If you're a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you'll likely be eligible for federal student loans. You can read about, and apply, for most loans through the University's Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS). To determine your eligibility for federal student loans you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available January 1 of each year and has a priority application date of March 15. It is recommended that you have your FAFSA completed at least by June 1.
Under the federal loan categories, there are Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans as well as the Graduate PLUS Loan. Graduate students may borrow a maximum of $20,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans per year. Upon credit check approval, you may be eligible to borrow the federal Graduate PLUS Loan to cover the remaining costs within your cost of attendance/budget (minus other loans and financial aid).
An alternative loan is also available to choose instead of Graduate PLUS. The amount for the alternative loan is the cost of education minus financial aid awards. The federal government does not regulate alternative loans. As a result, the terms of the loan will vary from lender to lender. When you choose a lender, you will fill out a loan application/promissory note directly with the lender you select and then notify the financial aid officer that you have applied.
Loans for International Students
For an international student, there are more loan options (and better loan terms) if the student has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. There are a number of lenders that offer private loans for international students requiring a co-signer and we work with all banks and lending institutions. We currently do not have a lender that will offer a loan program to an international student that cannot obtain a U.S. citizen co-signer or have three years U.S. credit history in his/her own name. We as the University of Texas at Austin cannot be your co-signer.