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Financial Aid


Federal Stafford Loan

Financial Aid Office

Federal Direct Stafford Loans are awarded by the Financial Aid Office to eligible undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree or certificate program to pay for their educational costs. Borrowers must file a FAFSA to be considered for this loan.

The loan may be subsidized (for undergraduate students only) or unsubsidized depending on your need as determined by information on your FAFSA. The federal government will pay the interest (subsidize) on subsidized loans while you’re in school, for the first 6 months after you graduate or leave school, and any periods of deferment. Or, the loan may be unsubsidized. Interest on unsubsidized loans will start accruing at the time of each disbursement.

For information on the Federal Direct Loan program, please refer to Direct Loan Basics for Students.

Are you a first-time borrower or a borrower that has a zero a Stafford loan balance? Read important information about the "150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit".



  • Must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible undergraduate, graduate or professional degree or certificate program.
  • Cannot be in default on any federal student loan or owe a refund on a federal student grant
  • Must have a valid social security number
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (see Student Aid Eligibility)
  • Male student must be registered with the Selective Service, if required. You can check requirements at
  • Continuing students must meet the CU Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • Must not have drug-related offenses

Loan Features

  • Click here​ for ​the new Direct Loan interest rate and origination (processing) fee.
  • The Direct Stafford Loan can be consolidated with other federal loans
  • You have a single contact for everything from application to repayment
  • Flexible repayment options
  • There are no pre-payment penalties
  • The maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance or budget minus any other financial aid received.

Annual Loan Limits*

​  ​​​ Dependent Undergraduate Student ​Subsidized Limit ​Total Limit
​      First Year (Freshman) ​   up to $3,500 ​   $5,500
      ​Second Year (Sophomore) ​   up to $4,500 ​​   $6,500
​      Third and Fourth Years (Junior & Senior) ​   up to $5,500 ​   $7,500
      LIFETIME LIMIT: ​​   up to $23,000 ​   $31,000
​   Independent Undergraduate Student ​Subsidized Limit ​Total Limit
​      First Year (Freshman) ​   up to $3,500 ​   $9,500
​      Second Year (Sophomore) ​   up to $4,500 ​​   $10,500
​      Third and Fourth Year (Junior & Senior) ​   up to $5,500 ​   $12,500
​      LIFETIME LIMIT: ​   up to $23,000 ​   $57,500
 *loan limits are created by the U.S. Legislature.

NOTE: The amount of financial aid you are awarded cannot exceed your cost of attendance. Your loan eligibility may be reduced upon receipt of other resources (i.e., scholarship, tuition waiver, etc.).

Loan Proration

The annual maximum loan amount an undergraduate student may borrow must be prorated in certain situations, including:

  • when the student is enrolled in a program that is shorter than a full academic year; and
  • when the student is enrolled in a program that is one academic year or more in length, but is in a remaining period of study that is shorter than a full academic year.

Graduate/Professional Student Loan Limits

​​Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Annual Limit
​Graduate Student ​$20,500
   LIFETIME LIMIT: ​$138,500
​Health Profession Student:
   ​Pharmacy & Public Health student ​$33,000(9 months)
​$37,167 (12 months)
   ​Medicine student (Fall & Spring) ​$40,500 (9 months)
   ​Medicine student (Fall & Spring) ​$42,722 (10 months)
​   Dental & Medicine student
       (includes Summer)
​$47,167 (12 months)
      [Dental summer = $7,167
3rd & 4th Year Medicine summer = $4,445]
   LIFETIME LIMIT: ​      $224,000

Federal Loan Servicer


Your loan account will be assigned to one of the Federal Loan Servicers. A loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loan. The loan servicer will work with you on repayment plans and loan consolidation and will assist you with other tasks related to your federal student loan.

It is important to maintain contact with your loan servicer, so register for free at your Servicer's web site to access your account. If your circumstances change at any time during your repayment period, your loan servicer will be able to help. Register for free on the Servicer's web site.​​​​​


  • Payments are deferred while you’re in school. Interest will continue to accrue on the unsubsidized loan even if you are granted a deferment on the loan.
  • 6-month grace period before repayment begins
  • You may prepay your loans in full at any time or pay more than the monthly repayment amount due without penalty.
  • Check your account online at your Servicer's web site for detailed repayment information and deferment or forbearance, and consolidation options. Your Servicer's statement will also have their contact information and web address or go to National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to find your Servicer's information.
  • More information is available on Student Aid on the Web under Repaying Your Loans.

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