Private Education Loans - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a private education loan?

A private education loan is extended expressly, in whole or in part, for postsecondary educational expenses. Loans are approved based on the borrower’s credit. Some loans allow a co-signer if the borrower does not qualify for the loan. Private education loans are not made, insured, or guaranteed under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Who extends or offers private education loans?

Banks or other financial entities can offer private education loans. These providers must have agreements with the university where the student plans to attend in order for the student to apply for a private education loan. Loan providers who have agreements with Amberton University are located on the University’s website. Click on the Financial Aid link under Current or Future Students for more information.

Do I need to be admitted to Amberton University before I apply for a private education loan?

Yes. The University requires the student be accepted for admission before making application for a private education loan. See the University’s current Catalog for admission information. There is no admission application fee.

My schedule won’t allow me to take a full load. Can I still apply?

Yes. Student borrowers enrolled at least half-time may apply. Enrollment status (half-time or full-time) varies according to classification (undergraduate or graduate). Generally, undergraduates are considered half-time if they are enrolled in 6 hours per session while graduates must be enrolled in 3 hours.

How much can I borrow?

The minimum loan amount is currently $1,000.00. Students may be able to borrow up to the full cost of tuition, fees, and books as certified by the University. Amberton University will only certify loan amounts for the estimated costs of tuition, fees, and books for the loan period, usually one academic year.

What is the interest rate on private education loans?

Interest rates on private loans are determined based upon the borrower’s credit and repayment terms, so rates will vary. The loan provider will determine the borrower’s rate.

What are the repayment terms?

Repayment terms vary with the loan option selected. The loan provider will provide the borrower with repayment information. Payments are made to the loan provider and not to Amberton University. Some plans offer a low fixed payment while the student is enrolled, while other plans offer interest only payments.

How do I apply for a private education loan and how long does it take to be approved?

Application is made directly with an approved loan provider.  The following are our current providers:

Sallie Mae® currently offers loans to qualified students through the Smart Option Student Loan® program.  For more information and to apply, please visit 

Discover Student loans are private, credit-based, and school-certified educational loans for undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, please visit

Students must complete the Amberton University Private Loan Worksheet before making loan application.

Do I need to complete a FAFSA form before applying?

No. Private loans are not federally funded and the FAFSA is not required.

What is the Certification process?

Upon completion of the application process with the loan provider the University will certify the amount of the loan requested according to University guidelines. The amount certified is the estimated cost of tuition, fees, and books for the term of the loan.

Why might Amberton University not certify a requested loan amount?

Amberton University certifies for the estimated cost of tuition, fees, and books only. Because of the nature of our student population (working professionals), the certifiable cost of educational attendance does not include room, board or transportation costs. The student is encouraged to “pay as you go” to avoid long-term debt and only borrow what is needed. The Smart Option Student Loan® and Discover Student Loan programs encourages the same philosophy.

How do I determine how much to borrow?

Amberton University provides a Private Loan Worksheet to help you determine your estimated cost of tuition, fees, and books.

Can I borrow more than the estimated cost of tuition, fees, and books to cover other expenses?

The University will only certify for the estimated costs of tuition, fees, and books. This program is not designed to cover living expenses.

How do I use loan funds to pay for books?

The University has an agreement with the Virtual Bookstore to help students in purchasing their books with loan funds. However, students may purchase their books elsewhere and receive reimbursement from the University. Students should submit receipts and requests for reimbursements to the University during the first week of the session. Course syllabi contain specific textbook information including ISBN’s for each textbook. Students are encouraged to shop competitively for textbooks – just be sure to purchase the correct resources.

I just started a new job and only need a private loan to cover a session or two until my employer’s educational assistance plan takes effect. Can I apply for a loan for less than a full year?

Yes. Your loan period can be less than a full academic year.

If I am concurrently enrolled at another institution, can I borrow enough to cover my educational expenses there and at Amberton?

No. Amberton University can only certify for estimated tuition, fees, and book expenses for enrollment with Amberton University.

When and how are loan funds disbursed?

Generally, the University will request a disbursement approximately one week prior to the starting date of each session. The disbursement of loan funds may not occur earlier than 30 days prior to the first day of the enrollment period and no later than 180 days following the last day of the enrollment period. There may be multiple disbursements over the term of the loan, for example: per session enrolled. Loan funds are electronically disbursed to the University and credited to the student’s account.

What happens if I am approved for a loan and decide not to enroll?

Notify the University in writing prior to the disbursement date that you do not plan to enroll and we will cancel your disbursement. If you do enroll and decide to withdraw completely during the first week of the session, we will return any unused funds to the loan provider thus reducing your original loan amount.

If I have a loan disbursement credit on my account after charges for tuition, fees, and books are posted, can the credit be carried over to my next enrollment or returned to me?

Yes, the credit may carry over to your next session enrollment; however, if you do not enroll for the next session, we will refund this credit back to your loan provider to reduce your loan amount. A credit may be refunded directly to you for books not purchased through the Virtual Bookstore. Approved receipts are required.

Whom can I speak with if I have questions not covered here?

For email inquiries send questions to, or contact Student Services at (972) 279-6511. Amberton University provides enrollment and cost certification only. Amberton University personnel cannot answer questions regarding loan approval. Contact the loan provider with any questions on loan qualification, rates, terms, or payments.

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