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Loan Programs

The Loan Application Process for Graduate Students

How Loans Work

Loans are given to students who have demonstrated financial need, with the understanding that they will be repaid at some future date in accordance with the specific terms of the loan.

Loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized.

Subsidized loans are need-based. The federal government pays interest on the loan until repayment begins. In order to receive such a loan, a student must have unmet financial need, as determined by the Office of University Financial Aid. 

Unsubsidized loans are non-need based and accrue interest while you are in school. Interest accrues after the loan disburses and is the student’s responsibility. Students have the option of paying on the interest while they are in school, but this is not required.

Review loan terms and conditions here.

Types of Loans

Federal Direct Loan
Graduate and professional students may borrow funds each year through this program. The maximum unsubsidized loan available to most graduate and professional students is $20,500 per year. Students enrolled at the School of Medicine or School of Dental Medicine may be eligible to borrow additional funds.

Students must complete the FAFSA and the other application documents to be considered for a Federal Direct Loan. Eligibility will be determined after students complete the FAFSA and a Federal Direct Loan application. Repayment of these loans begins six months after graduation or after a student withdraws or drops below half-time enrollment, as determined by the school.

Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Perkins Loans are awarded by CWRU to select high-need students. Repayment of Perkins loans is deferred until nine months after a student ceases attending school on at least a half-time basis. There are additional deferment options for residency and fellowship periods.

Graduate PLUS Loan
Grad PLUS Loans are credit-based, unsubsidized loans for graduate and professional students and have the same rate as the Parent PLUS Loan. Grad PLUS Loans help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. 

Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) Program (available only for medicine and dental medicine students)
The Health Profession Student Loan Program is offered to select students pursuing programs in medicine and dental medicine. Eligibility for these loans is based on a financial need assessment of the student and his or her parent(s). Repayment of the HPSL loan is deferred until 12 months after cessation of full-time enrollment, with additional options for residency and fellowship periods.

Private Loan
A list of lenders can be found using FASTChoice. These lenders are selected by an annual RFI that looks at areas such as customer service, financial stability and loan terms. If you chose a lender without using the FASTChoice website, please email to have your loan certified. Disbursement of private loan funds can take up to four weeks after the university certifies the loan. Apply early to avoid late fees being charged to your student account.

Loan Process

Loan Counseling and Promissory Notes
As a first-time borrower, you will receive notification in your CWRU email account providing a link and information on how to complete loan counseling and e-sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). This MPN will remain valid for the duration of your enrollment at CWRU.

Award Letter
Once the financial aid application has been complete, you will receive an award letter that specifies your gross loan amount. This award letter will be emailed to your CWRU email account. It will also be mailed to first-year students.

Loan Acceptance
To accept the loan amount offered in your award letter, log in to My Financial Aid using your CWRU Network ID and password. You must accept your loans as well as complete the accompanying Master Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling and application (for Federal Direct PLUS Loans) in order for the loans to disburse to your student account.

For detailed instructions on applying for loans as a new borrower, please click here.