International Student Support

Federal Loans and Limits

There are three Federal Loan types:
-  Stafford loans: Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized
-  Direct PLUS Loans

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are partly subsidized by the US Government.  Information on interest rates and repayment terms can be found on the US Department of Education website.
  • The Budget Act of August 2011 resulted in loss of eligibility of Graduate/Professional students for subsidized loans with effect from 1 July 2012. Direct Subsidized Loans are now available only to Undergraduate students, while Direct Unsubsidized Loans will be available to both Undergraduate and Graduate/Professional students.
  • The maximum loan amounts differ for Dependent undergraduates, Independent undergraduates and Graduate/Professional students. These are shown below along with the aggregate lifetime maximum loan limits.  

 

Stafford Loan Limits 2016/17

 

Subsidized

Unsubsidized

Combined Maximum

Dependent Undergraduates

 

 

 

1st Year

$3,500

$2,000

$5,500

2nd Year

$4,500

$2,000

$6,500

3rd Year and Up

$5,500

$2,000

$7,500

Independent Undergraduates

 

 

 

1st Year

$3,500

$6,000

$9,500

2nd Year

$4,500

$6,000

$10,500

3rd Year and Up

$5,500

$7,000

$12,500

Graduate/Professional Students

 

 

 

Each Year

N/A

$20,500

$20,500

 

Aggregate lifetime maximum loan limits

 

Subsidized

Sub and Unsub combined Maximum

Dependent Undergraduates

$23,000

$31,000

Independent Undergraduates

$23,000

$57,500

Graduate/Professional Students

N/A

$138,500

 

Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate students 

  • If you are a Graduate student and you have taken out the maximum value of Direct Unsubsidized Loans, you can also apply for a Direct PLUS Loan to top up your finances. PLUS Loans are normally available to make up the difference between the Unsubsidized Loan amount and the full cost of attendance of your programme, minus any scholarships. 
  • If you wish to apply for a PLUS Loan, you need to complete the PLUS Request Process on the US Department of Education website. Interest rates and repayment terms can also be found there.  The request process involves a credit check and depending on the results of your credit check you may need a parent to endorse your PLUS Loan application.

 

Direct PLUS Loan for parents of Undergraduate students 

  • Parents of Dependent Undergraduate students can take out a Parent PLUS loan to make up the difference between the Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan amount and the full cost of attendance of your programme, minus any scholarships.
  • If your parent wishes to apply for a PLUS Loan, they need to complete the PLUS Request Process on the US Department of Education website.  Interest rates and repayment terms can also be found there.  The request process normally involves a credit check. Repayments start at the beginning of the loan period.

 

 

 

 

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Eligibility