US students can also apply for loans through Sallie Mae (private loans for US students studying abroad). Please note that Sallie Mae is not a preferred lender and this does not represent a preferred lender arrangement. However, it is the only private lender that we are aware of that currently offers loans to students attending foreign schools.
Federal Loans vs Private Loans
Federal student loans include many benefits (such as fixed interest rates and income-based repayment plans) not typically offered with private loans. Private loans are generally more expensive than federal student loans.
The Direct Loan scheme only offers unsubsidized loans (Stafford and GPLUS) to graduate students. The loan programmes available at the Graduate Institute are as follows:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The current maximum amount of this loan for a given academic year is $20’500.
- Direct Unsubsidized GRAD Plus Loans (GPLUS): students can borrow up to the amount of the cost of attendance for a given academic year.