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Other Financial Aid Options

Federal Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Eligible students in a degree seeking program may borrow up to $20,500 from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program each year.  You are responsible for the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it's repaid in full. You can choose to pay the interest during periods of enrollment and the grace period or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and capitalize (that is, add to the principal amount of your loan). Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount you will have to repay over the life of the loan. To learn more about Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans please see the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan 

In addition to the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program, students can borrow additional federal funds through the credit based Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Please proceed to the U.S. Department of Education's website,, to complete the three steps: 1) Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note, 2) PLUS Request Process and 3) Entrance Counseling. You will need your FSA ID in order to log in to the website. Please make sure that you complete all forms using your legal name and the same name used on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To learn more about the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan please see the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Alternative Private Loans

Serious and deliberate consideration should be given when making any borrowing decision. We recommend that you examine all other options before pursuing private loan options, as these loans may be more expensive than other options. The interest rates listed for private loans are either variable or fixed, and monthly payments are extended over several years. Private loans are credit-based and may require a cosigner. If you are not enrolled at least half time, you would not be eligible for federal loans and a private loan may be a viable funding option for you. Vanderbilt University provides a historical list here: FASTChoice

Work Opportunities

Federal Work Study (FWS) vs. Non-FWS

Students whose financial aid award packages include a Federal Work Study award are eligible for FWS employment. Vanderbilt also offers non-FWS position for students.  Employment positions are not assigned; students must initiate the job search and application process. Wages earned from employment are not disbursed to your Vanderbilt student account. Instead, since they are earned by employment through Vanderbilt University, they are received as a paycheck. Those funds may then be used toward your Vanderbilt  balance on your student account or be used for living expenses. For more information visit Student Employment.  To look for job opportunities please log on to


Assistantship information can be found here.

Payment Plans

Five month payments plans, known as the VANDY Plan, are available for the fall and spring semesters. To learn more about the VANDY Plan please visit the Office of Student Accounts.

Outside Scholarships

Outside scholarships may be available from sponsoring organizations such as parents' employers, religious organizations, fraternal societies, women's clubs, and vocational rehabilitation funds. You can find free online scholarship opportunities through FastWeb. If you have been awarded outside scholarships not listed on your financial aid award notice, please download and complete the Outside Scholarship Form  and return it to the Office of Student Financial Aid