Student Loans

There is no expectation that you borrow a student loan. Your demonstrated need is met with a combination of student employment, and scholarships or grants. You may still choose to use a student loan to reduce or replace your EFC, work expectation, or to assist with the costs associated with the health plan or computer. Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your options. 



Federal Direct Loan Programs

The lender and guarantor for these loan programs is the U.S. Department of Education.

Your FAFSA application will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.

Student borrowers eligible for need-based Direct Subsidized Loans will have their interest paid for by the federal government while the student remains enrolled at least half-time.

All other students, including those who may qualify for only a partially subsidized loan, may apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. This has the same terms and conditions except that the student borrower is responsible for the interest that accrues while in school. For current interest rate and origination fee information, please visit the Federal Student Aid Website.

All first-time borrowers will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling online at

Maximum Loan Limits for Federal Direct Loans

Ist Year:
Dependent Undergraduate: $5,500 maximum ($3,500 in subsidized loans)
Independent Undergraduate: $9,500 maximum ($3,500 in subsidized loans)

2nd Year:
Dependent Undergraduate: $6,500 maximum ($4,500 in subsidized loans)
Independent Undergraduate: $10,500 maximum ($4,500 in subsidized loans)

3rd Year and Beyond:
Dependent Undergraduate: $7,500 maximum ($5,500 in subsidized loans)
Independent Undergraduate: $12,500 maximum ($5,500 in subsidized loans)

Dependent Undergraduate: $31,000 maximum ($23,000 in subsidized loans)
Independent Undergraduate: $57,500 maximum ($23,000 in subsidized loans)

Loans from Dartmouth

Dartmouth has limited need-based loans beyond eligibility from federal funds. To see if you are eligible for one of our institutional loans, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Private Educational Loans

This type of loan is available from private banks and one can borrow up to the full cost of attendance. Interest rates, fees, and repayment options will vary by lender. Learn more about private educational loans.