There is now a maximum eligibility period which affects Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for 1st time borrowers ON or AFTER July 1, 2013.There is now a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period”. You can usually find the published length of any program of study in your school’s catalog.
For example, if you are enrolled in a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). If you are enrolled in a 2-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 3 years (150% of 2 years = 3 years).
Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program. This means that your maximum eligibility period can change if you change programs. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count against your new maximum eligibility period. For additional information and examples, please review the official announcement from the US Department of Education.