All loans must be repaid. Need-based loan options are available through both Lehigh and the federal government. Non-need-based loan options are available through the federal government and private sources. Eligibility for these options are determined by financial requirements submitted. As part of our commitment to meet 100% of demonstrated need and graduate students with low debt, Lehigh caps loans offered to students to meet their need at $5,000 per year, or $20,000 over 4 years, though many students' total loans to meet need are below this $5,000 cap.
The following loans may be included in your need-based award eligibility and are considered part of the “self-help” portion of your package when meeting need.
On this page you will find additional information regarding the following types of loans:
This federal student loan is available to students enrolled at least half time in an undergraduate- or graduate-degree program who must meet the minimum eligibility criteria for Federal Aid. A student must file only the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be offered this loan. Eligibility for a Federal Direct Loan is based on cost of education, the amount of other financial aid being received and the Expected Family Contribution.
There are both subsidized and unsubsidized….the student pays the interest on the unsubsidized portion. We strongly encourage students to pay the interest that accrues during enrollment, however, the student also has the option to capitalize interest payments (add the interest to the principle balance to be repaid after graduation) if they are unable to provide payments during enrollment. Repayment of any Direct Loans begin six months after graduating from college (or once no longer enrolled at least half time). View more information on the terms and conditions of this federal loan, including interest rates >
The Lehigh University Tuition Loan, otherwise known as the Frank Williams Loan, is awarded to students based on financial need. This subsidized loan has a fixed interest rate of 7% and a student is required to begin repayment three months after graduating from college (or once no longer enrolled at least half time). This loan is also available for summer enrollment. Students who wish to apply for loans to cover the cost of summer tuition should complete a Summer Financial Aid Application.
In accordance with the Truth in Lending Act, students who have been offered University Tuition Loans must receive a solicitation disclosure. Please reference our Private Education Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure for reference. You must complete additional requirements once you accept the University Tuition Loan.
A student private loan or the Federal Direct PLUS may be applied for by student or parent separately from the need-based application and award. In general, these loan options are used to help finance some or all of the Expected Family Contribution (or net cost after all financial aid resources are considered). The loans are specific to an academic year and can be applied for by individual term, or for an entire academic year.
A private/alternative loan is generally a student loan based on the student’s credit history with the best interest rates given to students who have creditworthy co-borrowers. (A student who has not established credit can apply with a co-borrower and can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any aid received). Lehigh does not recommend any specific private loan option but strongly recommends that you carefully review the terms and conditions of multiple private loan options as they can vary greatly. To assist with this process, a list of private loans recently used by Lehigh students can be found on our ELMSelect site. Individual loan providers have their own application and timeline. Plan to apply at least 30 days prior to the date the bill is due.
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan offers credit-worthy parents an alternative means of financing the net cost of a student's education. The loan is specific to an academic year (a Direct PLUS loan application must be completed to confirm the borrower is creditworthy each academic year); the maximum amount is the cost of attendance minus any aid received, and repayment begins while the student is in school however, deferment may be requested. View additional information on the terms and conditions of this federal loan, including interest rates >
The Direct PLUS loan can be applied for at studentaid.ed.gov. The student must have a valid FAFSA on file and parents who are first-time borrowers of a PLUS loan must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). This MPN is completed by parents with their own FSA ID obtained during the FAFSA filing (not the student’s). For more information, see Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application/Master Promissory Note.
To further enhance the university’s commitment and support for need-based financial aid, Lehigh administers its Loan Elimination and Reduction Initiatives. For students who are eligible for financial aid, with a calculated family asset net worth less than $500,000*, and whose family’s calculated annual income** is less than $75,000, their financial aid package will not include any loans to meet their calculated financial need***. For students who are eligible for financial aid, with a calculated family asset net worth less than $500,000*, and whose family’s calculated annual income** is between $75,000 and $150,000, the loan portion of their need-based financial aid package will be limited to a maximum of $2,000 per year.
*Family asset net worth is calculated taking into account primary home equity; other real estate equity; savings/checking accounts; investments; and business/farm equity.
** Family calculated annual income is a combination of taxable and untaxed income, includes both custodial and non-custodial income and may include items added back to income such as losses that are merely tax allowances.
***A family’s calculated financial need is the difference between the total cost of attendance for the year and the calculated EFC.
Qualification for either of these initiatives does not eliminate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the responsibility of the family and may be paid utilizing current income, savings, a payment plan, borrowing options or some combination. Additional borrowing is at the discretion of the family and is not packaged to meet need.
NOTE: Special circumstances and other changes that occur after our funds have been exhausted may result in unmet financial need, or the use of loans to meet need.
Grants and Scholarships are resources also known collectively as “gift aid” – they do not need to be repaid or earned by working. Most grants are considered need-based awards, while scholarships typically are merit-based.
A student employment or work study award is an opportunity for a student to get an on-campus job to earn money for college expenses. This award is used to meet a student’s financial need.
The person responsible for repaying a loan who has agreed to the terms and has signed a promissory note.
When interest that accrues on a loan is not paid, it is capitalized or added to the principal balance, which increases the outstanding principal amount due on this loan.