Financing Options

Students who wish to defer all or part of their Swarthmore costs may be interested in the long-term, low-interest educational loans, monthly payment plan, or work opportunities described below. All families, whether receiving other grant support from the College or meeting all College costs on their own, may use one or more of these programs. We have described the kinds of financing available, to whom, and at what cost in our Financing Options Pamphlet [pdf].

Monthly Payment Plan

The Swarthmore College Payment Plan provides a flexible, interest-free, monthly payment option for tuition, room, board and fees. The program enrollment takes place each semester with three separate plan duration options available. The first installment payment (plus a $35 application fee) is due at the time of enrollment. Students with past due account balances may not be eligible for participation. 

For the Fall semester, you may enroll beginning May 1st. Participants are encouraged to join prior to June 1st to achieve the lowest monthly payment. For the Spring semester, you may enroll beginning October 1st and are encouraged to join prior to November 1st.

Enrollment for the Payment Plan is available via the Student Accounts website.

Loans

*Please note: All Federal interest rates are adjusted in June and origination fees in October annually through Congressional action. This information is for the 2015-16 academic year and will be updated as 2016-17 legislation is passed.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan- for students

Instructions on applying for the federal Direct Stafford loan can be found here.

Student loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized, borrowed for the 2015-16 academic year will have a fixed rate of 4.29% for the life of the loan.

  • Annual loan maximums are $5,500 for first years, $6,500 for sophomores, and $7,500 for juniors and seniors.
  • Subsidized loan eligibility is need-based and determined by the information on your FAFSA form. The U.S. Treasury subsidizes the interest while you are enrolled or in deferment.
  • Unsubsidized loan eligibility is not need-based. You will be charged interest during your enrollment and until the loan is paid in full. If you allow interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized and added to the loan principal for repayment once you leave school. You may choose to pay the interest on your unsubsidized loan during your enrollment instead.
  • Repayment obligation begins six months after you leave school, and may take up to 10 years (or up to 20 years if you consolidate your loans and repay on an income-contingent basis).
  • You may choose income-contingent or income-based repayment plans, which ensures that your repayment amount will always be affordable, based on what your income will allow. Students who consolidate their loans and choose an income-contingent repayment plan may be able to repay over a period of 20 years.
  • Interest payments may be tax-deductible
  • A student who enters into public service employment can have any remaining balance on federal Direct Stafford Loans forgiven after 10 years of repayment while in public service work.
  • Loan disbursement: Federal regulations require two equal disbursements. Your loan funds will arrive at the College by electronic funds transfer and will be credited to your student account, half for the fall semester and half for the spring semester. Federal funds cannot be disbursed until the first day of class each semester.
  • The US Department of Education will deduct a 1.068% administrative fee from each disbursement.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan-for parents

Instructions on applying for the federal Direct PLUS loan can be found here.

  • PLUS loans borrowed for the 2015-16 academic year will have a fixed interest rate 6.84% for the life of the loan.
  • Parent may borrow up to the full cost of education each year, less any financial aid.
  • Repayment obligation begins as soon as the loan is disbursed-while student is still enrolled.
  • Interest may be tax-deductible.
  • No penalty for early repayment or payoff.
  • Loan disbursement: Federal regulations require two equal disbursements. Your loan funds will arrive at the College by electronic funds transfer and will be credited to your student's account half for the fall semester and half for the spring semester. Federal funds cannot be disbursed until the first day of class each semester.
  • The US Department of Education will deduct a 4.292% administrative fee from each disbursement.
  • If the parent applies for and is denied a PLUS loan because of an adverse credit history, the student may borrow an additional Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan (up to $4,000 for first years and sophomores, and up to $5,000 for juniors and seniors).