US Citizens and Permanent Residents

You will be considered eligible for the following if an evaluation of your FAFSA indicates that you need financial aid.

Federal Direct Loan
This program is available to full-time and half-time students who are US citizens or permanent residents. Students are expected to meet the first $20,500 of their need by borrowing under this program. Full-time students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year.

Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan
This alternative loan allows graduate students to borrow up to the cost of attendance less other aid including Direct Loan. Students must be US citizens or permanent residents, enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program and not be default on a prior educational loan. A credit review is required of all loan applicants.

Other Alternative Loans
A number of private lenders and other financial institutions offer education loans to students. These private alternative loans are not subsidized, and have variable interest rates and differing levels of origination fees, both based on your credit score. In addition, cosigners may be required. Unlike Federal Direct and GradPLUS loans, private loans do not have an income-based cap on monthly repayments. Therefore, Penn encourages US citizens and permanent residents to first consider the Federal Direct and Direct GradPLUS loan programs when they need to borrow.

Foreign Nationals

There are some alternative educational loans offered by private lenders and other financial institutions; however, they usually require a US cosigner. For more information, go to

Global Student Loan Corporation (GSLC), in conjunction with HSBC, has launched a new program for international students without a US cosigner. This international student loan program is currently for students from India enrolling in US colleges and universities, but the hopes are that they will expand the program to include students from other countries of origin. Funds may be borrowed to cover the cost of education – tuition, books, room and board and other education-related expenses. The loan terms and conditions are at the discretion of HSBC and may change from time to time. The detailed terms and conditions are posted on the GSLC site, The maximum annual loan amount is $50,000 and maximum lifetime amount is $200,000. All loans will have a cosigner in India. The interest rate is approximately 13.0% based on HSBC’s Retail Lending Rate which is reset occasionally. There will be a one-time administration fee of 2.75% paid by the borrower. There will also be a site-use fee of approximately $75 which the applicant may charge to a credit card. Borrowers may have up to 15 years to repay.

Loan Repayment


Income-Based Repayment

Income-Based Repayment (IBR), created in 2007, is a student loan repayment program that can make your payments more manageable. Visit for details.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Program Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a program for federal student loan borrowers who work in a wide range of "public service" jobs, including jobs in government and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. It will forgive remaining debt after 10 years of eligible employment and qualifying loan payments. During those 10 years, the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan can help keep loan payments affordable. For more information, go here.

Pay As You Earn

The Pay As You Earn program allows borrowers of the Federal Direct Loan and Federal GradPlus Loan to pay no more than 10% of their monthly income. For more information, go here.