Private Alternative Loans

Private alternative loans are available to:

  • Undergraduate students
  • Parents of dependent undergraduate students
  • Graduate students requiring more than the annual maximum for their degree type available from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program
  • International students
  • Certificate program students who are not eligible for Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized or PLUS loans

Borrowing Amounts

Most private alternative loans will allow the applicant to borrow up to the student's cost of attendance minus any other aid, and generally requires school certification of enrollment and eligibility information.  In most cases the lender will forward this request to the school after the student completes the initial application, the disclosures, and the self-certification form with the lender.  Students must ensure that their loan program lender has received all required information, and has GW’s contact information on record. 

Lender Requirements

Each private alternative loan product has specific enrollment level requirements and prior balance coverage standards. Review our Private Student Loan Counseling Checklist for helpful information.

When applying, students should make sure the products’ enrollment requirements and other standards meet their specific needs.  Also, students should be aware that the final approval and disbursement decision rests with the lender. School certification of the eligible amount is not a guarantee of fund delivery.

Choosing a Lender 

Students are advised to research different lenders and products to find the loan option that best suits their needs.  An internet search for "Private alternative student loans" provides a valuable starting point for both learning about the terms of the loans and reviewing the products available from various lending institutions.  

Applying for a Private Alternative Loan

Learn how to apply for private alternative loans at GW.