Investing in your future is money well spent. The federal government offers several loan programs for students who are seeking financial assistance to attend college. Students interested in participating in any of the loan programs must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form annually for each year they attend school, meet the financial need requirements, be in good academic standing and have achieved satisfactory academic progress. Unlike grants and scholarships, college loans will need to be repaid once you earn your degree.

Loans (Aid that must be repaid)

While student loans generally have low interest rates and potentially have long-term repayment plans, students should borrow only what they need to cover educational costs.  The student should also take time to research financial literacy and the impact that student loans can have on future income, so that they can make an educated decision on what represents a manageable level of debt upon graduation. Loans must be repaid even if the student does not complete their education, are not able to get a job after they complete their program or are dissatisfied with the education for which they paid.

The chart below shows both dependent and independent loan limits, along with the lifetime amounts.











*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.