. New regulations as of July 1, 2012 state graduate students may only receive unsubsidized loans. Therefore, new graduate students after that date will be limited to $23,000 in subsidized loans received on the undergraduate level.)