Private/Alternative Educational Loans

Private Education Loans are non-federal loans made by private lenders. Visit ELMSelect to view a list of UConn’s suggested lenders.

Information about Eligibility

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not required for private loans.
  • Before applying for a private loan, we suggest first exhausting all federal student loan borrowing options.  For more information, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Lender requirements including credit approval, interest rates, repayment options, etc. vary, and are determined by each lender.
  • Some lenders do not require students to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). More information about SAP is available SAP page.
  • Students have the right to borrow from any lender who participates in the program under which they are eligible to borrow.
  • Processing times vary from lender to lender. To ensure loans are processed in time to meet the published university fee bill deadline, loan applications should be started as early as May.

Comparison Between Federal Student Loans and Private/Alternative Loans

If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your school’s financial aid offer. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest.

If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government, from private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or from other organizations. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually have more benefits than loans from banks or other private sources. Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.

Receiving Your Aid

Students meeting the eligibility requirements determined by their lender, in addition to meeting other eligibility requirements described on the Eligibility page, will have their private loan funds disbursed as soon as the lender provides the school with the approved funds. The timeliness of these disbursements may be impacted by the lenders required right to cancel period, which varies from lender to lender.

Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions provided by their lender of choice.

Lender Selection Policy

The University of Connecticut maintains a list of suggested private education loan lenders that we believe offer competitive pricing, easy loan processing, and strong customer service. Students may choose one of our suggested lenders or any other lender who participates in the private loan program from which they are eligible to borrow.

Our suggested lenders for the Fall 2021 through Summer 2024 were selected via a competitive Request for Information (RFI). This RFI was sent to numerous lenders, advertised on the Connecticut and National financial aid association listservs, and posted publicly on the University’s website. Any lender participating in one or more student loan programs was eligible to submit a proposal.

Each loan program was reviewed independently and without regard to proposals submitted for other loan programs. We selected lenders for our suggested lender lists based on a points awarded system and committee discussion. Our suggested lender lists will be reviewed annually. Our ultimate goal was to find the lenders that offer the best possible benefits, both financial and service-based, for our students. The lender must notify the borrower that loan benefits will change if the student consolidates.

We advise students and parents to be educated consumers and compare the borrower benefits offered by the lenders on our Suggested Lender List with those offered by other lenders. The factors considered follow, in order of importance. Factors at the top of the list were weighed more heavily than factors at the bottom of the list.

We considered: Interest rate, immediate borrower benefits, borrower benefits that must be earned by the borrower, telephone customer service for the borrower, technical support, ease of loan processing for the borrower, ease of loan processing for the school and compatibility with our computer software, customer service for the school (i.e. assistance in resolving loan delivery issues), web-based services for borrowers, repayment services for borrowers, flexibility of the loan program to meet the needs of various student situations, deferment options, debt management and default aversion services.

The complete text of the Financial Aid Code of Conduct can be accessed on UConn's Policies & Procedures website.