No-loan awards for all families
Beginning in fall 2024, all students receiving financial aid awards will have their full need met with grants, scholarships, and federal work-study. No need-based loans are included.
While this policy makes it possible for many students to graduate WashU with little to no debt, some families may wish to take advantage of loans to help finance the cost of college, including the parent or student contribution.
If you are interested in a federal student or parent loan, please contact our office to review your loan options and availability.
Federal Direct Student Loans
There are two main types of federal student loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are available for students who have demonstrated financial need. This loan is more favorable than unsubsidized student loans, because the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while the student is in school (or while the loan is in deferment) and for a six month grace period after graduation. The fixed interest rate and origination fee are set by the federal government each year.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to students regardless of need. Students are responsible for repaying interest that begins accruing as soon as the loan is taken out. Interest payments can be made while in school.
There are also specialized federal loans available:
PLUS Loans are loans that are not need-based for graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for expenses not covered by other aid.
Private loans are available from a variety of lenders outside the University. These loans are credit-based and should be viewed as a last resort after other borrowing options have been considered. Although terms and rates vary among private lenders, in many cases a Federal Direct Student Loan may provide the student with more beneficial terms and conditions than a private loan.
As you begin the process of evaluating student loan options, we encourage you to review two resources – the Studentaid.gov article that compares federal student loans versus private student loans and ELMselect.com, which compares loan offers for various private student loan lenders.