Financial Aid

Loans for Current Undergraduate Students

Most families have two major needs when considering finance options for a college education:

  1. Obtaining manageable monthly payments.
  2. Minimizing the total cost of education.

To meet both of these goals, we recommend the following:

  • Reduce your need to borrow by paying as much as you can directly to Emerson College or through the Tuition Payment Plan administered by Sallie Mae.
  • Investigate the terms of available loan programs if you decide to borrow.
  • Begin with an equal combination of loan and payment plan options to meet the financed amount.
  • Determine what you can afford. If you can pay more monthly, increase your amount in the Tuition Payment Plan administered by Sallie Mae. If you need smaller monthly payments, increase the amount of the loan(s).

Types of Loans

If you need to borrow, learn more about the types of loans available to new and current undergraduate students:

Federal Direct Loans

To assist students and their family in obtaining federal loans, Emerson College is switching to the Federal Direct Loan Program beginning in the 2010–2011 academic year. For further information about the Federal Direct Loan Program and what this switch means for you, read our Direct Lending FAQs.


ElmSelect is a tool to compare loan products. Emerson College has decided upon these loan products criteria in an effort to provide students with information about loan programs that are not only cost effective, but are also accessible to credit worthy families. This list of lenders is by no means all inclusive. Families should feel free to choose a lender that best meets their specific needs whether that lender is on this list or not. Emerson will certify private education loans through any lender regardless of whether they appear on this list. Please note that lender information is subject to change without notice. Families should always check with the lender directly for up to date information. The ELM Select 2.0 system is not yet delivering all committee-approved lender options. The software should be updated by 9/1/13. Please be advised that any lists provided by Emerson College are not exhaustive and borrowers have the option of borrowing under any loan program.

Loan Repayment

For Subsidized Loans, the interest is subsidized while the student is enrolled at least half time. Once a student is attending less than half time, leaves, or graduates, the student will enter their 6 month grace period. Loans that have disbursed after 7/1/2012 will begin to accrue interest during their 6 month grace period. Any accrued interest on the loan at the end of the grace period will become part of the loan principal of the loan in a process called capitalization. Repayment of principal and interest begins after the 6 month grace period

For Unsubsidized Loans, interest accrues each month after the funds are disbursed to the school. Unsubsidized loans have a 6 month grace period after the student drops below half-time status, leaves, or graduates; however, interest does accrue each month while the student is in school.

There are several repayment options available. Students will receive Exit Loan Counseling when they leave school. To review your repayment information now, visit the Federal Student Aid website. It also offers helpful interest and repayment calculators to help you better understand your repayment options.

You can also read our Loan Repayment fact sheet for more information about loan repayment assistance.

Emerson College’s two year cohort default rate on Direct Loans is 1.4% which is substantially lower than the national average of 9.1%.