Emory College: Financing
For many Emory University students, loans are an important way in which they pay for a portion of their educational costs. Loans are available from two primary sources:
- Federally sponsored loan programs such as the Federal Stafford Loan Program, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program and the Federal PLUS Program (for parents of undergraduate students).
- Private (alternative) loan programs.
(Additional details on the loan programs can be found under the ‘Types of Aid’ link on the left of this page. Maximum federal loan eligibility should always be exhausted before borrowing from a private loan program.)
The Office of Financial Aid will serve as the intermediary between you, the student and/or parent, and the lender(s) you’ve chosen. The office will transmit your loan information electronically to your lender(s) and will receive the disbursement of your loan funds on or after the schedule disbursement dates. (Disbursement dates are available in the financial aid section of the OPUS Student Center and are also provided to borrowers by lenders as part of loan disclosure statements.)
Educational borrowing is an investment in your future and requires careful consideration and planning. The items below may be important factors in selecting a lender:
1. Interest Rates and Terms – Standard interest rates and terms on Federal loans do not vary from one lender to another. However, interest rates and terms can vary on private (alternative) loans.
2. Borrower Benefits – These are the financial incentives provided by lenders to reduce the price of your loans over time. There are two categories of these benefits:
- • Front-end Benefits
1. Mandatory front-end fees for the Federal Stafford program include a 1% federal default fee and a .5% origination fee (on loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010).
2. Mandatory front-end fees for the Federal Grad PLUS and Federal PLUS program include a 1% federal default fee and a 3% origination fee.
3. Some lenders pay these fees on behalf of the borrower, allowing you to receive a larger disbursement.
- • Back-end Benefits – These incentives may include an actual reduction in the interest rate or a rebate on the principal amount. The following questions may be useful in a lender comparison:
1. What is the actual (calculated) benefit and how much money will you save?
2. Is it easy to qualify for the savings?
3. Does the benefit begin immediately without restrictions or does it go into effect after a specified number of consecutive on-time payments?
4. Are you required to sign up for ACH (automatic withdrawal or “auto-debit” from your savings or checking account) in order to qualify for the benefit?
5. How do you lose the benefit (thereby losing the savings) and once lost, can you regain the benefit?
3. Customer Service – It is important that you select a lender with a demonstrated record of excellent customer service. Educational borrowing is a long-term commitment and the service provided by the lender is an important factor in that relationship.
In an effort to assist students and families in choosing a lender, the Office of Financial Aid has compiled a list of institutions we consider to offer competitive products, solid customer service, electronic payment of loan funds and a variety of savings programs during loan repayment. The Office of Financial Aid surveys lenders annually to provide the latest information regarding products and benefits. The information presented in our Lenders Lists is compiled annually from information received from the lenders and is available in the Office of Financial Aid upon request. Reasons for selecting a particular lender will vary from person to person. This list should only be used as a guide or starting point for analysis. Some choose a lender based on name recognition, immediate benefit of lower front end fees, or the long-term advantage of back end benefits. You should review each loan disclosure statement (mailed to you after the loan has been approved). You should also confirm that there have not been any changes and that the terms and benefits are consistent with the information provided to Emory University.
Please note that you are not required to use any of these lenders – the choice of lender is yours. The Office of Financial Aid will process your loan with any lender you choose. Further, the list of lenders is not in any order of preference. Choose your lender carefully with the intent that you will remain with that lender throughout your studies at Emory.
The U.S. Congress recently mandated that private loan lenders collect a self-certification form before disbursing a private educational loan. The Applicant Self-Certification form contains both the form and the instructions on where to locate the required financial aid information for Section 2. The form must be returned back to the lender and should not be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid.