Student loans for summer session
February 23, 2015 11:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently a full-time graduate student in NYC, and I'm wondering what my financial options are for the summer session. I plan to take only one three-hour course this summer, and concentrate on my internship, which means I won't be working otherwise. Is a private student loan my only option for covering my expenses?

I would ask my financial aid office about this, but they're nearly always unreachable. Basically, I have some savings and my internship will be paid, but I still need a little money (<$5,000) to cover my regular expenses. I don't believe I qualify for a Direct loan during the summer because I'm only taking the one class. Am I wrong? If I am wrong, can I apply for a private student loan at any time? And does it work like a Direct loan does (i.e., it goes through my school to pay for tuition, and the remainder is issued to me)?
posted by lunalaguna to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is basically something that can only be answered by your financial aid office.
posted by Think_Long at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

If it helps to narrow down the options, I make too much money to qualify for work-study or any sort of subsidized assistance.
posted by lunalaguna at 11:30 AM on February 23, 2015

You can get direct loans for summer session in general, but not if you're less than half time status. For one course, I don't think that's going to be of help to you.
posted by xingcat at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2015

You really need to talk to the Financial Aid office. For comparison, my university would let us know if we were eligible for any financial aid for summer session courses and what the amount of that aid would be. It was usually just enough to cover the cost of the credits, with maybe a little left over.

Your university will be able to best advise you about your other financial aid options because they may have grants or programs that cover cost of living expenses for summer students. Physically going to the financial aid office might be more productive than playing phone tag, if that's possible for you. And re Direct loans, it may be worth it to sign up for some random bullshit class you take pass/fail to get to half time status so that the loan will cover the summer session.
posted by yasaman at 12:43 PM on February 23, 2015

When I was in grad school two years ago, one course did (to my surprise) qualify as half-time in the summer, since the summer session was shorter than a regular semester. Contact your registrar to see what your school's definition of half-time is for the summer.
posted by rockindata at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2015

I just went through this at my grad school. I needed two courses to qualify for federal aid. YMMV.
posted by Ruki at 3:14 PM on February 23, 2015

In the past when I needed finaid for summer classes I talked to my department heads and discovered scholarships and fellowships available to me. Perhaps these are available to you as a student of your particular department/college.
posted by MansRiot at 3:32 PM on February 23, 2015

Is your internship for credit? Even though you're only taking one real course, the internship credit might be enough to push you into half-time status, thus qualifying you for loans.
posted by trivia genius at 5:36 AM on February 24, 2015

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