Financing Options & Loans

Student walking under yellow ginkgo tree

Financing Options

Students who wish to defer all or part of their Swarthmore costs may be interested in long-term, low-interest educational loans, a monthly payment plan, or work opportunities. 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 provide more details about the types of financing options 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 June 1st. For the Spring semester, you may enroll beginning November 1st. Participants are encouraged to join on these respective dates to achieve the lowest monthly payment.

Enrollment for the Payment Plan is online through our website.

Federal Direct Loan (for students)

The Federal Direct Loan is a long-term, low-interest educational loan for students. Eligibility for a Direct Loan is determined by the College using federal guidelines. The College determines the maximum you may borrow and whether the interest on your loan will be federally subsidized during your enrollment. More information about the Federal Direct Loan can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

Please follow these steps to apply for a Federal Direct Loan. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must have already been filed and processed prior to completing an application for a Federal Loan. To file a FAFSA, please visit www.fafsa.gov.

Note: Please start at Step 4 if you have previously borrowed a Federal Direct Loan. Master Promissory Notes and Loan Entrance Counseling only need to be completed once. 

1. Go to www.studentloans.gov and sign in using your FSA ID.  

2. Choose "Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)" then “Subsidized/Unsubsidized." To complete the MPN, you will need:

  • Approximately 30 minutes, in a single session
  • Your own student FSA ID information (Use of another person's FSA ID constitutes fraud.)

3. Choose “Complete Counseling” then “Entrance Counseling." To complete the counseling requirement, you will need:

  • Approximately 20-30 minutes 
  • Your own student FSA ID information 

4. Tell us the amount you wish to borrow using our Federal Direct Loan Request form.

The rest of our process is simple. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for sending your Federal Direct Loan request to the Department of Education and setting up the disbursement(s). We will send you a confirmation e-mail and letter from our office when your Federal Direct Loan has been approved. You will also receive detailed information from the U.S. Department of Education concerning your loan when your loan has been applied to your student account.  

Contact scloans@swarthmore.edu with questions.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan (for parents)

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a long-term, low-interest educational loan for parents. Borrowers must not have an adverse credit history. The maximum loan amount which can be approved is the student’s Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid received. More information about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

Please follow these steps to apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must have already been filed and processed prior to completing an application for a Federal Loan. To file a FAFSA, please visit www.fafsa.gov.

1. Go to www.studentloans.gov and sign in using parent’s FSA ID and password. 

2. Choose "Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)" then “Parent PLUS." To complete the MPN, you will need:

  • Approximately 30 minutes, in a single session
  • Parents must log in using their own FSA ID (Use of another person's FSA ID constitutes fraud.)

3. Request a Direct PLUS Loan. This option is found on left side menu under “PLUS Loan Process.”  

4. Choose the option “Parent PLUS” and begin the application. Parents will be notified at the end of the application of their approval. 

Parents borrowing a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to pay for their child's education are not required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling unless prompted by the U.S.  Department of Education under special circumstances.

The rest of our process is simple. Parents will be notified at the end of the application if they have been approved or not. The Financial Aid Office will receive the parent's approved Federal Direct PLUS Loan information and set up the disbursement(s). We will then send the parent a letter from our office when the federal Direct PLUS Loan has been approved. The parent will also receive detailed information from the U.S. Department of Education concerning the loan when the loan has been applied to the student's account.

Contact scloans@swarthmore.edu with questions.