Harvard University has signed an agreement with JPMorgan Chase that will provide graduate and professional students from abroad with access to private education loans. International students are not eligible for federal student loans.
The agreement follows more than six months of work by University officials to secure support for international students in its graduate and professional programs after other major lenders withdrew from the market. International undergraduate students at Harvard College are separately covered under the College’s financial aid program.
“We have a significant international student population, and we pride ourselves on the contributions these students make to a diverse campus,” said Dan Shore, Harvard’s chief financial officer. “We are pleased to be able to say, once again, that a Harvard graduate education remains accessible to all talented students, regardless of where they live.”
Historically, only a handful of lenders were willing to provide loans to students from abroad in the absence of a U.S. resident to serve as a co-signer. When the financial markets began to tumble late last summer, many of these entities declined to continue such lending. This casts doubt on the plans of thousands of people hoping to study at universities across the country. Currently, there are approximately 3,300 international students in graduate and professional programs at Harvard.
Under the agreement, JPMorgan Chase will provide financing to graduate and professional students from abroad who register at Harvard. A customized underwriting process will make it as simple as possible for student loan applicants. Under this program, international students may qualify for loans up to the total cost of their attendance at the University, but the specific amount available to individual students will be determined, as part of an overall financial assessment, by the Harvard Schools or programs they will attend.
The market for student lending continues to evolve rapidly. While Harvard is pleased to announce this program with JPMorgan Chase, the University will continue to explore additional programs for all of its domestic and international students, so that they may have a range of choices to help finance their studies.