The financial aid office at your college or career school will determine how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. The office uses the information you supplied in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASA) to determine how much need based and non-need based aid you can receive. Federal student loans have annual loan limits, so you are not able to ask for more money than the loan limit provides for. It is important to review your financial aid package to decide if your dream school is an affordable option for you.
Loan Limits for Federal Student Loans
Your financial aid package can have a mixture of grants, work-study programs, scholarships and student loans. Your financial aid package can change if your situation changes (ex., job loss, illness, etc.), but the maximum amount of federal student loan money you are able to receive annually is fixed.
There are three types of Federal Student Loans:
- Direct Subsidized Loans: Available only to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need;
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Available to both undergraduate students regardless of their financial need (as well as to graduate or professional degree students); and
- Direct Plus Loans: Available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students (as well as graduate and professional degree students).
Of these three, the Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans have annual loan limits. This means that there is a maximum amount of money that you may borrow for a single academic year.
The chart below illustrates the current loan limits as determined by the federal government.
Note: The actual amount you are eligible to borrow for an academic year may be less than the maximum annual amounts shown in the charts.
|Combined Amount||Subsidized (Need Based)||Unsubsidized|
First Year of School Annual Limit
Second Year of School Annual Limit
Rebecca Renner is a teacher and college professor from Florida. She loves teaching about literature, and she writes about books for Book Riot, Real Simple, Electric Literature and more.