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

Eligibility and Deadlines

Financial aid eligibility is calculated based on a standardized cost of attendance that includes tuition, room and board, books, transportation, personal/miscellaneous expenses, and any required student health insurance for three academic quarters (nine months). International students must use the 12-month rate.

Please make every effort to submit your full application for financial aid by the University's priority deadlines.

Loans and Work-Study

Federal loans for US citizens/nationals or permanent residents

For US citizens/nationals or permanent residents

Federal Loans

Eligibility

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.

FAFSA and UCAPP

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for Federal Education Loan assistance and Federal Work-Study. Applicants should complete all sections of the FAFSA except those requiring parental income information. Harris Public Policy's institutional code is 001774. Inquiries about your FAFSA and loan applications should be directed to the University of Chicago online or at 773.702.6061.

For summer students, submit the UChicago Application for Graduate Loans & Federal Assistance (UCAPP) via the my.UChicago portal.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

If eligible, students may borrow a maximum of $20,500 (aggregate, including any undergraduate loans borrowed: $138,500) per academic year through the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program. The interest is not subsidized while the student is enrolled in school. 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. 

Federal Direct PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loan

The Federal Direct PLUS (Grad 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 for each award year you wish to borrow the loan and for subsequent requests for the Grad PLUS loan within an award year.

How to Apply for Federal Loans

Review the University's step-by-step guide to applying for student loans and/or Federal Work-Study. 

The UChicago Graduate Financial Aid Office provides more detailed information about graduate financial aid. 

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 online or call 773.702.6061.

How to Apply for Alternative Loans

Step 1: Review the lenders and terms. Here is a list of alternative lenders for domestic students.

Step 2: Complete an Alternative Loan Application with the lender of your choice.

Step 3: Complete a Private Education Loan Application Self-Certification and return it to your respective lender along with your alternative loan application.

Step 4: Complete the Alternative Loan Request Form.

Please visit the UChicago Graduate Financial Aid Office for more detailed information about the Alternative Loan process.

Loans for International Students

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–with or without a cosigner. 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.

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 online or call 773.702.6061.

How to Apply for Alternative Loans

Step 1: Review the lenders and terms. Here is a list of alternative lenders for international students.

Step 2: Complete an Alternative Loan Application with the lender of your choice.

Step 3: Complete a Private Education Loan Application Self-Certification and return it to your respective lender along with your alternative loan application.

Step 4: Complete the Alternative Loan Request Form.

Please visit the UChicago Graduate Financial Aid Office for more detailed information about the Alternative Loan process.