Federal and Alternative Funding

Which Loans Fit Your Needs?

At DWU, students have many educational loan opportunities. Each loan type has its own criteria and benefits—which can be a little overwhelming. Because of this, our Financial Aid Office can help you figure out which funding option(s) are the best fit for you.

Federal funding

Please note that we require all students who request federal funding to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. This ensures that you receive notice of all Title IV loans and grant assistance before you make the decision to apply for a private loan. For all students, the best loan options are federal loans. 

We are required to disclose the maximum Title IV grants and loan assistance available to you. The maximum available grants and loans are listed below:

  • Federal Pell Grant: $6,495
  • Federal SEOG Grant: $4,000
  • Federal TEACH Grant: $4,000
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan: $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores, $7,500 for juniors/seniors, $20,500 for graduate students. Independent undergraduate students can receive an additional $4,000 as freshmen and sophomores, and $5,000 as juniors and seniors.
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan: Cost of attendance minus other financial aid.

Once all federal options have been exhausted, you may want to pursue private loan options.

All students who take out federal student loans are required to participate in entrance and exit counseling.

Private Loans

Private education loans vary by lender. You should compare the loan terms and conditions and choose the one that best fits your situation. You can compare private loans from multiple lenders using two tools that the DWU Financial Aid office provide: FASTChoice or Credible.


FASTChoice Student Loan List, powered by Great Lakes loan guarantor and processor, helps you choose the right loan by presenting you with loan details, including eligibility requirements, interest rates, loan limits and borrower benefits. FASTChoice provides comparison tools for a variety of private educational lenders previously utilized DWU students.

NOTE: Dakota Wesleyan University does not endorse any of the lenders included in the links above and cannot recommend specific lenders. Students may also choose to use a loan provider that does not appear in the list of lenders included at either of the links above.


Compare Private Student Loans with Credible

Credible is the only student loan comparison tool that enables students and parents to compare unbiased, personalized, and prequalified rates with no hidden fees and no impact to their credit. Credible is not a lender or a bank, we simply partner with the top student loan providers to offer a variety of competitive options. When considering a private student loan, it's important to compare rates, terms, and repayment options across multiple lenders to ensure you get a loan that fits your financial situation. Credible is free to use and your information will remain secure.  You can find out more about Credible and begin the process at credible.com/dwu.

Compare Refinancing Rates with Credible

Credible is a unique multi-lender marketplace for refinancing your student loans. Our approach is centered on transparency and true personalization that allows you to compare unbiased prequalified rates in under 3 minutes. Credible’s technology will not only qualify graduates at a much higher rate versus any single lender, but it also does not impact your credit score or share your private information until you select a lender offer to proceed with. Credible is 100% free! You can find out more about Credible and begin the process at credible.com/dwurefi.


National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

You can also use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website to view information about your federal Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS loans and/or Pell grants.


Additional Information About Student Loans:

If you’re interested in doing your own student loan research, we’ve put together a list of resources you might find helpful:

Questions? We’re here to help—just call or contact us and we’ll do what we can.