Carnegie Mellon University

Loan Options for Your Graduate Program

Learn more about loans for prospective and current students that can help finance your graduate education.

Students may apply for federal direct loans and/or private education loans (non-federal) and must meet all eligibility requirements.

International students may borrow only private (non-federal) loans and must have a credit-worthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

Comparing Federal Loans and Private Loans

It is important to note that there is no maximum income limit on borrowing some types of federal education loans such as the Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Direct Grad Plus loans. Eligible borrowers are always encouraged to review and understand the costs, loan features and benefits of federal student loans and compare those costs and benefits to those of private loans before choosing a non-federal loan option. 

All federal education loans are deferrable while enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis (18 or more units per semester). Most, but not all, private loans are deferrable for half-time enrollment status as well. Students need to understand when they choose a private loan program whether or not they need to make payments on the loan while enrolled in school. 

Learn more about federal education loans and private education loans.