150% Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers

Under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)(Public Law 112-141) new first-time borrower's eligibility limits for a Direct Subsidized Loan period are not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower's educational program.  This provision only applies to first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013.

For example, if you are enrolled in a 4-year bachelor's degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years).

Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program.  This means that your maximum eligibility period can change if you change programs.  Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count against your new maximum eligibility period.

Effect of borrowing while enrolled part-time

If you receive a Direct Subsidized  Loan when you are enrolled less than full-time, the period that is counted against your maximum eligibility period will be reduced.

For example, if you are enrolled half-time and receive a Direct Subsidized Loan for a period of enrollment that covers a full academic year, this will count as only one-half of a year against your maximum eligibility period.

Loss of eligibility for additional Direct Subsidized Loans and becoming responsible for paying interest on Direct Subsidized Loans

After you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you are no longer eligible to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loans.  However, you may continue to receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

In addition, if you continue to be enrolled in any undergraduate program after you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, the federal government will no longer (with certain exceptions) pay the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans for periods when the federal government would normally have done so.  

Resources

Federal Student Aid

Eligibility Examples

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