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Admissions & Aid
Student loans are commonly used financing options that are available to both residential and part-time online applicants, and require a minimum enrollment of 6 credits per term in a degree-granting program. Please note these pages provide information about both federal and supplemental (private) student loans, credit, and debt counseling. Some links will take you to sites outside of the HGSE Financial Aid Office. The HGSE Financial Aid Office is not responsible for the content of any external sites.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education, like all of Harvard University, participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program offered through the U.S. Department of Education. The only lender we list is Direct Lending, however you are free to research and borrow from any lender.
When considering a supplemental loan, we remind students there are many options in addition to those listed in these materials. We encourage students to consider all of their borrowing options to ensure the best possible choice for their individual needs. Remember, only Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans are administered by the HGSE Financial Aid Office; supplemental loans are available from numerous lenders and you are welcome to explore those that interest you. Both Federal and supplemental loans are split and disbursed evenly across semesters for full-year students. Harvard University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education have no financial interest in which supplemental loan you choose to borrow.
Supplemental loans, like the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, can be borrowed in addition to your Federal Loans to help meet the cost of education. Please note: students pursuing a supplemental loan should apply for the amount they wish to borrow for the entire academic year, and all supplemental loans are split and disbursed evenly across semesters for full-year students.
Applicants must demonstrate credit worthiness in order to be eligible for supplemental education loans such as the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan or loans from private lenders. Supplemental education loan lenders carefully review an applicant's credit history to determine their eligibility for a loan.
Individuals establish a credit history in many ways, like borrowing money or charging retail purchases. Financial institutions and major retail stores report their customer's credit information to national credit bureaus, which, in turn, compile the information in the form of a credit report. A credit report is a record of every credit card, retail account, student and personal loan, and other credit accounts made or established in your name.
In reviewing your credit report, the lender is trying to determine your ability and willingness to pay based on your payment history. A good credit record indicates that you are likely to repay the loan for which you are applying. If you are unsure about the status of your credit, you should request a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau. You may contact a local credit bureau in your area or one of the three national credit bureaus listed below:
You may also receive a free copy of your credit report from all 3 major credit bureaus listed above by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, and we recommend reviewing your credit reports on an annual basis.
Once you have received your credit report check it for accuracy. If the information on your report is incorrect, you should contact the credit agency and request that the information be investigated. It is also advisable to contact the company that has reported you to that credit agency. If the information on your report is correct and you do have credit problems, it is imperative that you try to resolve these as soon as possible. Contact the company that has reported you to the credit agency and discuss the steps necessary to clear up your credit problem. If you do succeed in clearing up your credit, you should request this in writing from the reporting company and subsequently submit this information to the credit agency.
It may take several weeks to receive a credit report and several months to correct a credit problem, thus please plan accordingly. In the event that you may need to borrow through one of the alternative education loan programs, we encourage you to remedy any credit issues prior to coming to campus. Any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your credit worthiness should be addressed directly with the appropriate private education loan agency. Unfortunately, the HGSE Financial Aid Office is unable to assist you with personal credit problems or offer advice on the credit review process.
Debt management is an important consideration when attending any college or university. You must properly prepare yourself financially in the near and long term. It is crucial that students have an understanding of the costs of education as well as how to plan and budget accordingly. We encourage students to begin this process as far in advance as possible when considering continuing their education to ensure the highest possible return on their academic investments.