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Financing Options & Loans

Student walking under yellow ginkgo tree

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 Federal Direct Loan is determined by the College using federal guidelines. The College determines the maximum amount that a student may borrow as well as the amount of the loan's interest payments that will be subsidized (paid for by the Federal government) during a student's 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 Direct Loan. To file a FAFSA, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Note:  If you, the student, have previously borrowed a Federal Direct Loan, begin with Step 4. You do not need to complete another Master Promissory Notes or Loan Entrance Counseling; they only need to be completed once during your enrollment at Swarthmore. 

  1. Go to Federal Student Aid website and sign in using your FSA ID.  
  2. Choose "Undergraduate Students" then choose “Complete Entrance Counseling." To complete the counseling requirement, you will need:
    1. Approximately 20-30 minutes, and it must be completed in a single session.
    2. Your own student FSA ID information (use of another person's FSA ID constitutes fraud).
  3. Choose "Undergraduate Students" then choose "Complete Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)." To complete the MPN, you will need:
    1. Approximately 30 minutes.
    2. Your own student FSA ID information (use of another person's FSA ID constitutes fraud).
  4. Indicate the amount that you wish to borrow using our Federal Direct Loan Request form.

The rest of the student loan application process is straightforward. The Financial Aid Office will submit your Federal Direct Loan request to the Department of Education and will establish the schedule the disbursements of the loan, the timing of when the loans are paid against your student account. You will receive a confirmation e-mail and letter from the Financial Aid Office after your Federal Direct Loan has been approved by the Department of Education. You will also receive detailed information from the Department of Education concerning your Federal Direct Loan after 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 to borrow on behalf of paying expenses for their student attending Swarthmore. Parents who wish to borrow a plus loan may not have an adverse credit history. The maximum loan amount of a PLUS Loan that may be approved is equal to 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 PLUS Loan. To file a FAFSA, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

  1. Go to the Federal Student Aid website 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:
    1. Approximately 30 minutes, in a single session.
    2. 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 the PLUS Loan borrowing process is straightforward. Parents will be notified at the end of the application if they have been approved for a PLUS Loan or not. The Financial Aid Office will receive from the Department of Education the parent's approved Federal Direct PLUS Loan information and will establish the schedule the disbursements of the loan, the timing of when the loans are paid against the student's account. The Financial Aid Office will send the parent a letter after the PLUS Loan has been approved. The parent will also receive detailed information from the Department of Education concerning the loan after the loan has been applied to the student's account.

Note:  Federal PLUS Loans will not be originated between and including the dates of September 25 through October 1.  Federal PLUS Loans will be originated up to September 24 and next on the first business day following October 1.  Loans that have been originated prior to September 24, but were not finalized will be canceled, and a new loan will be originated after October 1. Contact scloans@swarthmore.edu with questions.