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Financial Aid

Private Education Loans

Johns Hopkins University recommends that students exhaust their eligibility for all federal loan programs before considering a private loan.


Private loans can supplement other forms of financial assistance and assist students who do not qualify for federal loans. Loans are approved by the lender based on the credit worthiness of the borrower. Lenders will often require an applicant who is not a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident to apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, however, there are lenders who will allow international applicants to apply on their own.

You can apply to borrow up to your cost of education, minus other aid that you are receiving. You are not required to complete the FAFSA to apply for a private education loan; however, after your loan is fully-approved by your lender, you must submit the Public Health Private Education Loan Application to our office. The application is typically available online in mid-March for the upcoming school year.

You can locate potential lenders by searching the JHU Elm Select website or searching the internet for private education loans. You must use our school code (002077-05) when you apply. The Bloomberg School of Public Health does not endorse or recommend any lender, and does not have a financial interest in any lending institution. We will process an application from the lender of your choice. As with all loans, you are encouraged to borrow only what you need to meet your educational costs.

After your loan is fully-approved, your lender will send a request to the school to certify your eligibility. They will also send you a Private Education Loan Self-Certification form. You must complete, sign and return this form to your lender before any loan funds can be disbursed.

Loan proceeds are typically disbursed to the school.  Loans will be disbursed equally for each term; however, lenders will only issue up to four disbursements. Loans for students enrolling for the Summer, 1st – 4th terms will receive their disbursements for Summer, 1st – 3rd terms only and should budget accordingly.

If you are uncertain about your eligibility, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Questions To Ask A Private Lender

  1. What is your lowest interest rate and fee combination and how can I qualify? Is the rate for a limited period or is it for the life of the loan?
  2. For variable rate loans, is there a maximum rate charged? How often is the interest rate adjusted, and how is it determined?
  3. What interest rate can I get on a fixed-rate loan?
  4. How long will I be repaying the loan? Is there any penalty for paying it off early?
  5. When do I have to start making payments? How long can I defer payments while I'm in school? If I continue in graduate school can I defer payments? How much will I owe when I do start making payments?
  6. Do you offer an on-time payment discount?
  7. What percentage of borrowers get the discounts you offer? Are your discounts guaranteed or are they subject to change later?
  8. Will I lose my on-time payment discount if I make a late payment or if I ask for a change in the payment schedule?
  9. Would you allow me to defer or reduce my payments temporarily because of economic hardship? Under what circumstances and for how long?