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This is probably an often-asked question, but I'm still learning how to navigate my way around the website, so I can't find answers elsewhere.
I'm at $42,023 in student loans ($23,000 of that is the subsidized loans). I am also $19,941 deep in Pell grants, and I still have 2 years of undergrad to go. What happened is that I originally took an A.A. in Journalism and then UF stopped enrollment for nearly a year in Journalism (during their admissions freeze a few years back. My counselors and financial aid divisors talked me into just waiting out the freeze and taking a Paralegal A.S. while I waited. I was informed that there wouldn't be any issues with my financial aid, because I would still have plenty of money for my undergrad when that was done.
I'm now finished with my A.S., and currently enrolled in St. Leo Online (having given up on UF). Then I looked at the aggregate loan limits and was shocked at how close I am to the cap.
I guess my main question is whether or not I have options for the moment I go over my loan cap. I know I can probably take out private loans, and my GPA is decent, but I'm looking for a backup in case I can't get a scholarship (and I personally don't want to take out private loans). Are there any options for having the cap raised? Will my Pell grants split the new difference?
I've heard of other loan types that aren't Stafford. Do all federal loan types follow the same cap? If not, do I need to do any of the legwork in acquiring them, or will the finaid office fill in the blanks?
Sorry for the wall of text and questions, and thank you very much for your time and help.