Federal Direct Stafford Loans

  • Subsidized
    • Need-based and available to undergraduate students
    • Federal government pays the interest while the student is in school (enrolled at least half-time)
  • Unsubsidized
    • Available to undergraduate and graduate students
    • Federal government does not pay the interest
    • The student may choose to make interest payments while enrolled or allow the interest to accrue
  • Entrance Counseling is required for first time Federal Stafford Loan borrowers
  • Exit Counseling is required for all Federal Stafford Loan borrowers who graduate, withdraw or are registered less than half-time
    • Repayment begins six months after leaving school
  • Click here to find additional information about Stafford loans, including interest rates and repayment options.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

  • Loans are available to parents who have a dependent child enrolled in college and to graduate students.
  • These loans are guaranteed by the federal government and are contingent upon credit approval.
  • Individual eligibility is determined by subtracting all financial aid available for the academic year from the cost of attendance.
  • Click here to find additional information about the PLUS loan.

Alternative Loans

  • Borrowed through a private lender of the student’s choice
  • Assists students who are in need of additional financing after having exhausted all other financing options such as grants, scholarships, and all types of federal loans.
  • Loan approval is credit based and may require a co-signer
  • Be aware of the lender’s fees, interest rates, and repayment options

Annual Stafford Loan Limits for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Annual Stafford Loan Limits for Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Year in School Dependent Independent
Freshman (0-29 credits) $5,500 $9,500
Sophomore (30-59 credits) $6,500 $10,500
Junior (60-89 credits) and Senior (90+ credits) $7,500 $12,500
Master's/Doctoral N/A $20,500
Aggregate Loan Limits
Student Type Subsidized / Unsubsidized Aggregate
Dependent Undergraduate Students $31,000
(maximum $23,000 subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate Students $57,500
(maximum $23,000 subsidized)
Graduate and Professional Students $138,500
(maximum $65,500 subsidized)
Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be loan eligible. Enrollment definitions are listed below.
Enrollment Type Undergraduate Graduate
Full-time 12 credits 6 credits
Three-quarter-time 9 credits 5 credits
Half-time 6 credits 3-4 credits