Private education loans are credit-based consumer loans that can be used to pay any post-secondary education-related expenses, including tuition and fees, books, and transportation.  Always consider your lowest-cost options first, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans. 

After exhausting loan opportunities available from the federal aid programs, students may consider private loan programs as an additional source of funding.  Cornell College maintains a list of suggested private loan lenders that we believe offer strong customer service, competitive loan terms and easy loan processing.

Eligibility for private loans is based on credit-worthiness and ability to repay, not on financial need.  Private loans may be borrowed by the student or parent/sponsor. Most private loans borrowed by the student require a credit-worthy co-signer and offer deferment of principal payments while the student is enrolled.

Preferred Lender List

The Financial Aid Office is utilizing FASTChoice, a loan comparison tool offered by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation which allows students to compare up to three different loans side-by-side.

By clicking on the following link, you will be directed away from the Cornell College Financial Aid Office website.  We encourage you to bookmark this page for future reference.  Enter FASTChoice now to view private loan products that are a part of our preferred lender list.

Preferred lender list disclosures

In an effort to provide better counseling services to our students, Cornell College has entered into a preferred lender arrangement (PLA).  Federal and state law mandates that we must provide the following disclosures in association with this process:

Method and Criteria for Lender Selection

Cornell College evaluates and reviews lenders annually.  Ease in processing was an important consideration; therefore, we do place emphasis on lenders that route their loans for electronic certification and disbursement through ILink.  Other things that were considered include competitive interest rates and origination fees, borrower benefits, electronic application and processing, co-signer release options, deferment and repayment terms as well as the most widely used lenders by current and former students, and high quality of servicing the loans.

Why we selected the lenders for our preferred lender list

We feel the lenders represented on our list best fit the criteria we set forth.  Each year we review our list of preferred lenders. 


This list does not contain affiliated lenders.

Code of conduct

Cornell has a published Student Loan Code of Conduct that must be followed.

The choice is yours

You may borrow from any lender you choose and are not required to use a lender on Cornell's preferred lender list.  Cornell College will process loans from any eligible lender you select.

The maximum Title IV Grant aid and Title IV loan aid available to students

Federal and state law also mandates that we disclose the maximum amounts of Federal Grant and Loan assistance that are available.  Maximum eligibility for Federal financial aid is based on the results of the FAFSA and is outlined on the student's financial aid summary.  Federal financial aid has better terms and conditions than private student loans and we strongly encourage students to utilize that aid first.  The following is a list of maximum awards in each program:

Pell Grant - Amounts up to $6,195 for the 2019-2020 academic year depending on student's EFC (expected family contribution)

SEOG - $4,000 (Award amounts are dependent on federal funding with a typical Cornell award maximum being $500)

TEACH Grant - $3,764

Federal Direct Loan - $5,500 (freshman class); $6,500 (sophomore class); $7,500 (junior class and above); Independent students can receive an additional $4,000 (freshman and sophomore class) or $5,000 (junior class and above)

PLUS Loan - a credit-based loan for parent borrowers with a maximum determined by the difference between cost of attendance and the student's financial aid award.  The PLUS loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.079% for the 2019-2020 academic year and an origination fee of 4.236% for loans disbursed before October 1, 2019.

State financial aid options

Check out the State Scholarships and Grants for information on financing options that are available in the state of Iowa.

Terms and conditions of Title IV loans that are more favorable than private education loans

When financing your education, a Federal Direct Loan should be your first choice once you have already collected any scholarships and grants you may be eligible to receive.

Federal Direct Loans are fixed rate federal student loans guaranteed by the government. They can be used to pay for educational related expenses. Direct Loans have a number of benefits all designed to help make paying for college more affordable.

One of the most important Direct Loan benefit is the fixed interest rate. Subsidized Direct Loans have a fixed rate of 4.529% for the 2019-2020 academic year.  There is no interest on this loan while the student is attending at least half time.  There is an origination fee of 1.059% on this loan.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans also have a fixed rate of 4.529%. The interest rate will remain fixed for the life of the loan until repayment is complete.  The interest accrues on this loan while the student is attending school. There is an origination fee of 1.059% on this loan.

Affordable Repayment Plans

Direct loan repayment plans are designed to provide flexibility for any budget. Once you complete school and enter repayment, you will have the option to pick from a number of helpful plans:

Standard Repayment - A fixed amount each month based on your principle and interest.

Graduated Repayment - Lower payments at the beginning of repayment then, over time, payments increase.

Income Based Repayment - Monthly payments are based on yearly income and loan amount.

Extended Repayment - For loans totaling more than $30,000, this plan offers a choice of fixed or graduated payments over a period of up to 25 years.


Preferred Lender Arrangements are required to be reviewed annually to ensure that competitive products that are in the best interest of the borrower are being offered.  Please provide us with feedback regarding any positive and/or negative aspects that may have been experienced when working with a particular lender.  Feedback can be left at