Student Loan Instructions

Overview of Financial Aid

Many Wharton MBA students rely on student loans to cover their costs of attendance. Note that borrowing loans to cover 100% of the student budget will increase your overall debt after graduation.

Educational student loans are available through the Federal Loan Program or private lenders. Students may opt to use a combination of the Federal Loan Program and private lenders to cover their cost of attendance. Doing research prior to borrowing could save you money both during school and through the loan repayment period. To calculate an estimate of the size of your monthly loan payments and the annual salary required to manage them, please visit the loan calculator on FinAid.org.

Information for:

Student Loans Credit Review Tip

Most private loan programs, along with the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program, require some form of credit evaluation of you, and your co-signer if applicable. Therefore, it is critical that you review your credit report and clear up any discrepancies before you even start the financial aid process. We recommend that you obtain a copy of your credit report as soon as possible to get a full understanding of your credit-worthiness and have time to correct any errors.

Where to get a free copy of your credit report

U.S. Citizens/Permanent Resident Students

Keep an eye out for your Admit News e-mails. The Wharton Financial Aid Office will use this tool to alert you of financial aid deadlines along the way.

The student loan instructions below will help you navigate the financial aid process if student loans are required to fund the tuition and living expenses for your first year at Wharton. All student loan applications will take 4 to 6 weeks to process. If the funds are needed to cover the Fall and Spring term billing statements, please be sure to submit all loan applications by the recommended deadline.

The first step when choosing a student loan is to evaluate your financial aid status and determine which loan options (if needed) are best suited for your first year at Wharton. Students typically borrow from one or several loan programs and may select the educational loan provider of their choice.  

Check out the Student Loan FAQs.

Current loan offerings for U.S citizens and U.S. permanent residents

Suggested Deadline: In order for a temporary credit for half of the loan amount(s) to be posted to your Fall 2021 bill, please submit all loan applications after May 1, 2021 and before June 30, 2022. 

Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan maximum eligibility amount for a graduate school student is $20,500 ($33,000 Healthcare majors) each academic year. This loan is unsubsidized, meaning the interest accrues during the in-school period and offers a fixed interest rate, and favorable repayment benefits. The 2021-2022 FAFSA application is required to be eligible for this loan. Visit Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS) student loan website for additional information.

  • Interest Rate: 4.30%
  • Origination Fee: 1.059%
  • Loan Limits: $20,500 (Healthcare majors are eligible to receive $33,000) per year
  • Loan Period: September 1, 2021 to May 15, 2022 (Fall 2021 to Spring 2022)
  • You must complete the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and Online Student Loan Entrance Counseling for loans to be disbursed.

Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan Program

If you need funding beyond the Direct Loan, you may wish to consider a Direct Grad PLUS Loan. This loan is unsubsidized, meaning the interest accrues during the in-school period and offers a fixed interest rate, and favorable repayment benefits. The 2021-2022 FAFSA application is required to be eligible for this loan. Visit Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS) student loan website for additional information.

  • Interest Rate: 5.30%
  • Origination Fee: 4.236%
  • Loan Limits: Up to the cost-of-attendance budget for the first year minus the Federal Direct Loan and any other financial aid
  • Loan Period:September 1, 2021 to May 15, 2022 (Fall 2021 to Spring 2022)
  • If you are planning to request a student loan above $100,000, please know that your request must be divided into two loan requests. The University Loan Office cannot process a 6-digit loan request at this time.
  • You must complete the Master Promissory Note and the Loan Entrance Counseling for loans to be disbursed.
  • Applications for the Direct Graduate PLUS loan must be completed each year.

Private Alternative Loan Programs

You may borrow a Private Alternative Loan rather than a Federal Direct or Grad PLUS loan if you wish.  Private Alternative Loans are not subsidized; they generally have tiered and fixed interest rates and fees, both based on your credit score. In addition, cosigners may be required. Unlike Federal Direct and Grad PLUS loans, private loans do not have an income-based cap on monthly repayments. The Wharton MBA Financial Aid Office does not recommend the best private alternative loan option and you must do your research and compare loan programs.  Please review a comparison of the Grad PLUS and Private Alternative Loans and application instructions on the Student Registration & Financial Services website.

  • If you are planning to request a student loan above $100,000, please know that your request must be divided into two loan requests.  The University Loan Office cannot process a 6-digit loan request at this time.
  • Interest Rate: 3.874% – 12.875%
  • Origination Fee: 0% to 4%
  • Loan Limits: Up to the cost-of-attendance budget minus any other financial aid
  • Loan Period: September 1, 2021 to May 15, 2022 (Fall 2021 to Spring 2022)
  • Applications for a private student loan must be completed each year of the program.

Private Alternative Lenders

Listed below, in alphabetical order, are private alternative lenders who have made five or more private educational loans to Penn students over the past three years.  These lenders have electronic processes and links to Penn that expedite loan originations and disbursements. Student Loan Hero and Lendedu are great starting points when researching private alternative lenders.

Student Loan Next Steps

  • The University of Pennsylvania requires that you submit a 2021-2022 FAFSA application if you are planning to borrow Federal loans (Direct Subsidized and/or Grad PLUS)
  • Finalize all loan applications (Federal Direct Loan, Federal Grad PLUS loan, and Private Alternative Loans) by June 30, 2021 to insure the timely processing of your student loans.
  • It generally takes 4-6 weeks for loans to be certified by Penn after receipt of your loan application from the lending agency.
  • If you are planning to request a student loan above $100,000, please know that your request must be divided into two loan requests.  The University Loan Office cannot process a 6-digit loan request at this time.
  • Student loan funds are automatically divided into two equal installments and will be disbursed to your student account approximately 5 days before the start of Pre-Term in August.
  • Direct Deposit for Student Refund: If you are receiving student loans above tuition and fees for the Fall and Spring terms, please be sure to register for Direct Deposit to receive your student refund electronically deposited into your bank account.
  • Please remember that a student loan application can be submitted at any time in the first academic year at Wharton provided that the total loan amount is under the cost-of-attendance budget.
  • Check out the Student Loan FAQs

International Students

Keep an eye out for your Admit News e-mails. The Wharton Financial Aid Office will use this tool to alert you of financial aid deadlines along the way.

