Understanding Financial Aid Options for EMBA Programs

Pursuing your Executive MBA is an investment in yourself and in your future. Wharton is committed to helping you explore financing options so that you can make informed decisions.

Learn about the financial aid options for EMBA students. Directors of Admissions Barbara Craft (San Francisco) and Diane Sharp (Philadelphia) will be joined by Tammy Carter, Associate Director of Financial Aid, Wharton Graduate Division, who will discuss:

· Funding Sources
· The Educational Student Loan Process
· Resources for Military and Not-for-Profit Candidates

Financial Aid Webinar

Diane Sharp – Director of Admissions for the Philadelphia campus of the Wharton MBA Program for Executives

Tammy Carter – Associate Director of Financial Aid for the Wharton Graduate Programs

Cost of Attendance

Tammy: The cost of attendance includes your tuition, administrative fees, room and board. You will be billed each term in equal amounts — so you will be billed for the summer, fall, and spring terms. You will be billed the same way for the following year.


Student Loan Options

Tammy: U.S. citizens and permanent residents have two government loan options. The Federal Direct Loan offers a maximum loan amount of $20,500 and the interest rate is 6.079%. The Federal Grad PLUS Loan has a 7.079% interest rate. (Check the Department of Education for updated amounts.)

Private student loans are available to domestic and international students. The interest rates range from 5.25% up to 9%.

Military students eligible for the post-9/11 GI Bill® can receive approximately $24,000 for the full term. The Yellow Ribbon Program offers $17,500 per year. (Check the GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program details for updated amounts.)

Some students who work in the nonprofit sector may qualify post-graduation for the Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Program. As of last year, we had at least five graduates eligible for the Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Program, and they received anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 per year. They received the award for three years total.

“GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.


Next Steps

Tammy: Check your credit report because private lenders will run a credit check and your credit score will determine your interest rate. You want to assess your personal funds as well. I tell students to make sure that they have personal funds to use upfront. That way, they will actually save on the interest for the loans that they borrow. If you have any questions about the financial aid process or you want someone to walk you through the process, contact the financial aid department.




When should students apply for student loans?

Tammy: Students should apply for any loans four weeks prior to the beginning of the school term.  

Diane: The timing lines up with tax timing, as everybody is getting their finances together for April 15th. That is about four weeks ahead of the beginning of the school term. So, as Tammy said, get your credit in order and fill out your tax form and the FAFSAs because a lot of those same numbers are going to go in both places.


When applying for student loans, does the student need a cosigner?

Tammy:  You do not need a cosigner provided that your credit is good. You’ll only need a cosigner if you are an international student applying for the private loans.


Is securing a loan a condition for admission?

Diane: No. You can start filling out the FAFSA ahead of time, but there’s nothing to do directly with Wharton until you’ve received the offer admission.


What’s the difference between federal and private student loans?

Tammy: The federal loans for the most part are guaranteed and are at a fixed rate. Private loans are at a variable rate that depends on your credit. The federal loan is more flexible and if you run into any financial difficulty, they’re willing to work with you. They also allow you anywhere from 10 to 20 years to pay off the loan. Private lenders only allow you up to 7 to 10 years to pay off the loan.


Can a loan application be submitted now for both years of the program?

Tammy: You can only apply for a loan one year at a time. So, your first loan that you apply for will be for the first three terms, and the next year you’ll follow the same process and apply for your loan for the fourth, fifth and sixth terms. So, you have to do two separate applications.


Are there any scholarship opportunities and what do they look like for the program?

Diane: Yes, we do have some scholarships available for students in our program. Everyone who applies to our program and is admitted is considered for some nominal money to help them with the cost of the program. Everyone who’s in the program is going to be from the top of their class; scholarships are frequently awarded to students who come from unique circumstances or those who can add highly different perspective to class.


What do people typically run into as far as issues with the loan process?

Tammy: Once they submit the loan application, they need to follow up with our financial aid office within two weeks because sometimes they submit the application and then they’re missing documents and the loan is actually just sitting out there. Make sure to sign the master promissory note and complete the loan entrance counseling because those are always the two documents that will prevent the loan from being dispersed to the University.

Diane: One of the nice aspects about this program is that everyone has a class manager. Your class manager handles the billing, so communication is the name of the game between you, your class manger and the Financial Aid Office.


Can the payments be made with a credit card?

Tammy: The payment can be made with a credit card, but I discourage that because they’re going to charge you a 2% processing fee.


Do all loans accrue interest during the school period?

Tammy: Yes. Once your loan is disbursed to your account, the interest starts accruing on that amount.


Is the program considered full-time for loan application purposes?

Tammy: Yes, the executive program is considered full-time.


This webinar was originally recorded on December 19, 2018