Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Direct Stafford Loans

VanillaThunderVanillaThunder Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
edited September 2013 in Financial Aid & Scholarships
I had a question about direct stafford loans, I know as a freshman I am only eligble to borrow $5500 (technically $9500 because my mom is likely to be denied for parent plus). My question is if I am an incoming freshman, but with 40 AP credits, am I technically a sophomore for financial aid purposes? This will be for next year because I am a senior in HS this year. Hopefully most of this will be a moot point because I will be attending a good public state school, and I qualify for full Pell Grants and for Florida Bright Futures.
Post edited by VanillaThunder on

Replies to: Direct Stafford Loans

  • annoyingdadannoyingdad Registered User Posts: 3,026 Senior Member
    The amount you can borrow goes by year in school, first, second, third and beyond subject to the aggregate limit. It doesn't go by how you are classified by the school.
  • VanillaThunderVanillaThunder Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    Your school determines the loan type(s), if any, and the actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year. However, there are limits on the amount in subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits). The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit. These limits vary depending on

    what year you are in school and
    whether you are a dependent or independent student.

    Sorry I don't know how the heck to quote stuff.
  • VanillaThunderVanillaThunder Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    Annual loan limits are determined by class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.) and dependency status.
    Class Level:
    Credits Earned:
    Freshman
    01 - 29
    Sophomore
    30 - 59
    Junior
    60 - 89
    Senior
    90 -120
  • annoyingdadannoyingdad Registered User Posts: 3,026 Senior Member
    You should at least state what sources you are quoting to give some context to the quotes.

    Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans | Federal Student Aid

    Half-way down the link in the chart it refers to 1st year undergraduate, 2nd year undergraduate etc.

    I think your first quote is from my link, a government source. Is the 2nd quote from your school? They may be using freshman, sophomore in a casual way. My son had sophomore standing his first year in college and was offered $5500 in direct loans.
  • VanillaThunderVanillaThunder Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    Yes sorry the first quote is from the government website, and the second is from my school site where they are explaining the loans.
  • VanillaThunderVanillaThunder Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    Also question, would it be wise to accept all of the Perkins loan monies I am offered? It should be around $5000 according to the office of FA. The interest rate is higher, but it is also subsidized. So in order of preference it would be:

    1st: the $2500 subsided stafford
    2nd: the Perkins loans
    3rd: the rest of the unsubsidized stafford if I need it

    Does that make sense?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,339 Senior Member
    Yes...post 7 makes sense.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,996 Senior Member
    You are correct. Loans are based on your classification, not your year in school. In fact it is possible to get the freshman level loan twice if you are still freshman standing when you start your second year (though it still counts toward your aggregate limit so reduces your future eligibility). This happened to me when I returned to school - I had a remedial algebra class (40 years since I had done algebra) which did not count toward my graduation so started the 2nd year off as still freshman status. I achieved sophomore status mid year so received the additional loan money for that status in the Spring. I did have to ask for it though as they did not review FA for current students in the middle of the year. (I would not have known to do this, but kelsmom, an FA officer who posts here, explained how it works to me).
    The schools I am familiar with often don't add AP credits and credits from concurrent enrollment until the end of the first semester. I think this is to preserve your status as an incoming freshman rather than a transfer. SO you may find you are classified as a freshman in your first semester and will be reclassified in the Spring. It probably depends on the school, so check with them. If you are reclassified then you should be eligible for the higher loan limit.

    Remember though that this will not increase your aggregate loan limit.
This discussion has been closed.