NEA<SUP>®</SUP> Student Loan Program

NEA® Student Loan Program

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The NEA Smart Option Student Loan® for undergraduate students by Sallie Mae® is an ideal solution for families who need help paying for undergraduate college expenses not covered by scholarships, grants or federal student loans.

NEA also offers the Graduate loans from Sallie Mae. This suite of loans, to pay for expenses included in your school's cost of attendance, is designed for specific master’s, doctoral, and professional programs, including medical, dental, MBA, law, health professions, and other graduate degrees.

The NEA Smart Option Student Loan for undergraduates and the Sallie Mae loans for graduate students provide these benefits for students attending degree-granting institutions:


  • NEA Exclusive Rate Reduction—Receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction after making 12 consecutive on-time payments.1
  • Receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction while enrolled to make payments by automatic debit.2
  • Competitive variable and fixed interest rates.
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalties.**
  • Multiple repayment options.



  • Whether you are an undergraduate student, graduate student or parent helping a student pay for school, flexible loan options are available!
    Click to review your options, including several degree-specific graduate loans:
    Smart Option Student Loan® for Undergraduate Students
    Pay for your bachelor’s, associate’s or certificate expenses
    Parent LoanSM
    Help your student by taking responsibility with a loan in your name
    Graduate School LoanSM
    Pay for expenses as you pursue your master’s and doctoral degrees
    MBA LoanSM
    Medical School LoanSM
    Dental School LoanSM
    Health Professions Graduate LoanSM
    Law School LoanSM
    And more..!

Applying online is easy--it only takes about 15 minutes to apply and get a credit result!

Watch a brief overview of the different programs you can use
to help fund the cost of a college education.
Paying for College

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1, 2 For more important information on the rate, fees and other conditions of this program, please see the Terms and Conditions.

** Although we do not charge you a penalty or fee if you prepay your loan, any prepayment will be applied as provided in your promissory note: First to Unpaid Fees and costs, then to Unpaid Interest, and then to Current Principal.

NEA’s Member Benefits Corporation receives compensation from Sallie Mae for this program. NEA’s Member Benefits Corporation does not receive any dues dollars from NEA to support Member Benefits programs.



How America Pays for Graduate School 2017 (.pdf, 2.94M)

Introduced this year, How America Pays for Graduate School is a national study by Sallie Mae, conducted by Ipsos.

How America Pays
For College 2017


How America Pays for College 2017
(.pdf, 1.9M)

Learn how American families are paying for college in this 10th annual study conducted by Sallie Mae and Ipsos.



How America Saves for College 2018 (.pdf, 1.8M)

This annual study of how American families are saving for college expenses can be a useful resource as you plan for your own children’s education.

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