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Federal + Private Loans

Loans are financial obligations chosen by students, and in some cases parents or cosigners, that require repayment at a specific time. While loans are an accepted option for financing a college education, minimizing loan debt as well as properly managing your loans is key to your future success. Learn more about loans that you and your parents may be eligible for, as well as requirements to receive loans you have been offered below.


Federal Direct Loan

Graduate students may receive up to $20,500 annually if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program
  • Not currently in default on education loan(s)

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students may receive up to their Cost of Attendence minus other financial aid they are receiving if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident

  • Be a graduate or professional student
  • Satisfactory credit history (credit criteria are determined by the Department of Education)



A private education loan (or alternative loan) is a credit-based loan that can be used to pay for education-related expenses up to the Cost of Attendance for a specific academic year of enrollment. These loans typically supplement an award package that includes federal loans and/or grants and scholarships. In some instances in which federal loans cannot be awarded, private education loans are used as the only source of funding. Because private loans are usually more expensive than federal loans, we recommend that families only consider obtaining a private loan after exhausting their federal loan eligibility, including Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), and Federal PLUS loans. Private loan interest rates, terms, conditions, and eligibility requirements will vary.

The borrower (and co-borrower, if applicable) should first compare a variety of private student loans offered by banks and other education loan providers and apply only for the alternative loan that best suits his or her needs. If we receive a private loan application and we do not have a FAFSA on file, we will assume that you have made the decision to only pursue financing with the private loan lender. Please think carefully about your obligations as a borrower before pursuing any educational loan. Consider your educational investment at Gratz, as well as your long-term financial commitments when borrowing.

Non-Federal Private Loans

A non-federal private loan may be an appropriate choice for you, if:

  • You have applied for the maximum amount of all federal loans suggested for you and still have a remaining cost between the cost of attendance and the total financial aid you have received.

  • You are a dependent undergraduate student and your parents will not borrow (or have been denied) a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (see also the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan).
  • U.S. government regulations make you ineligible for a federal loan. You may still qualify for a private loan because such programs are not bound by the same federal restrictions. For example, if you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, are in default on a federal loan, did not respond to verification requests, are enrolled for less than 6 credits, or are ineligible for federal loans for other reasons, you may be eligible for private loans instead.
  • You are in arrears for a semester prior to the current semester. You may be able to receive a private loan for an earlier loan period.
  • You are an international student with limited borrowing alternatives.

Some private loans do not have full deferment options, so it is best to borrow only the amount that you absolutely require. Individual lenders will evaluate credit history and application fees are not refundable.

If you decide to apply for a private educational loan, you must provide all documentation requested by the lender and follow the lender's application instructions. When applying for a private loan, remember to request the amount of funds you will need for the full academic year. Please do not reapply for multiple certifications throughout the year on a term-by-term basis. 

Once your application has been received, we will certify your eligibility and schedule the disbursement of funds directly into your Gratz account. Credit checks on alternative loans are only valid for a limited period of time that is determined by the lender. In many cases, the lenders use 180 days. An application completed too close to the start of your first term may not be valid.

All private loans will be scheduled for even disbursement over the terms you are expected to enroll in classes. 

Jeanne Cavalieri-Grover
Financial Aid Consultant
Gratz College
Office: 215.635.7300 x102

Gratz Payment Plan

Gratz is committed to making education affordable for its students.  That is why the Student Billing Office also offers an interest free payment plan.  Contact Student Billing at (215) 635-7300 ext. 163 for more information.