Private Loans and Grants

Private education loans help to cover any gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Private education loans are offered by private financial institutions such as banks and there are no federal forms to complete. Eligibility for private education loans can depend on financial need, other aid, and credit score.

There are many different lenders to choose from. Loan terms and conditions change frequently making it difficult to keep an optimum list and to keep it current. Therefore, we offer the following information to help provide you with the information to choose the best possible loan for your needs and circumstances.

Choose Your Lender

Every student at Excelsior University has the right to choose the lender of their choice. The Financial Aid Office cannot recommend a lender as a perfect fit for you. Contact with the lender of your choosing is the best and most accurate method to understand the terms and conditions a lender offers.

Questions to Consider When Selecting a Lender

Choice of lender is in all cases the borrower’s responsibility. Excelsior University provides the same treatment and service to all student and parent borrowers, regardless of the lender they select. To help you make an informed decision, we recommend that you ask prospective lenders about their practices. Here are a few questions to ask lenders:

  • What is the lowest interest rate you offer?
  • Are the interest rates fixed for variable?
  • Can a co-signer lower my interest rate?
  • Are there any fees deducted from the loan disbursement?
  • Do you sell loans to other servicers?
  • When am I required to start making payments?
  • Can I defer my payments while I’m still in college?
  • Is a toll-free customer service number with extended hours of operation available?


Lenders are required to provide a disclosure form during the application process, loan approval, and after the loan has been finalized. These disclosures provide the details of your loan.

If the loan program you have chosen requires verification of admission, enrollment status, or education costs, please email our financial aid office at
If you have a relationship with bank or credit union you may want to check with them to see what they offer, we will work with you to ensure you are able to use your chosen lender.

Please note: A private lender may require you to apply with a cosigner in order to meet credit history, income, and employment requirements.

  • The cosigner is required to sign the loan document, but you are the primary borrower.
  • By signing, the cosigner agrees to be fully responsible for repaying the loan if you do not fulfill your obligations.
  • Be prepared: go to the lender’s website and find out what information your cosigner will need to provide before you apply.
  • Applying with a cosigner may reduce your interest rate.

Federal Aid First

Private Education Loans are available for those who may not qualify for need-based aid or who may need additional assistance to meet college costs. These loan programs are intended to be used to supplement traditional forms of financial aid. Students should exhaust financial aid options, including federal borrowing options, before requesting a private education loan; Federal loans may be more provide more favorable terms than a private education loan. Visit this website to read about Federal vs. Private loans.

Private Awards

Private awards are those a student receives for the purpose funding education-related expenses from a source other than Federal, State and Excelsior University aid programs.

Students must provide documentation of the source and amount of all private awards to the Financial Aid Office. We are required to include these in the financial aid package. The combination of private award(s) and other financial aid cannot exceed the Excelsior cost of attendance for the enrollment period covered by the aid package. These awards, in some instances, may reduce eligibility for other sources of funding. We make every effort to minimize any potential impact of private awards on other sources of assistance; therefore, any private award(s) will first be used to offset unmet need and then loan eligibility. Private awards will never impact eligibility for Federal Pell Grants or NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Grants.