Maximum Federal Student Loan Amount for Graduate Students

Graduate student loans are loans awarded to help eligible students pay for graduate school. Since 1999, the cost of graduate school rose over 30%; therefore, more and more graduate students now seek money to pay for college.

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans have lower interest rates and more flexibility than private loans. There are two main types of federal graduate student loans.

  • Subsidized Graduate Stafford - This is a need-based loan given to those demonstrating the most need for financial aid. The borrower is not required to begin repaying the loan until after he or she graduates.
  • Unsubsidized Graduate Stafford - This loan is not based on financial need. The borrower must pay loan interest as soon as the loan is awarded.

How Much Can I Receive?

The amount you're eligible to receive depends on your financial need, the cost of the institution, your year in school, and your enrollment status. Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility.

Maximum Payments


Each year, a graduate student may borrow up to $20,500 in Federal Stafford Loans (not exceeding $8,500 in subsidized loans per year). The maximum amount a graduate student can borrow upon graduation is $138,500 (up to $65,000 in subsidized loans). Certain graduate schools, such as health-related schools, allow up at $224,000 in graduate student loans.

Private Student Loans

In some cases, federal student loans do not cover the entire cost of graduate school. If this is the case, many students turn to private student loans.



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