Non-Need-Based Loans

The following loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans are funded by the federal government and can be borrowed up to the federal limits based on student status (please see Direct Loan Limit Chart below). Unsubsidized loans are offered to students who do not demonstrate financial need or who have exhausted all need based aid. Interest accrues on unsubsidized loans from the date the loan is disbursed. The student pays an origination fee which is deducted from the total accepted amount of the loan. Students may begin repaying principal and interest on Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans immediately, pay only interest immediately, or defer both principal and interest until they are no longer enrolled in school at least half time.
  • Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Parents of dependent students can apply for a PLUS loan and may borrow up to the full cost of attendance as defined by the UCSC Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Applicants must pass a modest credit check through the Department of Education for the loan to be approved. Repayment begins six months after a student falls below half time enrollment. Interest rates and loan fees are updated annually and are hosted by Federal Student AidLoan repayments begin 60 days after the last disbursement for the academic year (the last disbursement is typically the first day of spring quarter). Parents do have the option to defer payment, similar to the student’s ability to defer on their Federal Direct loan above. See your loan servicer for more information.
Annual and Lifetime Federal Direct Student Loan Limits
Subsidized Loans Unsubsidized Loans Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
Dependent Students
Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomores $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Juniors and Seniors $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Lifetime Loan Limits $23,000 $31,000
Independent Students1
Freshman $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomores $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Juniors and Seniors $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Lifetime Loan Limits $23,000 $57,000
Graduate Students N/A $20,500 $20,500
Lifetime Loan Limits $138,500
1 Refers to students who answered "yes" to any dependency status question on the FAFSA. These loan limits also apply to dependent undergraduate students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan due to adverse credit history.