How Much Student Loan Can I Get? Find out how much you can borrow for college and whether you need a cosigner.
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How much you can borrow depends on many factors
Your maximum eligibility for federal student loans is not based on your need but on other factors, such as your year in school, whether you are a dependent or independent student, your state of legal residence, and the type of degree you are pursuing. The amount you can borrow also depends on whether you are a first-time borrower.
Your year in school
The first factor is what year you are in school. If you’re a freshman or sophomore, you can generally borrow up to $5,500 per year. For juniors and seniors, that number goes up to $7,500 per year. If you’re a graduate or professional student, you may be able to borrow up to $20,500 per year.
Your degree type and area of study will play a large role in how much money you can borrow. For example, medical students can typically borrow more money than students studying other degree types because their future earnings potential is higher. In addition, undergraduate students can usually borrow more money than graduate students.
The actual loan amount you can get also depends on the type of degree you’re pursuing. For example, the maximum loan amount for an undergraduate student is $31,000 while the maximum loan amount for a medical student is $224,000.
Your financial need
Determining how much you can borrow starts with understanding your financial need. Your cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid you’re eligible to receive is your financial need.
Your school will consider your FAFSA information and other factors, like your dependency status, to calculate your COA.
Your school must then subtract any other aid for which you’re eligible, like grants or scholarships, to determine your remaining financial need and how much you could potentially borrow in federal student loans.
You can borrow up to the cost of attendance
The first step is understanding how much you can borrow for school. Your student loan borrowing power is based on your school’s cost of attendance (COA) and your dependency status. The cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other necessary expenses for attending school.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are set by each school and vary based on the cost of attendance in that specific location. Here’s what you need to know about tuition and fees:
· You are responsible for paying tuition and fees directly to your school.
· The amount of your tuition and fees that can be covered by student loans is limited to the cost of attendance at your school, as determined by your school’s financial aid office. The cost of attendance includes not only tuition and fees, but also other expenses like room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
· If the amount you borrow for tuition and fees exceeds the cost of attendance at your school, you will be responsible for repaying the excess amount.
Room and board
Room and board is the second-largest cost of attendance after tuition and fees. The room and board allowance is based on the average cost to live in the community surrounding the school.
The total amount you can borrow for both undergraduate and graduate/professional study is limited by law. That limit, called your aggregate limit, is listed below. You may be able to borrow additional unsubsidized Stafford Loans if you enroll in a graduate or professional degree program or if you are a parent borrowing for your dependent child who is enrolled at least half time in such a program.
The maximum amount you can borrow each academic year (annual loan limit) and the cumulative (aggregate) amount you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study are shown below.
Annual loan limits
Subsidized and unsubsidized aggregate loan limits
Dependent students $31,000 ($23,000 may be subsidized) $31,000 ($23,000 may be subsidized)
Independent students $57,500 for undergraduates ($23,000 may be subsidized) $138,500 for undergraduates ($65,500 may be subsidized)
$138,500 for graduate or professional students ($65,500 may be subsidized)
Parent PLUS loans Not applicable Cost of attendance minus other financial aid
Books and supplies
The cost of books and supplies varies by school and program. In general, you can borrow up to the full cost of attendance, less any other financial aid you receive.
Your school will give you an estimate of the cost of books and supplies when they calculate your cost of attendance. If you’re enrolled in an online program, your school may provide an estimate for the cost of computer equipment.
Your school will figure out how much it’s going to cost for you to attend their school. This is also your Cost of Attendance (COA). The amount of money you’re eligible to receive in federal student loans can’t be more than your school’s COA.
Your school’s COA includes:
-Tuition and fees
-Room and board (if you’re living on campus)
-Books and supplies
-Other necessary expenses like transportation
You may also be eligible for additional funds
You may be wondering how much student loan you can get. The answer is that it depends on a few factors, such as your financial need and the cost of attendance at your school. You may also be eligible for additional funds, such as grants and scholarships, which can help reduce your overall borrowing.
Federal Work-Study is a program that provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for college.
Perkins Loans are low-interest federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Interest is charged on the loan from the time the first disbursement is made. Loan payments begin nine months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment. You have up to 10 years to repay the loan.
Private loans are not based on financial need and have a higher interest rate than federal loans. They are not eligible for income-driven repayment or Public Service Loan Forgiveness. You should only consider private loans if you have exhausted all other options, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants.