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Loan Limits

Maximum Loan Amounts for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Yearly loan amounts may be limited based on other financial aid received and your cost of attendance while enrolled. Your total student aid, including loans, may not exceed your cost of attendance, even if you have not reached the yearly loan maximum.

The following table outlines maximum annual and career/aggregate loan limits for the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans.

Dependent Undergraduate StudentDependent Undergraduate Student with a Parent PLUS Loan denial*Independent Undergraduate StudentGraduate and Professional Degree Student

First-Year

(0 – 27 credits)

$5,500

A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized

$9,500

A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized

$9,500

A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized

$20,500

Second-Year

(27.1 – 59 credits)

$6,500

A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized

$10,500

A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized

$10,500

A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized

$20,500

Third-, Fourth-, and Fifth-Years

(59.1+ credits)

 

$7,500

A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized

$12,500

A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized

$12,500

A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized

$20,500

Career Maximum Loan Amounts

$31,000

A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized

$57,500

A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized

$57,500

A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized

$138,500

The graduate debt limit includes Stafford loans received for undergraduate study.

* If the parent borrower is denied a Parent PLUS loan, an additional unsubsidized Stafford loan will be awarded automatically to the dependent student. However, if the parent borrower appeals the credit decision and is later approved for the PLUS loan, or another parent borrower is later approved, the dependent student will no longer be eligible for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan.

Stafford loan maximum eligibility for Teacher Certification is $12,500 for the year. Due to federal statute, eligibility is based on fifth-year undergraduate loan limits even though you are required to have a bachelor's degree and your admission is administered by the Penn State Graduate School.

Graduating undergraduate students with a one-semester loan may not be eligible to receive the maximum annual loan limit. Federal regulations require that the Stafford loan amount be prorated for a graduating senior who is enrolled for one semester and will graduate in the same academic year.

Maximum Eligibility Period for Subsidized Stafford Loans

Students borrowing a subsidized Stafford loan for the first-time on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to a time limitation not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower's educational program.

This time limit does not apply to unsubsidized Stafford or PLUS loans.

Example of Subsidized Stafford Time Limitations for First-time Borrowers
Bachelor Degree ProgramAssociate Degree Program

6 Year Maximum

150 percent of 4 years = 6 years

3 year Maximum

150 percent of 2 years = 3 years

Upon reaching the maximum eligibility period, you can still receive unsubsidized Stafford loans as loan as you have not reached your aggregate loan limit listed above.

Your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Subsidized Stafford loans borrowed for a previous program will count toward your current program limit.

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