Federal and alternative loan programs, including loans for international students, are available to help you finance your degree. 

Financial aid is calculated based on a standardized cost of attendance: tuition, room and board, books, transportation, personal/miscellaneous expenses, and any required student health insurance  for three academic quarters (nine months). The University sets priority deadlines. Note that the priority deadline for students entering Fall 2017 is Friday, May 5, 2017.

Federal Loans and Work-Study

Students must be US citizens/nationals or permanent residents to be considered for the Federal Education Loan Program (Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, and Federal Direct PLUS Loan). Students must also be enrolled at least half time.

To apply for Federal Education Loan assistance and Federal Work-Study, applicants must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (Applicants should complete all sections of the FAFSA except those requiring parental income information. Please be aware that Harris Public Policy's institutional code recently changed from E00377 to 001774 for the 2017-2018 Federal Aid application cycle.  Students should submit their FAFSA’s using the new 001774 school code.) The UChicago Student Loan Administration provides step-by-step instructions as well as more detailed information about graduate financial aid.

If you are applying for any term other than Fall, you must also submit the University of Chicago Application for Graduate Loans and Federal Assistance (UCAPP), which the Harris Office of Admissions will supply to all admitted students. Students applying for the Fall are not required to submit the UCAPP.

Once submitted, inquiries about FAFSA and loan applications should be directed to the University of Chicago Student Loan Administration at 773.702.6061.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Students may borrow a maximum of $20,500 (aggregate, including any undergraduate loans borrowed: $140,500) per academic year through the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program. Unlike the two programs above, the interest is not subsidized while the student is enrolled in school. Depending on the lender, students may choose to defer the interest payments. In-school interest may be paid monthly or capitalized. Payment of principal and interest begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half time. If you choose the University of Chicago as your lender, you will have NO fees deducted from your loan. You will receive 100 percent of the amount you borrow.

Federal Direct PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loan

The Federal Direct PLUS loan program offers a federal loan for graduate students.  Approval for this loan is contingent upon your credit rating.  Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid.

A Grad PLUS application must be completed every year at studentloans.gov for each award year you wish to borrow the loan and for subsequent requests for the Grad PLUS loan within an award year.

Federal Perkins Loan

As of 2016, new graduate students are not eligible to receive the Federal Perkins Loan; however, the University of Chicago may disburse the Federal Perkins Loan to a continuing Perkins Loan borrower. The UChicago Student Loan Administration has more details on Perkins and other student loan options.

Alternative Loan Program

Alternative (Private) Loans are available for both domestic and international students from most countries. The Alternative Loan is a non-Federal loan and should be used as a last resort. Approval for an Alternative Loan is contingent upon your credit rating. A loan request may be denied if there’s an adverse credit rating. If this happens, it’s recommended that you to contact the lender to appeal the decision or reapply with a cosigner.  

Learn more about the Alternative Loan Program. For additional information, visit the University of Chicago Student Loan Administration or call 773.702.6061.

Student Loans for International Students

Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance offers loans to international graduate students from 150 different nationalities (US citizens and permanent residents ineligible). Prodigy Finance is accepting applications from Harris students. Students may be eligible to borrow up to 80 percent of cost of attendance, depending on each individual application. The interest rate is highly competitive: 5.5–8.5% over the three-month US LIBOR base rate. The loan term is 10 years. To begin an application, please visit www.prodigyfinance.com.