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 Unsubsidized 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 Grad PLUS 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 have defaulted 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.

You can see step-by-step loan application instructions here. If you have questions about loans, please visit Penn's Student Registration and Financial Services Loan FAQ website or email them at

Foreign Nationals

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

MPOWER Financing offers fixed interest rate loans to students within two years of graduating or about to begin a one or two-year program. There is no requirement for a cosigner, collateral, or credit history.

The Rowe Fund is an educational loan program of the Organization of American States (OAS) that helps citizens from Latin America and Caribbean OAS Member States finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States by awarding interest-free loans of up to $15,000 USD.

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.


Learn more about loan repayment through workshops offered by Financial Wellness @ Penn.