Types of Financial Aid
Students who need additional funds to pay college costs may wish to investigate private education loans. Private loans are based on credit and students may need a credit worthy co-borrower. Interest rates, fees, eligibility criteria, repayment terms, and credit criteria will vary by lender. Private loans can be more expensive than federal student and parent loans. View a summary of differences between federal and private loans.
We recommend that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review your award package and Winthrop expenses before pursuing private loans. We caution you to borrow loans only when absolutely necessary. Consider your other options and what loan repayment obligations you already have to repay in the future.
Students ineligible to borrow federal loans may be eligible to borrow a private loan depending on a lender’s loan eligibility criteria.
How to Apply
Apply for a private loan.
Remember that all financial aid, including aid received from these private loan sources, cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance at Winthrop University.
Choosing a Lender
Winthrop University provides a historical list of private loan lenders during the application process. These lenders were used by Winthrop University students during the past two academic years. The lenders are listed in random order and the information provided is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge.
You are NOT required to choose one of our listed lenders. If you choose to borrow through a lender not listed, we will process your application and certify your eligibility with that lender.
You should visit the Web site of each potential lender to fully evaluate the benefits they offer before making a final choice for your private loan. Questions to ask when comparing loans:
- Does the loan have a fixed or variable interest rate?
- Will the interest change over time?
- What fees will you have to pay?
- What will the minimum monthly payment be?
- How long do you have to repay the loan?
- Are you required to make payments while attending school?
- What is the total amount you will pay in interest over the life of the loan?
- Does the loan have a grace period (number of months you do not have to make payments) after you graduate?
- What if I have trouble repaying the loan?
What Happens Next
The private loan process can take approximately 2-3 weeks from the time you begin the application to the time Winthrop University is notified about your loan application. Make sure you apply for your private loan far enough in advance of Winthrop University’s payment deadlines to allow for this 2-3 week loan process.
As a result of recent legislative changes, all private loan lenders are required to provide an application disclosure, an approval disclosure, a final disclosure, a right to cancel period, and receipt of a self certification from students.
If your private loan application is credit approved, Winthrop will be electronically notified of your loan application. Winthrop will certify your private loan for the amount you request, up to your Cost of Attendance, whichever amount is less. Note, the Office of Financial Aid cannot begin certifying fall semester loan applications for continuing students until early June.
Private loan disbursements will follow the same disbursement schedule as other financial aid. Winthrop University usually receives private loan disbursements on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After the semester beings, private loan funds will be received by Winthrop approximately 2 weeks after the loan is certified by the Office of Financial Aid. Lenders must provide a “right to cancel” period so loan funds cannot be provided any sooner.
Office of Financial Aid Code of Conduct for Private Education Loans
Winthrop University prohibits conflicts of interest with the responsibilities of officers, employees, or agents of the University with respect to education loans for students.
The University shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender or other vendor working with any of its offices that are responsible for carrying out financial aid functions. The University shall not accept any fee or other material benefit in exchange for recommending a lender to its students.
No University officer or employee with financial aid responsibilities shall solicit or accept a gift having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans.
No University officer or employee with financial aid responsibilities shall accept from any lender or lender affiliate payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender.
The University shall not automatically assign a particular lender to any borrower, unless required to do so by law, and shall not refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based on the lender or guarantee agency selected by the borrower.
Offers of Funds for Private Loans
The University shall not request or accept from a lender an offer of funds to be used for private education loans in exchange for placement on a preferred lender list.
Financial Aid Staffing Assistance
The University shall not request or accept from any lender assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing unless any such assistance has been legislatively defined as acceptable. Lenders, for example, may provide professional development training to financial aid administrators, educational advising materials to borrowers, or assistance in state or federally-declared natural disasters.
Advisory Board Compensation
All employees with financial aid responsibilities shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from a lender or guarantor in return for service on its advisory board. Reimbursement for or payment of reasonable expenses incurred in connection with such service, however, is permitted.