The student loan instructions below will help you navigate the financial aid process if student loans are required to fund the tuition and living expenses for your first year at Wharton. All student loan applications will take 4 to 6 weeks to process. If the funds are needed to cover the Fall and Spring term billing statements, please be sure to submit all loan applications by the recommended deadline.

The first step when choosing a student loan is to evaluate your financial aid status and determine which loan options (if needed) are best suited for your first year at Wharton. Students typically borrow from one or several loan programs and may select the educational loan provider of their choice.

If you are an international student who is neither a dual U.S. citizen nor a U.S. permanent resident, we encourage you to investigate all sources of funding within your home country, including government and private scholarships and loans.

Check out the Student Loan FAQs.

Current loan offerings for international students

Suggested Deadline: In order for a temporary credit for half of the loan amount(s) to be posted to your Fall 2021 bill, please submit all loan applications after May 1, 2021 and before June 30, 2022

Quorum Federal Credit Union

Quorum Federal Credit Union provides student loans to international Wharton MBA students that do not require a U.S. co-signer. This loan can cover up to cost of tuition and fees minus any other financial aid.  Apply Here.

Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance provides loans to talented international students at top business schools, funded by a community of alumni and other investors. Prodigy Finance will allow students to borrow the cost of tuition and living expenses up to 90% of the student budget for both years of the program with no cosigner or collateral required. For additional information on applying for a Prodigy Finance loan, please visit https://prodigyfinance.com/.

Private Alternative Loan Programs

Private Alternative loans are not subsidized; they generally have tiered and fixed interest rates and fees, both based on your credit score. In addition, an eligible U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer is required for a private alternative loan. The Wharton MBA Financial Aid Office does not recommend the best private alternative loan option and you must do your research and compare loan programs.

Private Alternative Lenders

  • Interest Rate: 3.874% – 12.875%
  • Origination Fee: 0% to 4%
  • Loan Limits: Up to the cost-of-attendance budget minus any other financial aid
  • Loan Period: September 1, 2021 to May 15, 2022 (Fall 2021 to Spring 2022)
  • Applications for a private student loan must be completed each year of the program.

Student Loan Next Steps

  • Finalize all loan applications by June 30, 2021 to insure the timely processing of your student loans. Please note that Quorum Federal Credit Union Borrowers will receive an email with next steps, two weeks prior to the start of Pre-Term.
  • It generally takes 4-6 weeks for loans to be certified by Penn after receipt of your loan application from the lending agency.
  • If you are planning to request a student loan above $100,000, please know that your request must be divided into two loan requests.  The University Loan Office cannot process a 6-digit loan request at this time.
  • Student loan funds are automatically divided into two equal installments and will be disbursed to your student account approximately 5 days before the start of Pre-Term in August.
  • Direct Deposit for Student Refund: If you are receiving student loans above tuition and fees for the Fall and Spring terms, please be sure to register for Direct Deposit to receive your student refund electronically deposited into your bank account.
  • Please remember that a student loan application can be submitted at any time in the first academic year at Wharton provided that the total loan amount is under the cost-of-attendance budget.
  • Check out the Student Loan FAQs

Lauder Students

In addition to the student loan instructions for the academic year, Lauder MBA students are also eligible to apply for a student loan for the summer.

The deadline for the alternative loan application is May 4, 2021, the loan term is May 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022 , and the maximum you can borrow is $31,337. Lauder students will receive additional student loan instructions at the end of April. There will also be a financial aid session during the Lauder orientation in May, and the Wharton MBA Financial Aid team will be available to answer questions about this loan and other general financial aid questions.

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents Only: Supplemental Instructions

Complete a loan application with a Private Alternative Lender or a Grad PLUS loan for the Summer 2021 Term only. Please visit the U.S. Citizens/Perm. Resident Financial Aid instructions for the list of private alternative lenders.

  • The University of Pennsylvania requires that you submit a 2021-2022 FAFSA application at www.fafsa.ed.gov if planning to borrow Federal or Private Alternative Loans at any time during your first year at Wharton.
  • Loan application deadline: Friday, May 4, 2021
  • Loan period: May 1, 2021- July 31, 2022
  • Maximum amount to borrow:$31,900
  • Additional financial aid information will be provided to students at the end of April
  • Please Note: Alternative Private Lenders and the Federal Grad PLUS Loan website will not be available to new borrowers until May 1, 2021.

International Students Only: Supplemental Instructions

Complete a loan application with Quorum Federal Credit Union Loan, Prodigy Finance, or a Private Alternative student loan lender for the Summer 2021 Term only. Please visit the International Students Financial Aid instructions for information on student loans for international students.

  • Loan application deadline: Friday, May 4, 2021
  • Loan period: May 1, 2021-July 31 2022
  • Maximum amount to borrow: $31,900
  • Additional financial aid information will be provided to students before the end of April.
  • Please Note: Quorum’s Federal Credit Union’s website and Alternative Private Lenders will not be available to new borrowers until May 1, 2021.

How Kay Paid for Her MBA

“Know that you might have to apply multiple times to the same lender, and that each application takes a few days to process. Every time you make a change, you need to reapply to get new quoted interest rates.”