PA Sources of Aid

The GW SMHS Office of Financial Aid administers a variety of institutional scholarships, need-based grants, and loans that are awarded on the basis of merit or financial need. Your aid package may include different types of financial aid funds. The pages in this section describe the institutional, federal, and alternative types of aid available.

In no case may your aid package exceed the total cost of attendance for your enrollment period, including all sources of GW institutional aid, Federal/Commercial Loans, and any/all outside sources of aid.

PA and PA/MPH students may be offered loans as part of their award package which are processed by our office. The following lists eligible loan programs and links to required documents:



  • Department of Education (ED) Title IV Program.
  • Interest on loan accrues while borrower is in school.
  • Borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note
  • Loan will have fixed interest rates of 7.05% (if disbursed after 07/01/23 and before 07/01/24). 
  • You may borrow a maximum of $20,500 per nine-month academic year in the PA Program.
  • Students in the PA/MPH Program may borrow up to $33,000 per nine-month period and $2,222 for each month thereafter. Students must be enrolled in half-time hours in the MPH program to be eligible for extended loan limits.
  • The origination fee is 1.057%.​ This will change on October 1, 2024.
  • Eligible for forbearance options
  • Federal Entrance Counseling (first time borrowers) and Exit Counseling are mandatory



  • Department of Education (ED) Title IV Program.
  • Interest on loan accrues while borrower is in school. 
  • Borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note and Federal Entrance Counseling
  • Credit-based loan, your credit report will be pulled resulting in a "hard hit" to your credit score
  • Loans made on or after July 1, 2022, have a fixed interest rate of 8.05% (if disbursed after 07/01/23 and before 07/01/24). 
  • You may borrow up to the full cost of attendance, less other aid, each year.
  •  The origination fee is 4.228%.​ This will change on October 1, 2024.
  • Eligible for forbearance options
  • Entrance Counseling (first time borrowers) and Exit Counseling are mandatory

Private alternative (otherwise known as commercial) loans are offered by many private banks or lenders and are borrowed for education expenses not covered by other sources of financial aid. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize all of their federal student loan eligibility before seeking an alternative student loan:

Annual alternative loan amounts are limited to a student's total cost of attendance less other financial aid received. Student must be enrolled at least half-time and be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident or provide a U.S. cosigner. Alternative loans are unsubsidized and carry a variable interest rate. Interest rates are determined by the lending institution and may change as often as every 30 days and may have no interest rate cap. Alternative loan approval is based upon the student's credit history. Credit history may also affect the interest rate. Each alternative loan lender has their own credit criteria, application process, and maximum lifetime borrowing limits.

 Those students who intend to apply for an alternative loan or to have a Student Accounts Hold lifted for advance registration must start the application process at least four weeks prior to the date on which they are scheduled to register for the upcoming semester. Several steps must be completed before the lender will provide the SMHS Office of Financial Aid with the loan certification form. No action will be taken to release a ‘hold" until we have received the funds from your lender.

When you apply for an alternative loan, please be sure to follow the instructions from your lender carefully. These instructions will guide you step-by-step through the process. Please note that due to recent changes in federal regulations, the SMHS Office of Financial Aid is not allowed to offer recommendations on any lending program. Please see our Code of Conduct. However, we recognize that some students need private loans, especially students who are not eligible for Federal Direct Loans. If you have a question about the terms of a private loan or you do not understand what your lender is asking on an application, please contact the SMHS Office of Financial Aid. We are happy to assist you in understanding this information.

It is wise to compare loan terms among the different lenders and products to find the loan option that best suits your needs. An internet search for “Private Alternative Student Loans” provides a valuable starting point for both learning about the terms of the loans and reviewing the products available from various lending institutions.

You must also submit  the Financial Aid Request form and indicate Private Loans (see the forms page) We will certify any private alternative loan application submitted to the SMHS Office of Financial Aid (school code 001444-03). 

Please allow 5-7 business days for processing certification request from the lenders. Disbursements are scheduled for the 1st week of classes each semester. However it may take up to 5-10 days for loans to be disbursed if requested after the term begins. Loans are disbursed to your student eBill and any credit balance will be returned to you by the student accounts team. 



The GW PA program offers a limited number of need-based and merit based scholarships. These renewable scholarships require students to maintain a 3.0 GPA as well as good academic and professionalism standing.

External Sources

PA Student Scholarships - PA Foundation (

National Health Service Corps | NHSC (

Scholarships - Veterans Caucus of the AAPA