Federal Student Loans for Graduate and Professional Students
As a result of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 major changes have been made to the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program for graduate students that directly affect the cost to borrow.
Effective for loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. Which means, for all new loans interest will begin to accrue on a loan from the 1st disbursement. The terms and conditions of Direct Subsidized Loans received by any student for loan periods beginning before July 1, 2012, are not affected by this change.
The annual loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500 (up to $47,167 for certain health professions), but is limited to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The aggregate loan limit for graduate and professional students also remains unchanged at $138,500 ($224,000 for certain health professions). The elimination of the graduate subsidized loan eligibility does not affect undergraduate student borrowers, who remain eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans.