Private/Alternative Education Loans

Private/Alternative Loans

The Office of Financial Aid strongly recommends that all eligible undergraduate and graduate students complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov prior to applying for a private educational loan to ensure a student receives all federal and state assistance for which s/he qualifies for prior to completing a private educational loan application. After determining what you are eligible for, you can consider other options for educational financing to assist you in meeting college costs. 



As a family, you should weigh the options between a Federal Direct PLUS Loan (parents of dependent undergraduate student or graduate/masters degree students only), Private/Alternative Parent Loans (any credit-worthy person who is not the student wishing to gift the cost of education on their behalf) and a Private/Alternative Student Loan (student & credit-worthy co-signer).

To view a side-by-side comparison of Federal Plus Loans vs. Private Parent Loans vs. Private Student Loans, please click here.  

What is a Private/Alternative Loan?


Private Education Loans, also known as Alternative loans are educational loan programs established by private lenders to supplement the funding that students and parents receive from federal and state sources. Private loans have different lending criteria than government lending programs.

Some families turn to private education loans when the federal loans don't provide enough money or when they need more flexible repayment options. However, since federal education loans are less expensive than and offer better terms than private student loans, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal student loans before resorting to private student loans.

These loans are credit based and in the student's name. The student may need to obtain a co-signer to qualify for the loan. Most Lenders offer both fizxed and variable interest rates. The rates offered will be based on the individual's credit.

Reasons to Consider a Private/Alternative Loan


  • Your federal and state financial aid does not cover all of your bill with the Bursar's Office
  • You need additional money for other educational expenses such as books, housing, meals, etc. that is not covered by other financial aid
  • You are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • You are not enrolled in a degree-seeking program 
  • You are enrolled in certificate program only
  • You have a past-due balance from another semester

Which lender should I choose?


Financing the cost of a college education can be a complex task. There are a number of options available to assist families who are in need of a way to bridge the gap between what their financial resources will allow and the cost of higher education. Since each family's financial situation is different, we are not able to recommend one financing plan that will meet each family's needs. We have, however, provided a link to a list of lenders used by other Millersville University students and parents in the past.  If you do not see a lender of your choice on the ELM Select website, contact the lender directly for application and disclosure information.

It is the responsibility of you, the consumer, to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these offerings and to make your decision based upon those features that best meet your financial needs.  Please note, that in most cases, a student will need a credit-worthy cosigner when applying for these loans.  Students are advised to carefully review the "product details" for each loan to determine if s/he meets the lenders eligibility requirements; especially if you do not qualify for federal aid.

The ELM Select website provides information regarding several different lender options. You will be able to review information, compare, and apply for the private loans through this website. Before you are able to view lenders and their available loan options you will need to select your school Millersville University and then select your Program Type. You can compare up to 3 different lenders and/or loan types at a time by checking the Compare box and then clicking on the link. Loan terms vary, so it is important to be a conscientious consumer.

To view a list private/alternative loan lenders, please click here.

As a borrower, you have the right to select any lender you choose and Millersville University Office of Financial Aid will be happy to process any loan for students.  Other lenders may have the same eligibilty allowances as those listed on the ELM Select website and below.  Please be sure to check with the lender if you have questions regarding eligibility requirements. 



If you plan to enroll less than half time (less than 6 credits per semester), you can apply for the following private loans:

If you are admitted as a non-degree student, you can apply for the following private loans:

If you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), you can apply for the following private loans:

If you need to cover a past due balance, you can apply for the following private loans:

NOTE: Different lenders allow certain lengths of time to pass from the date of your past due balance and the date you requested the loan. For example, some lenders will only approve a loan for a past due balance of 1 month, while others may allow a loan for past due balance up to 1 year. Make sure that you confirm with your lender that you are eligible to apply.

As a borrower, you have the right to select any lender you choose and Millersville University Office of Financial AId will be happy to process any loan for students.  Other lenders may have the same eligibilty allowances as those listed above.  Please be sure to check with the lender if you have questions regarding eligibility requirements.

When should I apply?


Apply within 180 days of the start of the semester.  Schedule all courses before you apply.  Applying too early may result in your credit approval expiration and cause you to have to complete a new application with the lender.

How do I apply?


You can apply for a loan directly through the lender. Applications are available online through the lender's website. If you ahve questions regarding the application process, you will need to contact the lender directly. 

Due to federal regulations regarding private loans, you must also complete a self-certification if one was not completed during the application process.

Once the loan is approved by the lender, information is sent to Millersville University to certify the loan. This certification can take 5-10 business days to complete, depending on the volume of loans we are receiving. (see section above for more detail)

Once Millersville University has certified the loan, the lender will send an approval disclosure, which must be responded to by you.

A final (third disclosure) will then be sent to you by the lender and you will have 3 business days to rescind (cancel) the loan.

 YOU MUST HAVE ALL DOCUMENTS TO YOUR LENDER AND HAVE A FINAL APPROVAL BEFORE YOU CAN USE THE LOAN AS A CREDIT TOWARDS YOUR SEMESTER BILL.  IF YOUR LOAN HAS NOT BEEN CREDITED TOWARDS YOUR BILL, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LENDER FIRST TO DETERMINE IF ALL DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS DUE TO THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS. 

