Types of Financial Aid


About Student Loans

Student loans play a critical role in bringing the cost of your education at UWS within your financial grasp. The vast majority of UWS students borrow student loans. It is important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities when you borrow student loans. Before any federal student loan funds can be disbursed, you must first sign and return your financial aid award notification letter, complete entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note for each type of loan you will receive.

All loans must be repaid
When you accept a loan, you are making a commitment to repay that loan on time and in full. Loan counseling and debt management information is provided via entrance counseling prior to the first disbursement of federal student loan funds. Information regarding your rights and responsibilities as a borrower is included on your promissory notes. Borrow wisely.

UWS students are conscientious borrowers
UWS has a very low student loan default rate. View our current cohort default rate. Click “GO” next to Search the Cohort Default Rate Database and enter 012309 as the OPE-ID.

Federal Direct Loans

The Direct Loan Program is the primary source of federal student loans in the United States. The Direct Loan program includes Subsidized Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Grad PLUS Loans and Parent PLUS Loans. Current interest rates and other fee information may be obtained online.

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN)
To complete your Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note, go to studentloans.gov, and sign in using your FSA ID. You can create or edit your FSA ID here.

Select “Complete Entrance Counseling.” Note that you can add an email address to which correspondence about your loans can be sent.

Select “Complete MPN.” The entire MPN process must be completed in a single session lasting no more than 30 minutes. Be prepared to provide reference information (address, phone, etc.) for two people who have known you for at least three years.

Stafford Loans

The U.S. Department of Education’s federal student loan program is the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. Graduate students are only eligible to receive unsubsidized Stafford loans. For more information, visit studentaid.gov.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans

  • Interest accrues throughout the life of the loan
  • Origination fee and grace period

Direct Grad PLUS Loans

The Direct Grad PLUS Loan program enables graduate/professional students to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid (loans, grants, scholarships, VA benefits, etc.) the student is receiving. For more information, visit studentaid.gov.

  • Borrower must pass a credit check (co-signer option available for borrowers with adverse credit)
  • Six-month deferment by request after graduating or dropping below half-time enrollment status

Direct Grad PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Grad PLUS loans are available to graduate/professional students.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are non-federal loans borrowed through private lenders.

  • Can be borrowed to cover the entire cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance
  • Recommended as a last resort only
  • Cost and terms are typically less favorable than federal student loans
  • Students pursuing a private loan should also submit a Private Loan Self-Certification Form with the UWS financial aid office.

Loan Repayment and Consolidation

All student loan borrowers are required to complete exit counseling prior to graduating or otherwise leaving school. During exit counseling, students learn about repayment options and other information relevant to managing their student loan debt. Federal student loan consolidation is a popular tool to help borrowers manage repayment. A resource page to help students with consolidation can be found here.

About Scholarships

UWS scholarships are awarded primarily on the strength of application but may include consideration of academic merit, financial need and/or other qualifying factors. All scholarships are applied to tuition and are open to both US citizens and residents of other countries. UWS scholarships are made possible through donations and institutional funds. Award amounts are determined by scholarship criteria, available funds and other considerations.

Students are encouraged to seek scholarships outside of UWS as well. A number of private organizations offer scholarships, each with unique deadlines, criteria and application processes. www.fastweb.com is a helpful resource to get started on your search for scholarships.

View UWS Scholarships.

Federal Work-Study

About Federal Work-Study

University of Western States participates in the federal work-study program. Federal work-study provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. Positions are available throughout campus and generally range from 2-8 hours per week. Email the financial aid office or call 503-847-2563 to learn about job openings and to see if you are eligible.

UWS Code of Conduct

Read Code of Conduct

UWS financial aid professionals help students pursue their educational goals and achieve success by providing information about and access to appropriate financial resources. To this end, financial aid staff members are guided by a set of principles that serve as a common foundation for an acceptable standard of conduct.

UWS financial aid staff shall:

  • Maintain the highest level of professionalism
  • Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflicts of interest, including but not limited to:
    • Contract arrangements with any lender providing financial benefit to the employee or to UWS
    • Directing borrowers to particular lenders
    • Refusing or intentionally delaying loan certification
    • Call center or financial aid office staffing assistance
  • Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students
  • Ensure the confidentiality of student records as required under FERPA
  • Provide information about available and known financial aid resources based solely on factors pertinent to the student’s best interest

Further, UWS ensures that all financial aid professionals adhere to the following:

  • May not accept gifts, meals, travel, or any other non-trivial items from student loan providers in connection with the institution’s loan business
  • May not accept, from a lending institution, money, equipment, or printing services or anything of value that may provide or suggest an advantage or grant a preferred status
  • May not serve as a member of a lending institution’s advisory board

Other UWS staff and officials in a position to make decisions about or advise students or alumni on student loans will likewise adhere to these obligations.