Students are encouraged to borrow only what they need and to seek outside scholarships and save summer earnings in order to reduce overall indebtedness. The Financial Aid Office works closely with students to achieve this goal.

There are two ways loans can help cover your college expenses: You can receive need-based federal loans as a part of your financial aid package and/or you can apply for non-need-based loans to cover your family's contribution to your education.

Federal Loans

Gustavus participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program and PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students).

Federal Perkins Loan

Gustavus participates in the Federal Perkins Loan program and offers Perkins Loans to first-year students.

Private Alternative Loan

Private, alternative Loans are loans not guaranteed by the Federal Government and are not awarded as part of a student's financial aid package. The borrower (either student or parent) may borrow such a loan through various participants such as banks or credit unions to help cover college expenses. Students should exhaust their eligibility in the federal loan programs before borrowing through a private student loan program.

There are many different types of alternative loans for different types of borrowers. Alternative loans are not need-based; rather they are based on creditworthiness. Most students will need a creditworthy co-signer such as a parent or other relative in order to obtain a private loan.

Terms and conditions applicable to these loans vary greatly. Factors such as interest rate, APR, length of repayment, loan minimum and maximum as well as fees should be carefully considered when researching and choosing a private loan.

Students may choose any lender who offers alternative educational loans.  The lenders and loan options presented were selected based on the excellent terms and benefits provided to borrowers.  These lenders have a history of providing competitive rates and terms, exceptional customer service, efficient online processing and timely disbursement via electronic funds transfer.

Federal regulations require lenders to send 3 disclosure notices to borrowers and co-signers to ensure borrowers are properly informed regarding the terms and costs of the loan. This process will lengthen the time it takes from applying for a loan until the funds are delivered to Gustavus. This process can take up to 4 weeks to complete.

Students are required to fill out a Self-Certification of Private Loans. Most lenders will provide this to borrowers. Your Cost Of Attendance and Total Aid will be shown on your financial aid award on WebAdvisor. Click the link below to obtain a form if you do not have the form provided by your lender.

Processing Tips

  • Processing time will take from 20 to 30 days from application to disbursement due to truth in lending regulations.
  • Loans are disbursed half in each semester.
  • Plan your annual financial needs and complete the loan process by August 1.

Private Alternative Loan for Latin America and Carribean Students

The Rowe Fund is an educational loan program of the Organization of American States (OAS) that helps citizens from Latin America and Caribbean OAS Member States finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States by awarding interest-free loans of up to $15,000 dollars.

Private Alternative Loan Consolidation

Private, alternative Loans can be consolidated if you have taken loans out from more than one lender.

The lenders and loan options presented in FASTChoice were selected for the excellent terms and benefits they provide to borrowers. Our institution has worked with these lenders in the past, and previous borrowers had positive experiences working with them.|To determine which lenders and loan options to present, we use strict criteria based on your interests and not those of our institution. We recognize only those lenders who provide you with exceptional customer service, excellent incentives (e.g., low interest rates, no origination fees, and loan principal reductions), timely processing, and electronic funds transfer capabilities when possible.|All of the information provided on the Loan Options page is reviewed annually to ensure that the benefits that the lenders offer continue to adhere to our criteria. Any loan options that no longer adhere to our criteria are removed, and new loan options are added. Our officials are prohibited from accepting any financial or other benefits in exchange for displaying lenders and loan options in FASTChoice.

Terms and conditions applicable to these loans vary greatly. Factors such as interest rate, APR, length of repayment, loan minimum and maximum as well as fees should be carefully considered when researching and choosing a private loan.