How do I determine the amount to apply for?


Please review the difference between your financial aid award and expenses to determine the amount that you will need to borrow. The maximum loan amount that will be certified by the Office of Financial Aid Office is determined by the Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid awarded. 

Please note that you are billed per semester, so if you are applying for a loan for the year (both fall/spring semesters) it is best to take the amount needed for one semester and multiply it by two. The office of Financial Aid recommends when applying for a loan you do so for the entire academic year that you will be enrolled so that you only have to go through the process once a year and to minimize the number of checks on your credit.

Increases to the loan amount ARE NOT AVAILABLE after the financial aid office processes your private loan.  If you determine that you need additional alternative loan funds after your loan has been processed by the financial aid office, you should complete a new application with the lender.

Which Loan Period should I select?

Please be advised that if you do not indicate a loan term or indicate an invalid loan term on your loan application, the loan term will default to the academic year (fall/spring). It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to indicate correct loan term dates to ensure the correct processing of your alternative loan.

2016-2017 loan period dates:

(you can begin applying for summer loans after April 1, 2016 and begin applying for loans for fall/spring after May 1, 2016)

  • Summer Only: 05/09/16-08/12/16 (Student must have a Summer Aid Application on file)

  • Summer/Fall/Spring: 5/09/16 - 5/12/17 (Student must have a Summer Aid Application on file)

  • Fall/Spring: 08/29/16-05/12/17

  • Fall Only: 08/29/16 -12/16/16 

  • Spring Only: 01/19/16-05/7/17  (do not apply for a loan for this term until at least October 1, 2015))

2015-2016 Loan Period Dates:

(you can begin applying for summer loans after April 1, 2016 and begin applying for loans for fall/spring after May 1, 2016)

  • Summer Only: 05/11/15 - 08/14/15 

  • Summer/Fall/Spring: 05/11/15 - 5/07/16 (Student must have a Summer Aid Application on file)

  • Fall/Spring: 08/24/15 - 05/07/16

  • Fall Only: 08/24/15 - 12/12/15 

  • Spring Only: 01/19/16 - 05/07/16 

As a borrower, you have the right to select any lender you choose and Millersville University Office of Financial Aid will be happy to process any loan for students.  Please see our statement regarding preferred lenders to understand why and how we have chosen the recommended lenders.

Please contact the lender for any additional information regarding the loan program listed.

When will I see my approved loan on my account?


Processing times may vary depending upon the time of year applications are submitted and the loan period associated with an application. Please allow 2-4 weeks processing time once the lender has notified Millersville of your eligibility. During high-peak times (April-September) please allow 4-6 weeks for processing. Applications are certified in the order they are received by the Office of Financial Aid only after credit is approved by the lender and the school is notified of the loan. For a loan to be certified; enrollment must be confirmed and the student cannot have any other outstanding requirements for Millersville. Once the Loan has been certified by the school, the lender will be notified and then will send back final approval to the school. The amount borrowed and the disbursement status can be reviewed on the lender's website for which you borrowed from.

When will my loan pay to the school?


All loans are set to disburse after the fist week of classes when the add/drop period for registration ends.

Exceptions to this policy can only be made for students studying abroad, however all of the following must apply:

  • request for early disbursment must be made by the student and in a timely manner
  • documentation proving the student is studying abroad 
  • documentation showing departure date/time

Please note that the earliest we can disburse the funds is 30 days prior to your departure date. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Application and Solicitation Disclosure Statements

Application and Solicitation Disclosure Forms as required under Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Please use the following links to review and familiarize yourself with the different lenders and their loan specific disclosure statements. These disclosures can be accessed at any time by clicking on the following link:

Disclosure Statements

Millersville University Student Lending Code of Conduct

Millersville University is committed to providing students and their families with the best information and processing alternatives available regarding student borrowing.  In support of this and in an effort to rule out any perceived or actual conflict of interest between Millersville University officers, employees or agents and education loan lenders, Millersville University has adopted the following:

  • Millersville University does not participate in any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
  • Millersville University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the school who is employed in the financial aid office or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept any gifts of greater than a nominal value from any lender, guarantor or servicer.
  • Millersville University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the school who is employed in the financial aid office or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including a stock purchase option) from a lender or affiliate of a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  • Millersville University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the school who is employed in the financial aid office or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept any thing of value from a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders and/or guarantors in exchange for service on an advisory board, commission or other group established by such a lender, guarantor group of lenders and/or guarantors.  Millersville University does allow for the reasonable reimbursement of expenses associated with participation in such boards, commissions or groups by lenders, guarantors, or groups of lenders and/or guarantors.
  • Millersville University does not assign a lender to any first-time borrower through financial aid packaging or any other means.
  • Millersville University recognizes that a borrower has the right to choose any lender from which to borrow to finance his/her education.  Millersville University will not refuse to certify or otherwise deny or delay certification of a loan based on the borrower’s selection of a lender and/or guarantor.
  • Millersville University will not request or accept any offer of funds to be used for private education loans to students from any lender in exchange for providing the lender with a specified number or volume of Title IV loans, private education loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for Title IV or private loans.
  • Millersville University will not request or accept any assistance with call center or financial aid office staffing.