Graduate Loan Options

Graduate Loans

The Student Financial Services office offers financial aid in the form of Federal Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS loan and private alternative loans to students who have been admitted to one of our graduate degree programs.  The application process differs slightly for each type of loan program.  First-time borrowers at Washington Adventist University must submit a Master Promissory Note for the Federal Direct and Federal Graduate PLUS loans. Private alternative loans require applications with the lender.  All loan types require that the Entrance Counseling be submitted to our processing center.   Federal Direct and Graduate PLUS loan applicants are required to file the FAFSA each academic year.  You can find the Entrance Counseling and e-MPN at

Following are brief descriptions of the loan programs, as well as an overview of the process involved in applying for these types of loans.

Federal Direct Loans

Graduate students at Washington Adventist University may borrow up to $20,500 in Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan funds per academic year; the loan amount is based on the number of credit hours the student plans to take.  Those who feel they need more than the $20,500 maximum may seek a Graduate PLUS loan or private alternative loan to further cover their educational costs.  Loans are disbursed equally between the fall and spring semesters (if the student is enrolled in both semesters).  Loans can be disbursed for summer term if student was not enrolled for one of the fall or spring semesters.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.31 percent as set by the federal government.  Unsubsidized Direct Loan eligibility is, in part, determined by information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Graduate PLUS Loans

The Graduate PLUS loan is a federally sponsored education loan for graduate students. You are eligible to borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, living, book and transportation expenses, less any financial assistance received. We will not be able to certify your Graduate PLUS application until you apply for the Direct Loan.  Graduate PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.31 percent as set by the federal government, so you can borrow for your education without worrying about increases in interest rates or changes in monthly payments.

A minimum credit check is required for all Graduate PLUS borrowers.  If you are not eligible based on your own credit rating, you may become eligible if you obtain an endorser for the loan.

Private Alternative Loans

Private alternative loans are available to graduate students who feel they will need more than the $20,500 maximum available from the Federal Stafford Loan program or students enrolled in certificate programs that are not Stafford eligible.  Most private alternative loans allow a student to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
Loan Reporting

All federal student loans obtained by a student or parent are reported to and tracked on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  NSLDS loan records are accessible to all authorized NSLDS users, including schools, student loan guaranty agencies, lenders, federal agencies, and other authorized users.

Alternative and private education loan information is not reported to NSLDS.

Accessing NSLDS

Student and parent loan borrowers may view their federal loan information at NSLDS.  Borrowers access the system using their federal PIN.  Students can also access prior federal grant information at NSLDS.


For more information about financial aid at WAU, email, or call 301.891.4005 or 1-800-835-4212 to speak to a Financial Aid Counselor.

Student Financial Services
Washington Adventist University
7600 Flower Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Phone: 301-891-4005
Toll-Free: 800-835-4212
General Fax: 301-560-5364