02 Jan 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit Resources

by Stacey Musulin, Assistant Director, ConnSCU BOR (CT Community Colleges)

Beginning on July 1, 2013, new borrowers (defined as borrowers with no balance on a FFEL or Direct Loan) in the Stafford Direct Loan program were subject to an additional time limitation for eligibility. The maximum eligibility period for Subsidized Direct Loans is now 150% of the length of the borrower’s current/future academic program. Students who do not complete their programs within this timeframe may also lose future interest subsidy on the loans previously borrowed.

The 150% limitation is defined as the published length of the program x 1.5, as measured in academic years or portions thereof. Beginning October 1, 2014, schools had to include new information in their enrollment reporting to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). In addition to the typical reporting of enrollment status (full, ¾, ½, or less-than-1/2-time), schools must now send data related to program length, credential levels, and program identification (CIP code). This allows the Department of Education (ED) to calculate the Maximum Eligibility Periods (MEPs) and Subsidized Usage Periods (SUPs) for students based on the specific data sent by the schools.

To assist schools in keeping track of these changes, ED has developed the following resources, summarized below:


  • General Session 4: Overview of 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limits
  • Breakout Session 23: NSLDS 2014 Enrollment Reporting
  • Breakout Session 27: 150% – A Life Cycle View


  • ED requests that you include your school name in the subject line


NASFAA has also compiled this information within the Loan section of its Student Aid Index

  • See “Limitation on eligibility for subsidy (150% limit)” under “Subsidy” on this page

ED has also announced that a 150% calculator is currently being built in COD to assist schools in modeling what may happen to a student’s eligibility based on various loan changes. It is expected to be available in April 2015.