Ask Archie


A private (alternative) education loan is a non-federal education loan borrowed from a private lender such as a bank, credit union or other financial entity and should be a student’s last resort for educational assistance. Only students who need additional funds beyond what they do qualify for in Federal Student Aid (FSA) and non-federal aid should consider applying for a private education loan.


Students enrolled in a degree program should first complete the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so their eligibility for any FSA can be determined.

If your selected lender approves your private education loan application, then the lender submits a certification to us requesting our confirmation of your enrollment status, and that your requested private loan amount plus any other aid you have been awarded does not exceed your Cost of Attendance. If following the certification you remain eligible for the private loan, your lender then forwards the semester’s loan funds to the UGA Student Accounts Office for disbursement.

Your chosen lender will most likely provide you the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification that the Department of Education requires you to complete. You can also click here (PDF) to obtain a copy of the form.

Click here for additional information regarding private education loan lenders used by UGA students.



  • Your selected lender determines their loan application eligibility criteria. The amount of the private education loan, when added to all other awarded financial aid, cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance or your lender’s required Enrollment Status.

Your Success is our Mission. Let’s Get Started.