Graduate/Professional Degree

Whether you’re paying college expenses with savings or taking out loans, the damaged economy resulting from the global pandemic may make paying your tuition bill more challenging. The information below is presented to help you make smarter choices about how to pay for BU and thoughtful borrowing decisions.

Before applying for a private credit-based loan, consider all your options:

  • Federal Direct Student Loan – The student alone is the borrower and generally the terms are more favorable. Eligibility is not based on credit; instead eligibility for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan is based on the FAFSA even though no demonstrated need is required. Be sure you have been awarded the full amount allowed before pursuing other loans. More information including maximum loan limits can be found here. Loan limits specifically for medical campus students can be found here.
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan – The graduate/professional school student alone is the borrower. Eligibility is based on the PLUS credit criteria which is less stringent than the criteria used by most private loan lenders. At 8.05%, the PLUS Loan interest rate may be higher than the rate you may qualify for through a private lender. Also, the PLUS Loan requires a 4.228% origination fee; most private lenders do not require fees. More on the Federal PLUS Loan including the application to apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan at Boston University is here.

Private Credit-Based Loans &

We urge you to compare credit-based loan information and terms carefully to determine the best fit for your particular circumstances and we suggest using to do so. Credible is a free online loan selection tool that allows you to compare prequalified rates*, terms, and eligibility rules side-be-side in just a few minutes. You can filter your search to sort on key factors most important to you. With your approval, Credible will pull a soft credit inquiry, which will not affect your credit score but will enable you to compare interest rates you qualify for at multiple lenders.

Requesting prequalified rates on Credible is free and doesn’t affect your credit score. However, applying for or closing a loan will involve a hard credit pull that impacts your credit score and closing a loan will result in costs to you. Credible assures users that it is secured with 256-bit encryption technology. The Credible privacy policy can be found here. You are not required to borrow from any of the lenders listed in the Credible marketplace. Only you can decide which loan program is best for you. You are not required to borrow from any of the lenders suggested by Credible and there is no penalty for selecting a different lender, if you prefer.

  • Law School students – Link to the Credible Bar Exam Study loans page for bar loans. The Credible process for bar loans will include a hard credit inquiry which will be reflected in your credit history.
  • Medical/Dental students – Link to the Credible Residency loans page for residency loans. The Credible process will include a hard credit inquiry which will be reflected in your credit history.

If you are interested in applying for a credit-based loan, it’s advised that you do so no more than 90 days prior to the start of the enrollment period.

Your Graduate/Professional School Financial Aid Office

The information provided on this page covers only a portion of what you should know to make informed decisions about your financial aid and borrowing. We strongly encourage you to carefully review the information on your specific graduate/professional school financial aid office for comprehensive guidance on paying for BU.

Additional Resources