Student Loans

Student loans are available from the Federal government and private sources. Federal Government loans are available to all students who complete the FAFSA. Private loans are based on credit-worthiness and generally require a co-signer. Loans require repayment.

Disbursement of Funds

Pierpont begins disbursing awards to a student’s account 15 business days after the start of the term. All awards are credited to the student’s school account to pay tuition and fees and other authorized charges. If the disbursement amount exceeds school charges, the remaining balance is issued as a refund and checks are mailed to students’ permanent address. If a student is enrolled in the two part of terms, disbursement may be split into two disbursements to more evenly distribute the aid.

First Time Borrowers of Federal Student Loans

Students that are first time borrowers (students that have never received a Federal Stafford Loan) will have a 30 day delay applied to their first Loan Disbursement.

Any loans awarded for a single semester are also required to have two disbursements within the semester – one 30 days after the semester starts and the other at midpoint of the semester.

Returning Borrowers of Federal Student Loans

Students that are returning borrowers (previously received a Federal Stafford Loan) at Pierpont or from any other post-secondary school will receive their disbursement on the regularly scheduled disbursement date (10 days prior to semester or upon completion of financial aid file).  If they are borrowing for a single semester such as a Spring only loan, they will receive the loan in two disbursements with the second disbursement occurring at the midpoint of the semester.


  • You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours to be eligible for loan assistance.
  • All loans are made in two equal disbursements based on your enrollment pattern. For example, if you will be attending fall & spring terms, you would receive one disbursement in fall and one in spring. 
  • All new borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling prior to disbursement. As you withdraw or graduate, you are required to complete Exit Counseling. Both requirements can be completed at
    • Even if you have received student loans elsewhere, you are required to complete Entrance Counseling at Pierpont.
  • You may also refer to for more information on all student loans.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan

Eligible students attending at least half-time are able to borrow a traditional “student loan” through the Federal Direct Student Loan program. Award amounts vary by student grade level and the interest on these loans may be subsidized and/or unsubsidized during attendance. A federally funded student loan based on financial eligibility as determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

  • If eligible, $5,500 may be borrowed as a freshman, $6,500 as a sophomore. Total amount of subsidized loans that may be borrowed as an undergraduate is $23,000.
  • Independent students (as defined by the Department of Education) may receive additional amounts through the unsubsidized loan program in the amount of $4,000 as a freshman or sophomore and $5,000 as a junior or senior not to exceed a lifetime aggregate limit of $57,500 (Total of subsidized and unsubsidized).
  • The student borrower is responsible for the interest which accrues on unsubsidized loans while enrolled although it is not due until six months after graduation or leaving school at which time the interest is capitalized and the loan goes into repayment. The federal government pays the interest for subsidized loans.
  • Repayment begins six months after you graduate or cease to be a half time student with a minimum payment of $50 or higher based on the aggregate total of your loans

See information about Stafford Student Loans from the U.S. Department of Education.

Private Loans

Private loan programs are non-federal educational loans through a private lender that allows a student to borrow additional funds after federal student aid has been exhausted. Each lender has different eligibility requirements, interest rates, fees, and repayment terms. Private loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans for payment purposes. It is in your best interest to borrow the maximum amount of federal student loans before you borrow from a private lender. Do not apply too early for a private loan because lenders have an expiration date on the credit check and your application will not be certified until after you are registered for classes and have been packaged for all federal and state financial aid.

Private loans helps you bridge the gap between federal aid and the full cost of your education.

  • Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid. Students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for federal aid.
  • Funds are sent directly to the school.
  • Interest paid on these loans may be tax deductible; consult your tax advisor.
  • Use the funds for any education-related expense.
  • Receive a preliminary decision within minutes of applying online.
  • The interest rate is variable depending on the student and/or co-signers credit. Interest accrues from the date the loan funds are disbursed.
  • Apply with a creditworthy cosigner and you may receive a lower rate.

To assist you in this process, we have compiled a comparison list on ELM Select for different alternative lenders that we think may best match our student body. You are free to choose ANY lender whether it is on the list or not without penalty. Pierpont does not endorse any particular lender.

Listed below is the website of the lending institutions where you can apply for a private loan:

  • ELM Select
  • Addison H. Gibson Foundation
  • Low interest loans for long-term western Pennsylvania residents