Graduate student loans

Graduate students aren't all the same; graduate student loans shouldn't be, either
Cody S.
Aspiring anesthesiologist

When savings, scholarships, and federal aid aren't enough to pay for your school expenses, you can find private graduate student loans designed for your field of study.

MBA loans

Pay for your business school expenses as you pursue your Masters of Business Administration degree

Sallie Mae® MBA Loan

Dental school loans

Pay for your dental degree expenses in general dentistry, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics

Sallie Mae® Dental School Loan

Medical school loans

Pay for your medical degree expenses in allopathic, general, osteopathic, podiatric, radiology, sports, and veterinary medicine

Sallie Mae® Medical School Loan

Dental residency loans

Pay for your expenses associated with taking board examinations, traveling for interviews, and moving for your dental residency

Dental Residency and Relocation Loan

Medical residency loans

Pay for your expenses associated with taking board examinations, traveling for interviews, and moving for your medical residency

Medical Residency and Relocation Loan

Health professions graduate loans

Pay for your health professions degree expenses in allied health, nursing, pharmacy, and other graduate-level health programs

Sallie Mae® Graduate School Loan for Health Professions

Law school loans

Pay for your school and associated expenses as you study for your law degree

Sallie Mae® Law School Loan

Bar study loans

Pay for your expenses associated with fees and living costs as you study for the bar exam

Bar Study Loan

Graduate student loans

Pay for expenses as you pursue your master's and doctoral degrees

Sallie Mae® Graduate School Loan

Choose the right graduate student loan

If you're considering a graduate loan to help cover the cost of your next degree, it's important to understand what types of loans to consider, how to apply, and how much aid you can qualify for.

Which student loans are available for graduate students

There are two types of graduate student loans: federal and private. Federal loans are funded by the federal government, and you apply for Federal Direct Loans and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans by filling out a FAFSA. Private student loans are offered by banks and credit unions, and you apply directly from the lender. We offer loans for graduate school..

Depending on the professional field that you're planning to enter, you may have different needs from a graduate student loan. For instance, medical and dental degrees often require residencies, so it can be helpful to have a deferment period. That is why we offer graduate student loans designed with features for specific degree types: medical schooldental schoollaw schoolMBA, and health professions graduate school. We also have a Graduate School Loan, which is designed for humanities, sciences, and other degrees.

Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans for graduate students.footnote 1

How to apply for a private graduate student loan

It's easy to apply for a graduate student loan. Use the “Apply for a loan” button on this page, and you'll be asked a few questions to determine which graduate loan is appropriate for you. Then, you'll fill out some basic information. It only takes about 15 minutes to apply for your graduate student loan and get a credit result.

How much can you borrow as a graduate student

The amount that you can borrow for graduate school generally depends on the loan; most of our graduate student loans let you borrow from $1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified Cost of Attendance (COA).footnote 2

The COA, generally listed in your financial aid award letter, is an estimate of what you'll pay for the following costs: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses.

Graduate student loan credit information

Private graduate student loans are credit-based. The lender wants to know how creditworthy, or how responsible you are with credit, before approving your student loan application. That means they'll view your history of borrowing money and paying it back on time. If you believe your credit history isn't strong, consider adding a cosigner. Their good credit may help you get approved for your loan.

Benefits and rewards of applying for a graduate student loan

The greatest benefit to taking out a graduate student loan is the ability to pay for the graduate education that's important to you. Most grad students see the expense of getting a degree as an investment in their future.footnote 3 Many believe that it can help them enter or advance in their chosen career field, and potentially reward them with higher earnings.footnote 3

77% of graduate students borrow federal and/or private loans to help pay for school expensesfootnote 3

See How America Pays for Graduate School

Didn't find what you were looking for?

footnote 1. Explore federal loans and compare to make sure you understand the terms and features. Private student loans that have variable rates can go up over the life of the loan. Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment plans, and loan forgiveness and deferment benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal loans generally have origination fees, but are available to students regardless of income.

footnote 2. For applications submitted directly to Sallie Mae, loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received, as certified by the school. Applications submitted to Sallie Mae through a partner website may be subjected to a lower maximum loan request amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half-time.

footnote 3. Source: How America Pays for Graduate School, from Sallie Mae and Ipsos.