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.

NOTE: Lender for Federal Stafford and PLUS loans

Due to the instability in student loan markets today, the lender for the Federal Direct Stafford loans and PLUS loans changed in 2009 to the U.S. Department of Education—not a bank or financial institution.

See what President Cureton has to say about student debt...

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 Stafford Loan (Subsidized)

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 Stafford Loan (Unsubsidized)

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 additional private loans to help pay for college. Private loans have higher interest rates than Perkins, Stafford or Parent PLUS loans and are not recommended; however, they can be used as a last option. With tight credit policies students should expect to need a co-signer.

Information for Direct Loan Borrowers

Exit Counseling

If you have now completed your education here and have borrowed a Direct Loan (Stafford 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.