Private Student Loans

Learn more about how to utilize private student loans to pay for your educational expenses at Rollins College.

The Basics

Private Student Loans are not for everyone. Private Student Loans are credit-based loans utilized by students who either do not qualify for federal student aid or who may need supplemental financing to meet their educational costs. They can be expensive and should only be considered when all other resources (such as Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loans or the monthly payment plan) have been explored.


You will be applying directly with your lender of choice. When considering a private student loan, it’s beneficial to compare rates, terms and repayment options across multiple lenders to ensure you get a loan that fits your financial situation.

One comparison tool is Elm Select, which is a list of those used most frequently by Rollins students and their families.

Another option to review and compare private lenders is Sparrow. On Sparrow, you can search and compare real, personalized private student loan offers from multiple lenders through a simple, three-minute application. Sparrow provides a suite of analytical tools that make loan comparison easy, digestible, and visual. Using Sparrow is free and does not impact your credit score.

NOTE: In compliance with federal reporting requirements, Rollins College does not maintain a preferred list of lenders, nor do we recommend any lenders of private student loans. We would suggest you also discuss private student loans with your personal bank or lending institution. Information on private student loans is also available through the web. We will certify your eligibility with any lender of your choosing. They do not need to appear on ElmSelect or Sparrow.

Loan Rates, Fees & Terms

Private loans are not guaranteed or held by the federal government. Terms and fees can vary from lender to lender and will be based upon your personal credit history and each lenders specific underwriting criteria. You may see offers of credit that specify a fixed and/or variable rate that may include a ceiling rate, with or without fees, terms that require interest payments during the in-school deferment period, and repayment periods of varying lengths. Please be sure to read the fine print before accepting your loan terms.

Borrowing Limits

Initial loan approval is determined by the lender and in most cases requires a credit-worthy cosigner who will be responsible for the loan if the student borrower goes into default, becomes disabled or dies. The requested loan amount is subsequently reviewed for approval by the Financial Aid Office through a loan certification process.

You can apply to borrow up to the Cost of Attendance less other aid for the current academic year. To assist with calculating this amount your lender will provide a self-certification form, which you should use. If you need a blank one, you can use this Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form. Since interest accrues from the point of disbursement, you should only apply to borrow to cover current academic year costs not covered by your other financial aid.

Eligibility Requirements

Most lenders require that borrowers be enrolled at least half-time as a degree seeking student meeting satisfactory academic progress, be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen and be credit-worthy or have a credit-worthy cosigner.

Although not as common, there are lenders who will process loans for foreign students in some cases with a US cosigner, students with an enrollment status of less than half-time, students not meeting satisfactory academic progress and for past-due balances for periods of enrollment no greater than 12 months in arrears. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Once processed the private student loan is treated as a deferment against the bill until received. Private student loans are scheduled for disbursement in accordance with our standard published disbursement schedule, aligning with the start of the term and alongside any other aid offered.