Financing options

An educational loan is a long-term financing option that is repaid with interest after graduation. Terms and interest rates vary.

Your eligibility for loans is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When you receive your award package, you will see a list of the loans for which you are eligible as well as the funds available per loan. You may choose to borrow all, some or none of the loan amount.

Types of Loans

Federal Perkins Loan

There are limited Federal Perkins Loan funds available to students with exceptional need. This loan has a 5% annual interest rate with a 10-year repayment period.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

This loan is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The federal government pays interest on this loan while the student is enrolled in school (at least half-time, pursuing a degree or certificate) and during a six month grace period after leaving in-school status. The fixed interest rate for the life of the loan is based on the date of the first disbursement.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

This loan is non-need based and the student borrower is responsible for the interest which accrues on the loan while enrolled and prior to repayment. The student may choose to make interest payments during the in-school period or capitalize the unpaid accrued interest when repayment begins.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The Parent PLUS loan is a non-need based low-interest loan specifically for parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. 

Other Loans

Some families choose to use private loans to help pay for college.  Various lenders offer private loans for students who need to borrow more than their Direct subsidized/unsubsidized loan amounts.  

Private loan interest rates may be higher or lower than federal loans.  Private loan interest rates and terms are normally based on credit strength so applying with a credit-worthy co-signer is highly recommended.

Students/families pursuing private loans are encouraged to apply and compare rates and terms offered so they can make an informed decision regarding the best financing option for their particular situation. 


Information for Direct Loan Borrowers

Exit Counseling

If you have now completed your education here and have borrowed a Direct Loan (Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans or Perkins Loan) while attending University of Northwestern, you need to do exit counseling for that loan. Once you have completed the online exit counseling we will receive e-mail notification that you have completed the process.

Code of Conduct

Read the University of Northwestern Financial Aid Office Code of Conduct.