Fiscal Education FAQs

Find answers to your questions about how the recent credit crisis affects higher education. University of Phoenix offers a variety of options for students looking to finance their education, begin a college degree program or bolster their professional knowledge with our continuing education options.

The situation is changing on a daily basis. Congress, the U.S. Treasury, and the Federal Reserve are all concerned and working to resolve this credit crisis. The best advice for students is to be patient and persistent in their educational goals.

University of Phoenix is a strong and stable university. We are on solid academic and financial grounds. As a leading university, University of Phoenix has a proven track record and continues to be operationally secure and academically sound.

University of Phoenix strives to make higher education highly accessible. Numerous options for financing your education are available, including federal and state financial aid, grants and loans, employer tuition reimbursement, internal and external scholarship sources and other options.

Federal Loans

If you need to take out a loan to help pay for your education, you should look at federal loans first. Federal loans are long-term loans with low interest rates. They are designed specifically for students who need help in financing their education. The Federal Family Education Loan Programs (Stafford and PLUS) are guaranteed by the U.S. government and are not subject to the same forces as private loans. Meaning, they have easier credit requirements, longer repayment terms, fixed cap interest rates, plus liberal deferment and forbearance provisions.

The subsidized Federal Stafford Loan is need-based and available to undergraduate and graduate students. For subsidized loans, the government pays the interest while the student is in school. Unsubsidized loans are also available to all students, regardless of income. Students are responsible for all interest payments incurred with unsubsidized loans. The loan amounts awarded, whether subsidized or unsubsidized, are dependent on factors such as family income, household size, number in college, among other factors, and how many academic credits a student has completed.

The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a low-interest education loan for parents. This loan allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus other financial aid received (scholarships, grants, etc.) for each year their dependent child is in school. PLUS loans are not based on financial need, but rather on credit history. Qualified applicants are approved as long as they do not have adverse credit.

Private Loans

Students are encouraged to look at federal loans first. Some students may turn to private loans to supplement money received from federal loan programs to cover education costs which cannot be met by federal financial aid. Some examples of these additional costs are tuition, books, and computers. Private loans are not subsidized and are not guaranteed by the federal government and therefore should supplement, not supplant, the federal loan programs.

Private loans are available through banks, education loan organizations and directly from some schools. Lenders determine the terms of the loan, like interest rates and fees, as well as the credit criteria. Depending on personal credit history and loan terms, a co-signer may be required.

Some students may be enticed to take out a private loan because of interest rate discounts or rebates. It is important to understand interest rates and fees can vary greatly, depending on the lender. The interest rate you receive from your lender could fluctuate depending on your credit and/or the lender. Also, private loans may not offer as much protection as a federal loan, like a guarantee or deferment options. No matter what type of loan you take out, remember all loans need to be repaid.

University of Phoenix does not directly loan money to students. We do offer a variety of financing options and encourage students to consider federal loans first.

The Federal Family Education Loan Programs (Stafford and PLUS) are guaranteed by the U.S. government. Stafford loan eligibility is not based on creditworthiness and recent legislation (bill H.R. 6889) has ensured continued access to these student loans through June 2010, regardless of current difficulties in the credit market. That act also increased limits on how much borrowers can receive in federally subsidized student loans in hopes to reduce reliance on more expensive private loans.

Parent and Graduate PLUS loans will be approved so long as the applicant has no adverse credit. Additionally, the credit criteria have been relaxed with the recent legislation.

Private student loans are available and are based on lender specific credit criteria. The current financial crisis occurred because of a rising number of bad mortgages and loans which couldn’t be paid off. As a result, it is plausible private lenders will proceed with greater scrutiny. However, we believe that ultimately, students and parents who would normally qualify for student loans will still receive them.

Stafford loan interest rates will not change as a result of the current economic conditions. Current Stafford loan interest rates are 6.0% and, by law, will be reduced every year for the next three years. However, for private student loans, since credit markets are tight and if credit is made available, it may be at a higher interest rate. As the market works through this crisis, we should see interest rates stabilize, and hopefully even decline.

We are not aware of any scholarship or loan programs that have been eliminated. For more information on scholarships, visit the scholarships section.

Be sure to apply for federal student loans first. If you need private student loans, be prepared for greater individual scrutiny and possibly longer processing times. Regardless, do not let the current economic environment deter you from achieving your education goals. For more information, go to Federal Financial Aid.

An investment in yourself doesn’t depreciate. In fact, there are many possible gains which may come with a degree: a sense of accomplishment, increased confidence, increased opportunities, increased qualifications, increased salary, and more stability when the marketplace is unstable.

According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the United States, the average earnings of year-round, full-time workers by educational attainment ( are as follows:

Adults 18 and older who have:

  • Less than a 9th grade education make an average of $21,815/year
  • A high school diploma make an average of $34,385/year
  • Some college, but no degree, make an average of $41,330/year
  • An associate's degree make an average of $44,725/year
  • A bachelor's degree or higher make an average of $71,500/year

University of Phoenix offers students a balanced approach to higher education, enabling them to earn a college degree while meeting their responsibilities at work and home.

University of Phoenix constantly reinvests in our students’ education by refining the content and design of our curriculum so they are best prepared to compete in today’s global economy.

Throughout the world, highly-respected employers and students have come to rely on University of Phoenix to provide knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the job market. In fact, the University’s curriculum is attuned to the current job market, particularly fast-growing occupation areas facing resource shortages, such as nursing, teaching and information technology.

Private universities like University of Phoenix have been proven to help working adults, single parents and first generation college students get the skills they need to advance their careers. University of Phoenix even helps unemployed students re-enter the workforce by offering relevant education for high-demand jobs like nursing, teaching and technology.

Our tuition and fees are maintained in the mid-range nationally for private universities. Textbooks and materials are dramatically lower than average, due to our technological innovations. This means when you attend University of Phoenix, all of your tuition and fees may be covered by federal financial aid.

Students are able to enroll at any time (rather than in standard semester terms) and complete courses in a consolidated timeframe while continuing to work. These time savers are often factored in as indirect cost-savings by our students.

To learn more about the financial industry, The College for Financial Planning is a leader in financial planning education. The college provides accessible and flexible degree, non-degree, and continuing professional education programs. The philosophy of professional education emphasizes the relationship between theory and practice. Students will the conceptual foundations and practical skills necessary to adapt to changes in society and keep pace with the evolving fields of finance and financial services. To learn more about College for Financial Planning courses, visit or call the College for Financial Planning at 800.237.9990.

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