Our goal is to make graduate education at Westminster as affordable as possible, while at the same time, help to reduce financial burden on our students. Because we participate in student loan programs, you are able to receive funding for your schooling to help pay for tuition and other associated costs.

There are two types of student loans that Westminster can administer: federal and private. Both are great options, so check out the pros and cons of both options to see which option is best for you!

Federal Loans

Westminster is approved to participate in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP), part of the Title IV program, in administering:

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Loans:
    Loans disbursed July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
    Interest rate of 6.54%, Origination Fee of 1.057% for 22-23 academic year.

  1. Graduate PLUS Loans:
    Loans disbursed July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
    Interest Rate of 7.54%, Origination Fee of 4.228% for 22-23 academic year.

Loans are available to students whose enrollment status is at least half-time and who have completed a minimum of 72 credits of undergraduate or graduate study prior to attending Westminster. To determine your enrollment status, check out this article.

Pros of federal loans: 

  • They are the most common type of loans, making them easy to access and make payments on later.

  • The interest rate is a fixed percentage for the entirety of the loan and are typically lower than private loans.

  • Eligibility requirements can sometimes be less strict.

  • There are numerous repayment options available to fit your needs.

Cons of federal loans:

  • You can only take out $20,500 per academic year in unsubsidized loans.

  • Since these are unsubsidized, interest on the loan begins accruing immediately upon disbursement.

Disclosure Note: Federal loans taken out by students attending Westminster will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Private Loans

You are able to pursue private loans through alternative servicers, including banks. Private loans do not have universal eligibility requirements, so you will need to be attentive to the different requirements per loan servicers. For a list of loan servicers we have worked with in the past, search our seminary on ElmSelect, but know that we are happy to work with other providers not listed!

Once the bank has processed and approved the loan application, the financial aid office at Westminster will be contacted to certify the enrollment status of the loan applicant. Alternative loan disbursement dates will be aligned with those of government loans whenever possible.

Important Information
Please be sure to compare the fees and terms of the student loan products to determine those that are best suited to your individual needs. To do this, check boxes on the menu bar below each of the products that you want to correlate and then click on the word “Compare” on any of the menu bars.  Also know that you may choose to use another private loan lender, including those not present on Westminster's ELM Select lender list.

Note that most interest rates are determined by the sum of an index rate (such as LIBOR or Prime) and a margin that is determined from your credit rating.

Pros of private loans:

  • Banks can be more personal to work with and can offer in-person assistance.

  • These servicers can provide loans that are not capped at a maximum amount.

  • These are often available to international students with a valid cosigner.

  • There are numerous repayment options available to fit your needs.

  • You can choose a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate, allowing for more flexibility. 

Cons of private loans:

  • If you opt for a variable interest loans, your rates can change at a moment’s notice, and one rate is not guaranteed for the life of the loan.

  • Eligibility requirements can be more strict, and can often be based on credit history.

Loans can often be complicated, and we are here
to answer your questions! 

Paying Tuition and Fees with a Direct Loan 

If you plan to pay for your tuition and fees with a loan, your loan must be fully approved by your loan servicer before your first day of classes. Under normal circumstances, the loan process can take a minimum of two (2) weeks after receiving all application materials, from application until your loan is fully approved.

Therefore, to ensure that you will be able to pay for tuition and fees using a loan, you are encouraged to complete all loan application materials as quickly as possible.

Loan Refund Checks

Loans must be approved, disbursed, and processed before a check of excess funds will be issued to a student. Students will be notified by the finance office when their check is ready for pick up, but keep in mind that not every student will have extra disbursement monies available.

Did this answer your question?