These Federal Stafford loan limits are for the 2015-2016 academic school year.
The loan limits are based on the student’s grade level and dependency status. Independent students can borrow more because they are paying for college without assistance from their family. Dependent students whose parents were denied a Federal Parent PLUS loan are eligible to borrow at the independent student limits.
It is important to note that even if a student is financially self-sufficient and paying for his/her education on his/her own, dependency status is still determined by the school.
After a student has exhausted his/her federal loan limits, he/she may wish to consider private student loans, which allow students to borrow up to the total cost of education less other financial aid received.