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Federal Direct Stafford Loan Limits

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 Student Dependent Undergraduate Student with a Parent PLUS Loan denial* Independent Undergraduate Student Graduate 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.

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