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Sources of Aid
There are a variety of sources and types of financial aid available to assist students with their health profession education expenses. These include three basic types of aid: loans, scholarships, and federal work-study. Be sure to check if you are eligible to receive federal student aid.
Loans must be repaid, usually with interest, and over a specified period of time (5-25 years) after graduation. Most loans for graduate/professional school are from federal sources, although collegiate and/or private loans are available to help.
All loans are subject to final approval by your lender based on criteria set forth by federal regulations and lender policies. The specific details of these programs may change at any time due to government legislation and regulation or lender/institutional policy.
Basic eligibility for federal student loans consists of:
- Demonstrate financial need for need-based federal student aid programs
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
- Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
The Unsubsidized Stafford loan is awarded based on the completion of the FAFSA, there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need for this loan. The loan limit is between $20,500 and $47,167 (based on your program and class level). Interest is charged during the in-school period. The interest rate changes on July 1st of each year. The origination fee changes on October 1st of each year.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
The Direct Graduate PLUS loan is awarded based on the completion of your FAFSA and a Direct PLUS Loan Application. During the application process, a credit check is completed to ensure applicants have no adverse credit history. Applicants with adverse credit will be required by the Department of Education to do additional Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Credit Counseling. You will be notified by the Department of Education if you need to complete additional Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Counseling and obtain an endorser, the loan will not be disbursed until this is complete.
Federal Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL)
The Federal Health Professions Student Loan program provides long-term, low-interest-rate loans to full-time, financially needy students to pursue a degree in a variety of health professions, specifically those students pursuing degrees in the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. Funds are limited and award amounts vary. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information on eligibility and funding.
Outside agencies also offer credit-based loans to graduate and professional degree students. Before applying for these loans, be sure you have reviewed all of your federal loan options and eligibility. Federal loans generally have better benefits and lower, fixed interest rates. RFU encourages you to consider the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan before applying for a private loan if you are able.
International Student Private/Alternative Loans
A limited number of outside lenders offer students private loans with an approved U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner for financing their education. The terms of private loans are set by the individual lenders. The interest rate and fees are determined by your credit history, your debt-to-income ratio, and that of your co-signer. The interest rates for private educational loans are variable and are most often based on a range using Prime or the London Interbank Offered Rates (LIBOR) as a base and adding an additional percentage based on the borrower's credit. The current Prime and LIBOR rates are available at the Federal Reserve Statistical Release. Students are encouraged to investigate these options thoroughly. The maximum loan amount your financial aid office can certify is the cost of attendance minus any other aid received.
Private Loan Lenders Contact Information
- Citizens*, 888-333-0125
- Discover Student Loans**, 877-728-3030
- Sallie Mae, 877-279-7172
- iHelp, 800-645-7404
- College Ave Student Loans, 844-422-7502
- MPOWER Financing, 202-417-3800
- Ascent Funding, 877-216-0876
- Earnest Private Student Loans, 888-601-2801
- Nelnet, 800-446-4190
- SoFi, 855-456-7634
- Union Federal, 866-232-3889
*Requires a paper application for consideration.
**Requires a valid Social Security Number.
Residency and Relocation Loans
Available to students in their final year of study. These private loans are designed to provide students with additional funds to help offset the expenses associated with travel and relocation costs for interviews, etc. These loans require a credit check and do not require the financial aid office to certify the application, so they do not count toward your student expense budget. Before you utilize one of these programs, please verify that you have exhausted eligibility in other financial aid programs with the financial aid office.
Scholarships can help defray the cost of education. Scholarships are aid sources that do not require repayment. Some scholarships are merit-based and some are need-based. Scholarships can be through the admissions process, specific departments, and externally based. Find information on scholarships you can apply for in the Scholarship Universe Portal below.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Federal Work-Study is money that you earn and will not have to pay back. Since FWS is need-based aid, all students interested in FWS must file a FAFSA each year in order to demonstrate financial need eligibility. All FWS awards will be included as part of the student's financial aid package and will count as a resource toward the overall cost of attendance budget.
Veterans Education Benefits
At RFU we are committed to serving veterans who have served us and our country. Our staff and faculty are ready to help you, your spouse, or your dependents as you navigate your Veterans Education Benefits while enrolled at RFU. Visit the Eligibility and Applying for Veterans Benefits page to find out more about our offerings and resources.