Office of Financial Assistance

Financial Aid and Financial Assistance at Clark University

Financing Options

At Clark University, we realize that preferences and needs for additional resources for financing your education are as individual as each student. We encourage families to consider ways to pay for educational costs that best fit their needs. Below are some suggestions you can review to determine what fits your personal financial situation.

Monthly Payment Plan

One way to limit or reduce debt is to consider the Interest-Free Monthly Payment Option that is offered to Clark families from the Student Accounts office managed by Tuition Management Systems. On average, approximately 750-800 of our families use the payment plan during the academic year.  using a combination of resources to limit debt while still keeping your monthly payments affordable. There is a deadline to enroll in the payment plan. You can reach TMS at 888-216-4258. 


Loan Options 


The maximum loan amount that can be borrowed each year is up to the total cost of attendance minus financial aid awarded to the student.The UG Alternative Loan Chart on our Resources page briefly describes the components of each loan program and is a summary of our annual review of alternative lenders. We review the interest rates, repayment options, borrower benefits and customer service of the lenders.


Students may borrow from a private lender, in most cases they will need a credit-worthy cosigner to apply for the loan with them. Both the interest rates and the fees may vary from program to program, often based on the borrower’s credit history and interest rates are not always fixed.   We encourage our families to do their own research to find a product that best meets their needs.


  • We recommend you borrow for the cost of the academic year.
  • Loans should be secured no later than the date the bill is due to be paid to avoid late fees, interest charges and cancelled registrations
  • The federal William D. Ford Direct Parent PLUS loan applications can be remitted to our office and will be processed beginning July 1 in accordance with the Federal Department of Education's regulations
  • We will beginning certifying private loans late May


The William D. Ford Direct Parent PLUS Loan


The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a low interest rate loan reserved for the parent of a dependent undergraduate student to borrow funds for educational expenses. It is offered through the Federal Government. Requests for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan are processed over the summer by our office for the upcoming academic year.


Two hundred and sixty-two Direct PLUS Loans were approved during the past academic year.  The average PLUS Loan for 2016-2017 was $10,490.


Eligibility Requirements

  • The undergraduate student is defined as a "dependent" by the FAFSA
  • A valid current year FAFSA must be completed, even if the Parent Plus Loan is the only financial aid utilized
  • The applicant is the biological, adoptive or step-parent . Step-parent information needs to be included on the FAFSA if the step-parent is the applicant
  • Provide a valid U.S. address on the application
  • Citizenship Criteria for Federal Student Aid eligibility must be satisfied
  • The applicant cannot have an adverse credit history. For an applicant who is unable to meet the credit criteria, you may be able to appeal the credit decision with the Department of Education or submit an application with an endorser
  • Clark University Office of Financial Assistance processes the application for these loans. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan application is located on the "Forms and Resources" page for Undergraduate students.
  • The interest rate for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for 2017-2018 is 7.00%  This rate is fixed for any loans disbursed from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.  The net disbursement amount is reduced by the origination fee. As of September 30, 2017 this fee is 4.264%. New rates are set each academic year.


The MEFA Undergraduate Loan is offered through the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. MEFA is a non-profit self-financing state authority that serves students and families in Massachusetts and families of out-of-state students pursuing higher education in Massachusetts. The MEFA Undergraduate Loan is a private educational family loan offered to credit-worthy borrowers.


The average MEFA loan borrowed for 2016-2017 was $15,185


  • Applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • The fixed interest rate will vary based on the repayment option you select
  • Repayment Options vary


For more information about the MEFA Undergraduate Loan, you should click here or call MEFA at 1-800-449-6332.

Citizens Bank


The Citizens Bank Student Loan offers competitive rates, flexible terms and interest rate discounts. They also offer multi-year approval for qualified borrowers.

The average Citizens loan borrowed for 2016-2017 was $15,580.


  • Applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • Variable or Fixed interest rates
  • Repayment Options Vary


For more information on the Citizen's Bank Student Loan, you should click here or call 1-800-708-6684.

Sallie Mae


The Smart Option Student Loan (funded by Sallie Mae) offers multiple repayment options and an interest rate reduction when monthly payments are made via auto debit.

The average Smart Loan borrowed for 2016-2017 was $12,785.

  • Applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • Variable or Fixed interest rates
  • Repayment Options Vary


For more information on the Smart Option Student Loan, you should click here or call 1-877-279-7172.


Other lenders self-selected by our students & families:


Credit Union Student Choice Loan

Discover Loan

First Marblehead Alternative Loan

The Maine Loan

New Jersey Class Higher Education Loan

Rhode Island Alternative Loan

Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan