Private Loans

You may consider applying for a credit-based private student loan to assist you in financing the courses required for admission to a program. To receive a private loan, you will need to 1) complete a private loan application, and 2) have your loan certified by student financial services.

Private Loan Application

Each year, Harvard seeks proposals from lenders offering non-federal education loans through an RFI to provide Harvard students with information on private loan products. Students are not required to use these lenders, and domestic borrowers may qualify for federal loans with better terms. 

Visit, enter “Harvard University” in the search box, and choose “Extension” from the drop down menu.

Prospective borrowers should review all materials closely and contact the lender to clarify any questions or concerns. Due to the economic climate, rates and loan terms may change throughout the year for some loans offered by these lenders. Consider the following when comparing private education loans:

  • Cosigner Requirements and Cosigner Release Options
  • Interest Rate: Variable or Fixed, Index and Margins, Interest Capitalization Policies
  • Borrower Benefits: Interest Rate Reductions for ACH and Cosigners, On-time payment incentives
  • Fees: Origination Fees, Late Fees, Return Check Fees
  • Repayment Options: Repayment Start Dates, Years In Repayment
  • Grace Period, Deferment and Forbearance Options

After you have selected a loan, you must:

  1. Complete the lender’s loan application using the school code: 00215503
  2. Receive approval following a credit check and data verification by the lender

Private Loan Certification

Once your loan has been preapproved by the lender of your choice, it must be certified by Student Financial Services. Certification of private student loans is based on the cost of attendance for your enrollment and is limited for nonadmitted students to a maximum of three semesters, not to exceed $25,000.

Private student loans are primarily intended to cover tuition and fees, books and transportation, and are designed to be a supplement to your other financial resources.

Private student loans may not be certified for students who are not in good academic standing.  Non-admitted students intending to pursue admission to a degree program and who have earned any grades below B at Harvard Extension School or Summer School are strongly encouraged to request their GPA through online services (Degree Program Admissions menu) to discuss admission eligibility before requesting certification of a private loan.

To have your loan certified, you must:

  1. Complete a request for private loan certification form and submit it to Student Financial Services
  2. Receive confirmation from Student Financial Services regarding the loan amount that will be certified

The loan certification process may take up to two weeks. Additional processing time may be required by your lender. To use private student loan funds to register, you must have all of the above application items completed by the first day of classes. If you do not have a loan certified by the first day of classes, you will need to make other payment arrangements to register. You should review your student account in online services to determine if your loan has been certified by Student Financial Services. If a loan has been certified, the funds appear as either an account credit or an anticipated credit, which allows you to register without using another form of payment. You should also review the lender notification regarding the disbursement of your loan funds to Student Financial Services.

Student Financial Services certifies the following for your lender:

  • Your enrollment plans
  • That the amount you requested fits within the standard cost of attendance for your planned enrollment

When determining the cost of attendance for students enrolling half time or more (at least 8 credits per term for the fall or spring), Student Financial Services considers the following expenses:

  • Tuition and registration fee
  • Housing and food
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal
  • Transportation

When determining the cost of attendance for students enrolling less than half time(6 credits or fewer per term for the fall or spring), Student Financial Services considers only the following expenses:

  • Tuition and registration fee
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation

If Student Financial Services has certified a private student loan for you and you change your enrollment, all or a portion of the loan funds may need to be returned to your lender.