Skip to Main Content

Maximum Limits – Pell Grant and Loans

Federal regulations set limits on the amount of Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and Pell Grant funds students are eligible to receive in a given year and degree program.

Annual and Lifetime Loan Limits

Federal unsubsidized and subsidized loan limits are based on your dependency status and academic class level. Institutions are unable to award loans to students when they exceed the following amounts:

 Dependent Student
Independent Student
Annual LimitLifetime Limit
Annual Limit
Lifetime Limit
Freshman$5,500
(max $3,500 sub)
$31,000
(max $23,000 sub)
$9,500
(max $3,500 sub)
$57,500
(max $23,000 sub)
Sophomore$6,500
(max $4,500 sub)
$10,500
(max $4,500 sub)
Junior / Senior
Second Undergraduate
$7,500
(max $5,500 sub)
$12,500
(max $5,500 sub)
Graduate$20,500$138,500

Check your current loan balances on My.BoiseState under “My Account” or login with your FSA ID at the National Student Loan Data Center (NSLDS) website.

Pell Grant Limits

Annually, Federal Pell Grants are awarded to eligible undergraduate students based on  financial need, enrollment, and cost of attendance. Maximum annual amounts will vary by student.

The Pell Grant is available to eligible students for the equivalent of six full-time years of funding. 

Example: If a student receives a full-time Pell Grant during fall semester, it equates to 50% usage. Two full-time semesters equates to the annual maximum – 100%. Six full-time years would equate to the maximum: 600%. More examples.

The National Student Loan Data Center (NSLDS) website can provide your current Pell Grant usage percentage.

Subsidized Loan Usage Limits (SULA)

For first-time borrowers receiving loans after July 1, 2013, there is a maximum amount of time you may have subsidized interest on your subsidized loans. Your maximum time is generally 150% of the published length of your program.

If you meet this subsidy limitation, you will be notified by your loan servicer. Reaching your maximum eligibility period means you will be responsible for paying accrued interest on your subsidized loans.

Further resources for SULA information: