International Students/Alternative Loans
Because international students do not qualify for educational loans from the U.S. federal government, borrowing options for international students are more limited than those for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. However, they may qualify for alternative loans. Sometimes referred to as "private loans," these loans are commercial loans offered by outside lenders.
Eligibility for educational student loans is calculated as the difference between a student's cost of education and the financial assistance s/he receives from other sources. Taking marital status, number of dependents and living arrangements into account, the Graduate School Office of Student Life determines a student's eligibility for educational loans according to the following formula:
- Cost of attendance (includes tuition, housing, food, books and expenses for one academic year);
- Less financial aid from Princeton and other sources (includes departmental prizes, fellowships, maintenance allowance, assistantships-in-instruction and assistantships-in-research);
- Equals LOAN ELIGIBILITY.
It is Princeton’s policy to process loan applications through any lender a student chooses. Princeton does not recommend lenders or maintain a “preferred lender” list. It is your right and responsibility to select your lender.
We realize that choosing a lender can be a significant task. Below are items to consider as you research lender options.
A. Interest rates and fees
Some lenders may offer better interest rates and fees, but you should also consider the additional factors listed below in your decision.
B. Repayment benefits
Some lenders offer principal balance or interest rate reductions tied to repayment performance. Some repayment benefit plans are simple and others are complex. Make sure you understand the terms you must meet and the likelihood of receiving the benefit in repayment before choosing on this basis.
C. Application process
Many lenders offer online application and signature processes.
D. Customer service
The ability to quickly reach a knowledgeable representative to check on the status of your loan is important. Also, consider how you can find out information about your loan or speak with someone during hours that are convenient for you.