Loan Amounts for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Annual and Lifetime Loan Maximums

Annual 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 annual loan maximum.

The following table outlines maximum annual and career/aggregate loan limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

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

First-Year

(0 – 29 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

(29.1 – 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 Direct Loans received for undergraduate study.

* If the parent borrower is denied a Direct Parent PLUS loan, the dependent student may be eligible for an additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan. However, if the parent borrower is later approved for the Direct PLUS loan, or another parent borrower is later approved, the dependent student will no longer be eligible for the additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan maximum eligibility for Teacher Certification is $12,500 for the academic 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. Your eligibility will depend on your degree and the number of credits for which you are enrolled. Federal regulations require that the Direct Loan amount be prorated for a student who is enrolled for only one semester in an academic year, and will be graduating during that semester.

Time Limits for Loans

Students borrowing a Direct Subsidized Loan 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 Direct Unsubsidized or PLUS Loans.

Example of Direct Subsidized Loan Time Limitations for First-time Borrowers
Bachelor Degree Program Associate 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 Direct Unsubsidized Loans as long 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. Direct Subsidized Loans borrowed for a previous program will count toward your current program limit.

Federal Direct Loans In Excess of Established Limits

If you have lost ability for federal student financial aid because you inadvertently received a Direct Loan or FFEL program loan that caused you to exceed the annual or aggregate loan limit, there are two options to regain your eligibility (however, if you are at or exceeding your aggregate loan limit, you will not be eligible for further Federal Direct loans, unless your limits increase, such as moving from an undergraduate to a graduate-level degree). To get complete information about your loan(s) or contact information regarding your loan holder(s), you may log into studentaid.gov.

To regain eligibility for federal student financial aid, you may either:

  1. Repay the excess loan amount directly to your loan servicer.
  2. Agree to repay the excess according to the terms and conditions of your promissory note ("reaffirmation"), in which case you will begin the process by downloading the Reaffirmation Agreement Form.

Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Proration

Federal regulations require schools to prorate the Direct Loan amounts for graduating undergraduate students when their final period of enrollment is less than a full academic year (fall-only, spring-only, or summer-only). The loan limit proration determines the maximum loan amount that a student may borrow for the final term of study based on the degree they are earning.

Graduating undergraduate students who are only attending one semester of the academic year will have their Direct Loans prorated based on the number of credit hours they are enrolled.

Note: Graduate and professional students are excluded from the loan proration requirement

Bachelor's Degree

Credits

Subsidized*

Unsubsidized

Total Dependent Student

Parent PLUS Denial or Independent Student Additional Unsubsidized

Total with Plus Denial or Independent Student

6 $1,375 $500 $1,875 $1,250 $3,125
7 $1,604 $583 $2,187 $1,458 $3,645
8 $1,833 $667 $2,500 $1,666 $4,166
9 $2,062 $750 $2,812 $1,875 $4,687
10 $2,292 $833 $3,125 $2,083 $5,208
11 $2,521 $916 $3,437 $2,292 $5,729
12 $2,750 $1,000 $3,750 $2,500 $6,250
13 $2,979 $1,083 $4,062 $2,708 $6,770
14 $3,208 $1,167 $4,375 $2,916 $7,291
15 $3,437 $1,250 $4,687 $3,125 $7,812
16 $3,667 $1,333 $5,000 $3,333 $8,333
17 $3,896 $1,416 $5,312 $3,542 $8,854
18 $4,125 $1,500 $5,625 $3,750 $9,375
19 $4,354 $1,583 $5,937 $3,958 $9,895
20 $4,583 $1,667 $6,250 $4,166 $10,416
21 $4,812 $1,750 $6,562 $4,375 $10,937
22 $5,042 $1,833 $6,875 $4,583 $11,458
23 $5,271 $1,916 $7,187 $4,792 $11,979
24 $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 $5,000 $12,500

*Subsidized loan amounts are subject to need analysis

Associate's Degree

Credits

Subsidized*

Unsubsidized

Total Dependent Student

Parent PLUS Denial or Independent Student Additional Unsubsidized

Total with Plus Denial or Independent Student

6 $1,125 $500 $1,625 $1,000 $2,625
7 $1,312 $583 $1,895 $1,167 $3,062
8 $1,500 $667 $2,167 $1,333 $3,500
9 $1,687 $750 $2,437 $1,500 $3,937
10 $1,875 $833 $2,708 $1,667 $4,375
11 $2,062 $917 $2,979 $1,833 $4,812
12 $2,250 $1,000 $3,250 $2,000 $5,250
13 $2,437 $1,083 $3,520 $2,167 $5,687
14 $2,625 $1,166 $3,791 $2,334 $6,125
15 $2,812 $1,250 $4,062 $2,500 $6,562
16 $3,000 $1,333 $4,333 $2,667 $7,000
17 $3,187 $1,417 $4,604 $2,833 $7,437
18 $3,375 $1,500 $4,875 $3,000 $7,875
19 $3,562 $1,583 $5,145 $3,167 $8,312
20 $3,750 $1,666 $5,416 $3,334 $8,750
21 $3,937 $1,750 $5,687 $3,500 $9,187
22 $4,125 $1,833 $5,958 $3,667 $9,625
23 $4,312 $1,917 $6,229 $3,833 $10,062
24 $4,500 $2,000 $6,500 $4,000 $10,50

*Subsidized loan amounts are subject to need analysis