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Undergraduate Financial Aid Awards

Once you receive your Lehigh financial aid notification you may have questions about your awards, eligibility and next steps. We’re here to help.

How to Review Your Financial Aid Award

Admitted students

Admitted students will receive a hard copy award notification along with their letter of admission to Lehigh (if a student has completed the need-based financial aid application). Admitted students can view their award on the portal in addition to receiving the hard copy letter.

Current students

Current students will receive an email when their award is available and can be viewed on the portal. Financial aid awards for current students are made available in early June.

View and accept your financial aid >

Please save a record of every award notification you receive to document the types and amounts of your awards. Saving copies of each award notification will allow you to more easily track changes if they occur.

Understanding Your Net Cost

The amount that you will have to pay is referred to as your Net Cost and can be determined by subtracting all financial aid resources from the total cost of attendance. Please use our Net Cost Worksheet (PDF) to compute your net cost. This net cost is specific only to the current academic year costs and eligibility and may change in future academic years.

Families may pursue a private or parent loan to assist with their net cost. If you choose to obtain additional loans to finance your expected family contribution or any unmet need, you will need to complete additional forms and applications. Information on education loan options.

Lehigh also offers a short-term payment plan option, administered by the Office of the Bursar. Information on the Lehigh Semester Payment Plan can be found on their website.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

Though we collect a significant amount of information through the financial aid application process, there may be special circumstances or additional information that you feel impacts your family’s ability to contribute to your educational costs. Though not all circumstances will impact need-based financial aid eligibility, we welcome students and parents to contact their financial aid counselor to discuss this information.

Revisions to Financial Aid Awards

Financial aid eligibility may change for a variety of reasons. Completion of federal verification, receipt of updated information to finalize a previously tentative award, receipt of an additional outside resource, change in enrollment or housing status, verification of sibling enrollment, employment as a Gryphon and other factors may result in a change in eligibility.

Notifications of financial aid eligibility changes are sent via email to the student only and require logging in to the Lehigh Portal Banner Self Service. A history of award information is not maintained, and we strongly recommend that you save a record of your award each time you receive a notification. Active Messages associated with your award and eligibility will provide details on your eligibility and revisions. You may contact your financial aid counselor at any time for information or explanation of an award change.

Loan Options and Requirements

Loans are funds that are borrowed and must be repaid over time, usually with interest. Loans can be made available through the federal government, lending institutions such as banks and credit unions, and Lehigh. Some loan types are based on financial need, while other loan options are available to all students regardless of their need levels. Loan repayment periods and terms vary by loan type and lender and it is important to understand this information when deciding to take out a loan. You may have been offered a loan as part of your financial aid package or you may be interested in borrowing a loan to cover your net cost. Important information regarding the steps you need to take if you wish to borrow is listed below.

This federal student loan is available to students enrolled at least half time in an undergraduate- or graduate-degree program who must meet the minimum eligibility criteria for Federal Aid. A student must file only the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be offered this loan.

View more information on the terms and conditions of this federal loan including interest rates at the Department of Education website.

How to Apply for a Direct Loan

  • Submit the FAFSA - Students who submit the FAFSA and meet the eligibility requirements for a Direct Loan will receive the loan as part of their financial aid package.
  • Log on to your Student Portal and accept or decline all or part of the Direct Loans that have been offered to you.
  • For first-time borrowers - Complete both the Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note at
  • Upon graduation (or enrollment drops below half-time) – Complete the Loan Exit Counseling at

A history of your Direct Loan borrowing can be accessed at NSLDS.

Lehigh University has funding available to provide institutional loans, called Frank Williams Loans, to students. The Frank Williams Loan is awarded to students as part of the financial aid package and is based on financial need. This loan does not accrue interest while the student is in school and has a fixed interest rate of 7%. A student is required to begin repayment three months after graduating from college (or once no longer enrolled at least half time). This loan is also available to cover costs related to summer or winter enrollment. Students who wish to apply for loans to cover the cost of summer tuition should complete a Summer Financial Aid Application.

In accordance with the Truth in Lending Act, students who have been offered University Tuition Loans must receive a solicitation disclosure. Please reference our Private Education Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure for reference. You must complete additional requirements once you accept the University Tuition Loan.

How to Apply for a University Tuition Loan

  • Students who submit a complete application for institutional need-based aid and are eligible for the University Tuition Loan will be offered the loan as part of their financial aid package.
  • Log on to your Student Portal and accept or decline all or part of the University Tuition Loan that has been offered to you.
  • Once a student has accepted the award, you and your parents (if applicable) must sign an MPN using DocuSign’s electronic signature process. Detailed instructions will be sent via email from DocuSign in August. The email will be sent to the student and parent email address(es) provided on your financial aid application materials and contain the subject line “Fall Loan Documents.” Note that to sign the MPN, you will need an access code. The access code that you, the student, will use is your date of birth in MMDDYY format. The access code that your parent(s) will use is also your date of birth in MMDDYY format.
  • Upon graduation (or enrollment drops below half-time) – Complete the Loan Exit Counseling which will be sent to the student via email. Information can be found at

The Direct PLUS loans are federal loans that creditworthy parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow to help pay for college. In general, PLUS Loans are used to help finance some or all of the net cost after all financial aid resources are considered. The loans are specific to an academic year and can be applied for by individual term, or for an entire academic year. Repayment begins while the student is in school however, parents may request a deferment while the student is enrolled. View additional information on the terms and conditions of this federal loan, including interest rates.

In cases where a parent applies for, and is denied to borrow the PLUS loan, the student is eligible for additional unsubsidized loan. This additional loan will be offered to the student by the aid office 48-72 hours after the PLUS loan has been denied.

How to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan

  • As long as the student has submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), parents can complete an application for the PLUS loan at Note: The Direct PLUS loan will not be offered as part of a financial aid award.
  • For first-time borrowers – If the loan is approved, the borrower (parent) must complete a Master Promissory Note at

A private education loan is a loan that can be applied for by a student separately from the need-based application and award. In general, these loan options are used to help finance some or all of the net cost after all financial aid resources are considered. The loans are specific to an academic year and can be applied for by individual term, or for an entire academic year.

A private/alternative loan is generally based on the student’s credit history. A student who has poor credit or has not established credit can apply with a creditworthy co-borrower. Even in cases where a student does not require a co-borrower, the best interest rates tend to be given to students who have creditworthy co-borrowers. Lehigh does not recommend any specific private loan option but strongly recommends that you carefully review the terms and conditions of multiple private loan options as they can vary greatly. To assist with this process, a list of private loans recently used by Lehigh students can be found on our ELMSelect site.

How to apply for a Private Loan

  • Individual loan providers have their own application and timeline. Plan to apply at least 30 days prior to the date the bill is due.


Students who have submitted a complete financial aid application and have financial need may be offered work-study as part of their financial aid package each academic year. Please visit the work-study section of our website to review important information about this program.