Eligible Federal Aid
Students should apply for all eligible federal aid available (by submitting the FAFSA) before considering a private, alternative loan, but you are not required to file a FAFSA in order to apply for a private loan. Such loans are for education purposes, which means you must be a registered student and the amount you can borrow cannot exceed your financial aid budget as listed on the Columbia Business School Financial Aid website.
It is recommended that students max out the fixed rate federal loan before taking a private loan. The federal loan programs usually provide better terms related to loan repayment as compared to the private loans. Students can review factors to consider when comparing federal and private loans. For students who find private loans better suited to their situation and who do not complete a FAFSA, written confirmation that they are aware of the federal financial aid programs must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office before any private loans can be certified. Failure to provide such confirmation will delay loan certification and subsequent disbursement of funds.
Individual lenders will, at their discretion, evaluate credit history. Private loan terms, conditions, and eligibility requirements will vary, and the borrower (and co-borrower, if applicable) should first compare information among available student loan providers and apply for the one that best suits their needs.
- The Suggested Lender List provides a comparison chart of such information from a select group of lenders offering private education loans. Students have the right and ability to borrow from the educational lender of their choice and are not limited to those on the Suggested Lender List.
- For application instructions, please visit each lender's website or else you may contact the lender using their toll-free number. Once you accept the loan with your lender, submit the Private Loan Request Form through our website.
- Typical processing time for private loans is 3-4 weeks. Please plan accordingly and apply by the deadline recommended by the Financial Aid Office.
- Information about loan programs can be found on the University’s Student Financial Aid site.