Office of Financial Assistance

Financial Aid and Financial Assistance

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 strongly encourage you to consider all the ways to pay for an education before applying for any private alternative loan. Federal loans usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than most private loans.

The best way to limit debt is to consider the Interest-Free Monthly Payment Option that is offered to Clark students through Tuition Management Systems. You should either call TMS at 888-216-4258 or view their website to obtain more information. If the payment plan is not a viable option for you, consider financing your balance by applying for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan or some other type of private educational loan program. We recommend that you go to their website and utilize the Borrow Smart tool, which encourages a combination strategy: using a combination of resources to limit debt while still keeping your monthly payments affordable.

The William D. Ford Direct Grad PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a fixed low interest rate loan which allows graduate student to borrow funds for educational expenses. Borrowers do not need to select a specific lender through the Direct PLUS Loan Program since the lender is the U.S. Department of Education. A borrower must pass a PLUS Loan credit check and must not have adverse credit history. For an applicant who is unable to meet the credit criteria, there is an option to appeal the decision or the applicant may be able to borrow with a credit worthy endorser.

To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, you can access the application and loan information on the Graduate Student Forms page.   Once completed, this request form must be either mailed or faxed directly to the Office of Financial Assistance. If you have not completed the FAFSA to apply for federal student aid, you must do so before Clark University will process your request for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Requests for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan are processed over the summer for the upcoming academic year.

Private Educational Loan Programs
Private educational loan programs are another option that may meet the financing needs of some of our families. The borrower is either a credit-worthy student borrower and/or a co-borrower. Both the interest rates and the fees may vary from program to program, often based on the borrower’s credit history and are not always fixed rates. 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. Clark University does an annual review of alternative loan providers and their products specifically reviewing interest rates, repayment options, borrower benefits, and customer service. Based on our review, we provide a loan comparison chart describing the components of each program we have reviewed. However, we encourage our students to do their own research to find a product that best meets their needs. All borrowers have the option to select a private educational loan from any lender or agency they choose. Clark University will process any private loan application submitted to the University. Additionally, student borrowers should consider utilizing their full eligibility through federal student loan programs before borrowing a private educational loan.

The MEFA Graduate 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 Graduate Loan is a private educational loan offered at a fixed interest rate. The fixed rate will vary based on the repayment option you select. The MEFA Graduate Loan requires a credit-worthy borrower and all applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Applicants may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid the student will receive. Fees range from 4-7% depending on co-borrower option selected.
For more information about the MEFA Graduate Loan, you should view or call MEFA at 800-449-6332.

The Citizens Bank TruFit Student Loan is a school certified private loan option for undergraduate and graduate students. Students can select either an immediate, interest only, or deferred payment option and may borrow up to the cost of education less any financial aid awarded to the student. This is a no fee private loan program.
For more information on this loan program or to apply for the loan, you should view or call 800-708-6684.

The Smart Option Student Loan (funded by Sallie Mae) can be a solution for students who still need funds after they have maximized their eligibility through the federal student loan programs. With this loan, the student can borrow up to the full cost of education less any other financial aid the student has received. The Smart Option Student Loan offers a deferred repayment option, interest only or $25 a month fixed payment while enrolled and an immediate repayment option. This is a no fee private loan program. This is a no fee private loan program.
For more information on the Smart Option Student Loan, you should view or call 888-272-4665.

Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan is one of the private loan programs offered by Wells Fargo. This loan program is for undergraduate and graduate students attending school full-time, half-time, and less than half-time. The standard repayment terms for this loan is 15 years and borrowers make no payments while in school; both payment and interest are deferred. This means that interest will begin to accrue while the student is in school but no payments are required during the time the student is enrolled. The student can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid the student has been awarded. This is a no fee private loan program.
For additional information on the Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan, you should view or call 800-658-3567.

The best way to decide what option meets your needs is to compare the terms of each loan program. To assist you, we have created a loan comparison chart which briefly describes the components of each program.