Student and Parent Loans

Academic Progress for Graduate/Professional Federal Direct Loan Eligibility


The following chart and notes should be used as a guide when determining academic progress for loan eligibility.

Required Credit Units
Graduate Schools 1st Year
2nd Year
3rd Year
4th Year
Annenberg, Grad Arts & Sciences, Design, Grad Education, Grad Engineering, Grad Nursing, Social Policy & Practice 0-6 7-12 13-18 19-24 +6
  • For a student enrolled in a graduate school, the student's grade level is based on the number of actual credit units earned, and is assigned according to the above table.

  • A student must earn a minimum of 6 credit units to advance; no exceptions will be made.

    • Example:  A student enrolled in GSE completes two c.u.’s in Summer II and another four in the Fall.  The student will be considered a second year student in the spring and will be eligible for another $20,500 in Direct Loan.  If the same student earns one c.u. in Summer II and four in the Fall, the student will have only earned five and thus would still be considered a first year student in the Spring.

  • A dissertation student, paying dissertation fee only, is considered full-time; grade level will be incremented by one year after credit unit requirements are fulfilled.

  • Grade level adjustments will only be made for exceptional circumstances, e.g., receipt of transfer credit, master's thesis, etc.

Required Credit Units
Professional Schools 1st Year
2nd Year
3rd Year
4th Year
Dental, Law, Medical, Veterinary, Wharton evaluated according to school degree requirements
  • Registration is reviewed for all professional school students*
  • Grade level is determined by reviewing completed course work and grades annually. Failure to complete all requird courses will affect Direct Loan eligibility for subsequent year.

    * The exception is School of Medicine. The School of Medicine confirms enrollment and supplies the grade level used in determining loan eligibility.


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