Loans & Borrowing Policy

Washington & Jefferson College is committed to helping students make responsible financial decisions to keep student loan borrowing to a minimum. We encourage students to exhaust all financial resources, such as 529 prepaid college savings plans, our monthly tuition payment plan option, and earnings from student employment, prior to applying for educational loans. While debt is often unavoidable when it comes to paying for college, we recommend students borrow only what is needed to cover direct expenses (tuition, fees, room and board) to ensure they are not taking on more debt than necessary. Smart borrowing can help reduce the burden of debt after graduation.

We recommend that students utilize the Federal Direct loans before turning to private or alternative loans. Federal Direct loans are guaranteed (no credit check required), offer low, fixed interest rates, and provide a large number of repayment options including Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. First time borrowers of a Federal Direct student loan are required to complete an online Entrance Counseling session. This counseling session provides pertinent information about your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. There is also a Federal loan option available to parents, a Direct PLUS Loan, which includes many of the same borrower benefits as the Federal Direct student loan program.

Numerous private loan programs are available to students as well. These programs offer competitive interest rates and borrower benefits. Private loans are a viable option for students when they have exhausted all other resources. Since private loans require a credit check, the majority of students will need a co-signer, which will also help them secure the best interest rate possible. To aid students in choosing the best private loan option available, W&J provides ELM Select, a private loan comparison tool. ELM Select offers students the ability to compare and select the loan product that best fits their needs. We encourage students to complete the counseling tool available on ELM Select called Financial Fundamentals, to assist them in choosing the best loan option available. Please note: W&J does not endorse any lender listed within ELM Select. Students have the right to choose any lender for their private loan needs.

The Office of Financial Aid sends an annual notice to all student borrowers. This notice includes the total amount of federal and private loans borrowed while attending W&J College, estimated payoff information, links to online repayment calculators, and information on federal loan counseling tools. Historically, W&J students have borrowed responsibly and one element of proof is our current federal loan cohort default rate (CDR) of 1.1%.  This is exponentially lower than the national CDR of 10.8%. Please refer to W&J Payment Options for additional payment resources.

Lender Information and Loan Applications

The website StudentLoans.gov, serves as a portal for Direct Loan borrowers to manage their Direct Loans. Borrowers will use this web site to:

  • Complete Entrance Loan Counseling;
  • Complete a Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN);
  • View electronic loan correspondence such as disclosure statements;
  • Link to other tools and resources;

Instructions for Incoming Freshmen/Transfer Students

*PLEASE DO NOT ACT UNTIL AFTER MAY 1st AND AN ADMISSION DEPOSIT IS RECEIVED BY W&J

  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) on studentloans.gov.
    1. You will need to sign electronically with your FSA ID. This is the same ID that you used to sign your FAFSA form.
    2. Without this MPN, funds will not be disbursed from the Department of Education & applied to your bill at W&J.
  • Complete a new Entrance Loan Counseling session to review your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.
    1. This is required by the federal government before loans funds can be disbursed.

Instructions for parents of ALL students who borrow a Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS).

Follow these steps to apply for a PLUS loan:

  • Access StudentLoans.gov and sign in using your FSA ID. This is the same ID you used to sign the FAFSA form. DO NOT SIGN IN USING THE STUDENT’S FSA ID.
  • Complete a Direct PLUS Loan Request. This entails providing personal information, student and loan information and providing permission for the credit check. You can also indicate your options if there is a refund from the loan and the amount that you wish to borrow.

We recommend that parents borrow one loan for the entire academic year.

  • The borrower will receive the results of the credit check immediately. If credit approved, complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  • If credit is not approved, follow the instructions on how to apply with an endorser, appeal the credit decision or not pursue the loan further.
  • W&J's Office of Financial Aid will receive your request for a PLUS loan if credit approved and will originate the loan on your behalf. This verifies to the lender the amount of the loan and disbursements along with disbursement dates. When this process is finished, a revised financial aid award letter will be sent home indicating the PLUS loan amount.

* NOTE: Web site does not support Internet Explorer 9 or 10. It does support Internet Explorer 11 in addition to Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.

VISIT our Financial Aid FAQ for more information

General Loan Information

Federal Student Loan information for Veterans- Information on deferments, public loan forgiveness, interest rates and other programs to aid military families.