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Loans (Brief Overview)

Below is a brief overview of the various loan programs available at Howard University.

For detailed information about each loan, including repayment, interest rates, and fees, please see the Loan Information and Repayment page on the Student Financial Services Web site.


Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins loan (PERK) Program is designed to provide low-interest loans to both Undergraduate and Graduate Students. The Office of Education formerly Department of Education (OE) governs the loan.

Health Professions Student Loan

The Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) Program is designed to provide low-interest loans to students enrolled in school for medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, pharmacy, podiatry, optometry or veterinary medicine. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) governs the loan.

Loans for Disadvantage Students

The Loans for Disadvantages Students (LDS) Programs is designed to provide low-interest rate loans to disadvantaged students enrolled in school for medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, pharmacy, podiatry, optometry or veterinary medicine. A disadvantage student is one coming from under privileged background that prohibits a student from obtaining the knowledge, skills and school or a student whose family annual income is below the low-income level for their family size. (Family income level are published in the Federal Register.

Primary Care Loan

The Primary Care Loan (PCL) Program is designed to provide low-interest rate loans to allopathic and osteopathic medical students who intends to engage in primary health care. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) governs the loan.

Primary health care is defined as the following:

  • Family Medicine
  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Pediatrics
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Osteopathic General Practice

All PCL borrowers must commit to a (3) three year primary care residency and must practice as a primary care physician until the loan is paid in full.

If a PCL borrower fail to comply with the above, they are risking severe penalties:

  1. The interest rate will change from (5%) five percent to (18%) eighteen percent per annum beginning on the date of noncompliance and ending when the loan is paid in full.
  2. The PCL borrower is ineligible for deferment.

Nursing Student Loans

The Nursing Student Loan (NSL) Program is designed to provide low-interest rate loans to nursing students attending accredited nursing schools offering a diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate or doctorate degree. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) governs the loan.

Howard University Emergency Student Loans

The Howard University Emergency Student Loan (Institutional Loans) Program is designed to provide low-interest rate loans to students who are experiencing a temporary cash flow problem. There are various loan funds and only two types of loans:

  1. Short-term Emergency Student Loan - loans that are due by the end of the semester.
  2. Long-term Emergency Student Loan - loans that are due after the loan borrower separates from the University. Any loan borrower with this type of emergency loan must have an Entrance and Exit Interview. No late fees are charged. The only deferment provision is a student deferment for borrowers who attend school on at least a halftime basis. The loan is reported to the (3)three major credit bureaus (upon disbursement). This type of loan is not eligible for consolidation.

The specific term of the loans are stated in the promissory note and are indicated in the individual fund regulations. Federal regulations do not apply to the Emergency Student Loan Program because the loans are Howard University money not Federal Aid.

Loan Funds for International Students

Do you want additional financing for your studies at Howard University? Are you a citizen of a member state of the OAS? Is so, the Rowe Fund Student Loan Program helps citizens from Latin America and Caribbean OAS Member States finance their studies in universities across the United States by awarding interest free loans. Applications are accepted and reviewed year-round. The loans are also available for university faculty and professionals with the support of the local university in the member state for continuing education or professional development courses in the United States. The courses, studies, or research for which the loan is granted must last for one full academic period and be completed within a two year period. For more information see our brochure (available online at http://www.oas.org/rowe/brochure.pdf ); to download the application forms, please visit our web page at www.oas.org/rowe or contact us at rowefund@oas.org.