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. 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.  

Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan maximum eligibility amount for a graduate school student is $20,500 each academic year. The 2022-2023 FAFSA application is required to be eligible for this loan. Visit Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS) student loan website for additional information.

*Subject to change by lender

Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan Program

If you need funding beyond the Direct Loan, you may wish to consider a Direct Grad PLUS Loan. The 2022-2023 FAFSA application is required to be eligible for this loan. Visit Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS) student loan website for additional information.

*Subject to change by lender

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
  • 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.

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 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.

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. Additionally, international students with US cosigners may be able to access domestic educational student loans.

Check out the Student Loan FAQs.

Discover® Custom Graduate Loan

To be eligible for the Custom Graduate Loan, you must be residing in the United States during your program studies. These loans are made by Discover Bank®, not by The Wharton School of Business. This loan can cover up to 100% of school-certified costs, less any other financial aid. Aggregate loan limits apply.

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/.

MPower

MPOWER Financing does not require borrowers to have a cosigner, a credit history, or collateral. Loans are approved primarily based on your academic success and career path.  Learn more here.

Lauder Students

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

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.

kay andersen

“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.”

Kay Andersen, WG17