Federal Financial Aid programs have different limits in eligibility.  These limits include amounts a student may receive in an academic year, the length or number of terms a student may receive funding and the overall number of credits a student may earn toward their degree program.

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by a federal law (Public Law 112-74 which amended HEA section 401(c)(5)) to be equivalent of six years of funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. However, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to receive "year-round Pell" funding for attendance in an additional term within the award year (resulting in receiving up to 150% of the original offer). The U.S. Department of Education calculates the percent of Pell received each year by comparing the actual amount you received for the academic year with your scheduled Pell amount for that academic year.

This change in duration of students' Federal Pell Grant eligibility is not limited only to students who received their first Federal Pell Grant on or after the 2008-2009 academic year, as the Higher Education Act previously provided when the duration of eligibility was 18 semesters.

Students have annual as well as aggregate Direct Subsidized and Unsubisidized loan limits based on their year in school and dependency status (as determined by the FAFSA).

Dependent Students

  • Freshman (0-25 credits) - $5,500 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)
  • Sophomore (26-57 credits) - $6,500 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)
  • Junior and beyond (58+ credits) - $7,500 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)
  • Maximum aggregate loan limit - $31,000 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)

Independent Students

  • Freshman (0-25 credits) - $9,500 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)
  • Sophomore ( 26-57 credits) - $10,500 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)
  • Junior and beyond (58+ credits) - $12,500 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)
  • Maximum aggregate loan limit - $57,500 (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)

Federal regulations allow for a student to receive subsidized loans for a limited time. This time frame is 150% of the published length of the program. The limitation is referred to as the Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA) regulation.

Simply, this means if you reach your subsidized limit, your full loan eligibility can still be processed, but it will be entirely a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. However, before your loan eligibility can be processed we will need confirmation from you indicating you fully understand the ramifications.

By having your loan eligibility processed as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you will lose the subsidies on your previous Direct Subsidized Loan(s). This means any existing subsidized loans you have will begin to accrue interest. For the rest of the time you are in school and during your grace period, the loan(s) will continue to accrue interest which will be added to your total loan debt.

If you reach your limit, you will receive an email from the LC State Financial Aid Office. Your loan eligibility will not be processed until we receive a decision confirmation from you.

If you agree, you will need to send a confirmation email from your LCMail to [email protected] indicating you understand these ramifications and are requesting we move forward with processing. Your Direct Unsubsidized Loan will then be increased by your current Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility and processed.

If you choose not to borrow your loan eligibility, please send a confirmation email from your LCMail to [email protected] requesting cancellation of your loans.

As one of the standards of meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, students may only receive aid for their degrees for 150% of the published required credits of the academic program*. Attempted credits include all graded courses, transfer credits, testing credits, pass/fails, repeats, incompletes, withdrawals, audits, and grades of F, NC and K.

If you have extenuating circumstances (such as injury, illness, or death of an immediate family member), you may appeal to the Financial Aid Office for an extension to finish your degree. Your appeal will not extend regulatory limitations or aggregate amounts. Please visit with the Financial Aid Office to pick up the appropriate appeal form. You may not appeal for an extension until you have been suspended from financial aid.

*The maximum credits allowed for Post Baccalaureate (PB) students is ninety-six (96) after receiving a bachelor's degree. PB students are not eligible for federal financial aid towards certificate or associate degree programs.