Planning information for summer sessions

If you anticipate enrolling for summer sessions and are receiving financial aid during the regular school year, please think about your budget now.

Federal Direct Loans are limited by your grade level and dependency status to the following annual and lifetime loan limits:

  Dependent (as defined by the FAFSA) Independent (as defined by the FAFSA)
  Annual Maximum Loan Amount Total Lifetime Loan Limit Annual Maximum Loan Amount Total Lifetime Loan Limit
Freshmen (less than 24 earned hours) $5,500 $31,000 $9,500 $57,500
Sophomore (24 to 53.9 earned hours) $6,500 $31,000 $10,500 $57,500
Junior/Senior (54 or more earned hours) $7,500 $31,000 $12,500 $57,500
Graduate     $20,500 $138,500
Professional - Medical/Dental     $40,500 $224,000
Professional - Pharmacy     $33,000 $224,000
Professional - Health Admin     $33,000 $224,000
Professional - all other     $20,500 $224,000

The more Federal Direct Loan funds you borrow during the fall and spring semesters, the fewer loan funds you will have available for the summer session.

If a dependent junior plans to participate in Study Abroad during the summer, below are two possible budgeting alternatives for covering the summer expenses:

Federal Direct Loan Private Alternative Loan
Fall Spring Summer Summer
Alternative 1 Junior $3,750 $3,750 0 $4,000
Alternative 2 Junior $3,000 $3,000 $1,500 $2,500

If the student budgets loan funds and sets aside $1500 (as done in Alternative 2 above), the student may still need to borrow additional private alternative loan funds during the summer session, but the amount of the private alternative loan would be less than in Alternative 1. Private alternative loans generally require a clean credit history and/or credit-worthy cosigner. Private alternative loans will accrue interest while the student is in school, but many times payments can be deferred until after completion of the educational program at VCU. Please contact the private alternative lenders for further details.