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Loan processes for US Citizens and Permanent Residents and International students vary. 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate Financial Aid office at or (203) 432-2739.

For U.S. Citizens - Federal Student Loan Information and Instructions


To apply for a federal student loan, you must first complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you have not already done so, you may complete the FAFSA online at using Yale University’s school code: 001426 to direct the results to Yale electronically. Once the results are sent to Yale, you will receive your FAFSA results electronically or by postal mail from the Department of Education. You do not need to forward the electronic or paper copies of your FAFSA results (SAR) to our office. Parental information is not required for the FAFSA, as graduate students are considered independent.

Student Tax Filers (Data Retrieval Tool) 

When completing the FAFSA, we strongly encourage you to use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) which allows you to provide consent to the IRS to upload data from your federal tax return at the time you complete your FAFSA. This saves time and prevents you from having to complete the FAFSA with your tax return in front of you. You will not be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool until you file your 2019 tax return. To use the Data Retrieval Tool, you would have had to file an electronic tax return at least two weeks prior to completing the FAFSA, or six to eight weeks prior if you filed a paper return. You will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process if you:

  • Are married but filed separate returns for the 2021 tax year.
  • Filed an amended 2021 tax return.
  • Had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31, 2021.
Additionally, schools no longer require a copy of the student’s tax return. If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education,  meaning our office is required to verify the accuracy of the information provided on your FAFSA. We will notify you of the additional information required to complete the verification process. 

Graduate School Loan Application 

Next you will need to complete a Graduate School Student Loan Application. You may complete this form electronically - but will need to print the form to sign it. Once you have completed the loan application, you can return it to us at 246 Church St, Floor 2,  or you may scan it and send it as an attachment to

Loan Eligibility 

Once we receive the information requested above, we will be able to determine how much you are eligible to borrow. Page 3 of the Graduate School Loan Application describes the formula the federal government requires. You may wish to use the worksheet on that page to help estimate your own eligibility (or financial need).

Federal Loans

If eligible, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan will be awarded first. The maximum amount is $20,500 and any additional need would be borrowed through the Graduate Plus Loan. There is an origination fee of 1.057% that is deducted at the time of disbursement of loan funds to your Yale student account. Students eligible to borrow Unsubsidized loans are responsible for paying the interest that accrues . Repayment is deferred until after the student borrower has graduated or otherwise terminated enrollment in a degree-granting program.

GradPlus Loans

If you still have financial need after you have met the maximum of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you may wish to apply for the Federal Direct GradPlus Loan. There is an origination fee of 4.228% for the GradPlus loan. Please note, a student cannot borrow or receive funding above the full cost-of-attendance. For information regarding the Federal Direct GradPlus loan, please go to the Federal Direct Loan website.

Alternative Student Loans  

In lieu of Federal loans, you may wish to explore an Alternative (private) student loan. Alternative loans are offered by many private lending institutions, but the terms and conditions can vary significantly. Students considering an alternative education loan may shop around to find a program that best suits their financial needs. When shopping for a lender, students  should review all the terms and conditions carefully since they can vary significantly from one lender to another. Some considerations when selecting a lender include: interest rates; guarantee and origination fees; how often the interest is capitalized (how often interest is added to the principal to create a new balance on which future interest is calculated); is there a grace period and how long is it; what are the credit criteria; is a cosigner required; are there incentives in repayment such as interest rate rebates for timely repayment; and are there deferment options. Alternative (private) student loans require Yale certification and a need analysis, therefore you must complete the Graduate School Loan Application.

SFAS maintains a list of lenders for students to reference. This is not a list of recommended lenders, but a resource to enable students to compare and select lenders that best fit their needs. Students are at liberty to choose any lender, and the Financial Aid Office will process loans for eligible students. In addition to this list, students may wish to check with state student loan authorities or federal credit unions, where applicable, for alternative loan products.

Entrance Counseling/Interview and Master Promissory Note(s)

Once Federal Loan(s) have been approved and processed, you must complete an Entrance Counseling/Interview. The interview is required by the federal government to be sure that student borrowers understand the terms and conditions of the loans. You will also need to complete and sign a Master Promissory Note(s). Please note, if you borrow both the Unsubsidized loan and the GradPlus loan, a Master Promissory Note must be completed for each loan. You will receive instructions on how to complete the Entrance Counseling/Interview and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at a later date. Your loans cannot disburse without completing these requirements.


The Direct Student Loan programs are summarized on the Federal Student Aid website.

We urge you to start using your Yale email account, as all loan information and correspondence will be sent to your Yale e-mail account. 

For Non-U.S. Citizens - Yale Graduate and Professional International Loan 

Yale currently offers a Graduate and Professional International Loan which international students may apply for.
Below are details of Yale’s International Loan program:
  • 5% origination fee
  • No co-signer required
  • 6-month grace period
  • 10-year repayment period
  • Interest accrues from the date of disbursement until repayment period begins and is capitalized at the end of the grace period
  • 2021-2022 interest rate is 7.75% fixed
Student loans are based on need. Need is calculated based on the total cost of education, less any financial aid you receive in fellowships/scholarship/teaching/work, and your own personal contribution.
The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) cautions students against inadvertently demonstrating that a U.S. loan might be their primary means of financial support. If a student tries to show that they will pay for their education entirely in loans, the U.S. Embassy may question their ability to repay a rather large US-dollar amount when they return home. Therefore, we caution that loans should not be your only source of financial support.