By Ryan Laspina
Analyst, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
To keep Federal Student Aid (FSA) loan debt more manageable for students, the U.S. Department of Education has set aggregate loan limits. So if you’re a college student, you cannot exceed these FSA loan limits each year. These loan limits are based on several factors:
- Your dependency status (independent or dependent student)
- What type of FSA loan you receive (subsidized or unsubsidized)
- Your grade level
Loan Limit FAQs from Students
Why are aggregate loan limits for dependent graduate/professional students not included?
Graduate students are never considered dependent. Having a bachelor’s degree automatically makes your dependency status independent.
Why are subsidized limits lower than unsubsidized limits?
Subsidized limits are lower because they are need-based aid. Students who receive subsidized loans usually do not have to pay back any of the interest that accrues on their loans while they are in school and utilizing their grace period. Because subsidized limits are need-based, their usage is limited.
Do graduate loan limits include loans received as an undergraduate?
Yes. You can only borrow a combined $138,500 for undergraduate and graduate studies.
What happens if I reach my loan aggregate limits?
If you reach your loan limits, you will not be eligible to receive any more FSA loans. However, if you pay off part of your loan debt, you will be able to borrow again up to your aggregate limit.
If you’re having difficulty finding the funds to pay for your education, contact the Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-755-2787, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. We may be able to help you find solutions or resources.