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Student loan options are available through the University for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens. You may find other options from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Student Loan Options for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

Students have access to non-need-based loan funding (loans that start accruing interest at disbursement) to cover expenses associated with their degree. Your total financial aid (scholarships, fellowships and all education loans) can’t exceed the financial aid budget for the academic year, which includes tuition, fees and living expenses (see below).

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program is available to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who meet basic federal requirements (i.e., student has never defaulted on a federal loan, is not currently involved in filing bankruptcy, is registered for Selective Service, etc). You can borrow either Federal Direct Graduate PLUS or private student loan funds to supplement the unsubsidized loan annual maximum of $20,500.

UNC Chapel Hill does not have a preferred lender list for private education loans. If considering a private loan, you should research lenders to determine which is best for you.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans Private Loans
Credit Requirements None, but student must meet eligibility requirements as determined by the FAFSA. Good credit history or no credit history (no delinquent accounts or bankruptcy on credit report). Lenders may require students to have a particular credit score to be approved without a co-borrower.
Interest Rate 6.08% fixed* 7.08% fixed* Fixed or variable and is normally based on either the Prime Rate or LIBOR.
Origination Fee 1.059%** 4.236** Varies, but normally none.
Annual Maximum $20,500 Financial aid budget minus all other financial aid. Financial aid budget minus all other financial aid.
Grace Period 6 months 6 months 6 to 9 months
Repayment Period 10 to 25 years. Several repayment plans available. 10 to 25 years. Several repayment plans available. 10 to 25 years, depending on the lender
Income-Driven Repayment Options Yes Yes No
Possible Loan Forgiveness or Cancellation Yes Yes No

*The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan and applies to loans disbursed after July 1, 2019 and before July 1, 2020. Read more about Federal Direct Loans at the Department of Education website.
**The origination fee is part of the principal loan amount that is deducted from the disbursed amount and applies to loans disbursed after October 1, 2019 and before September 30, 2020.

Student Loan Options for Non-U.S. Citizens

Private Education Loans (for students with a U.S. co-signer)

Non-U.S. citizen students who have a credit-worthy U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident co-signer may also be eligible for private education loans through lenders such as Sallie Mae, Wells FargoDiscover, and CharterOne. You should research private education loan lenders to determine which is best for their individual situation.

Private Education Loans (that may not require a co-signer)

You should also explore loan options that may be available through other resources, some of which are dependent on your country of citizenship. Some of these will have specific requirements for the borrower as outlined by the lender, bank, or government, so you should contact the lending agency directly for details on each program. Below is a list of possible programs, but this is not a comprehensive list.

Private Education Loan (for students without a U.S. co-signer)

Discover has designed a private student loan for non-U.S. citizen business students who are enrolled in an MBA program at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.* Application information is provided after students are admitted to an MBA program. Below are the terms of the loan program.

• Borrow up to $40,000 of your annual cost of attendance
• No fees required
• No co-signer
• No payments required until nine months after you graduate or your enrollment status drops below half-time
• Rewards for Good Grades

*Students residing in, or citizens of, U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctioned Countries are not eligible for this U.S.-based student loan program. For the most up to date information on OFAC Sanctioned Countries, visit OFAC Sanctioned Countries List.


Contact Susan Brooks with questions about financial aid.