Be certain you'll have enough money to handle essential college expenses.  Know how much you can borrow and when.

School Results
The table below identifies the general rule for borrowing limits by loan type and year.1
Note: Creditworthy parents of undergraduate students may borrow a PLUS loan for the full cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. Parents of graduate students cannot apply for a PLUS loan.
  Federal Perkins Loan Federal Stafford Loan Federal Stafford Loan
Undergraduate Student   Dependent2
Student
Independent3
Student
1st year $4,000 $5,500 $9,500 (at least $6,000 must be in unsubsidized loans)
2nd year $4,000 $6,500 $10,500 (at least $6,000 must be in unsubsidized loans)
3rd & remaining years $4,000 $7,500 $12,500 (at least $7,000 must be in unsubsidized loans)
TOTAL MAXIMUM
for all years
$20,000 $31,000 $57,500 (at least $23,000 must be in unsubsidized loans)
Graduate Student
Annually $6,000 $20,500 (at least $12,000 must be in unsubsidized loans) $20,500 (at least $12,000 must be in unsubsidized loans)
TOTAL MAXIMUM4
 for all years
$20,000 $138,500 (at least $73,000 must be in unsubsidized loans) $138,500 (at least $73,000 must be in unsubsidized)
1Loan limits effective 7/1/08.

2Depending on the availability of funds at your school

3An independent student is either 24 years or older, married, a veteran, on active military duty, an orphan or ward of the court, or who has legal dependents other than a spouse. Graduate and professional students also qualify as independent students.
4Includes any Stafford Loan received for undergraduate study.