Loan Origination Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Dec 05, 2019

Most employers prefer hiring loan originators with bachelor's degrees. Business-related degrees in fields such as real estate, finance, economics and business are most common.

Aspiring loan originators can enroll in programs offered by 4-year colleges and universities. Degrees in business administration, finance, economics, or real estate are the most reliable avenues for those seeking to become loan originators.

Top 10 Schools for Finance

Before deciding on a finance school, it's good to take a look at all your options. Consider the following sample of schools with the highest ranking finance programs in the nation.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of California - Berkeley (Haas) Berkeley, California 4-year, public Master's $14,131 (Graduate In-State)
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $55,584 (Undergrad), $38,630 (Graduate)
University of Chicago (Booth) Chicago, Illinois 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $58,968 (Graduate)
New York University (Stern) New York, New York 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $51,828 (Undergrad), $45,426 (Graduate)
Columbia University New York, New York 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $53,000 (Undergrad), $48,390 (Graduate)
Stanford University Stanford, California 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $51,354 (Graduate)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) Cambridge, Massachusetts 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $51,832 (Undergrad), $54,976 (Graduate)
University of California - Los Angeles (Anderson) Los Angeles, California 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $12,946 (Graduate In-State)
Northwestern University (Kellogg) Evanston, Illinois 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate, Master's, Doctoral $49,047 (Undergrad), $48,624 (Graduate)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Rackham) Ann Arbor, Michigan 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Doctoral $13,856 (Undergrad In-State), $20,638 (Graduate In-State)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

It's always important to take into consideration many aspects of the school and program you are looking at before deciding on a school. Think about the following when deciding on a finance program.

  • Focusing on schools with a strong reputation in business education or real estate might provide the best preparation for a career in loan origination.
  • Decide when you want to attend class. Loan origination college education can be obtained both online and on-campus, with many programs offering flexible nighttime and weekend learning opportunities.
  • Look at your networking possibilities. Students may want to look for faculty members that hold working positions in real estate, banking and development who can help further their education and assist in career guidance.
  • Look for a degree program that can help you prepare for the licensing exams. In addition to usually having an undergraduate degree, loan originators often need to pass a series of exams in order to be licensed to originate loans in their state of employment.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

A general degree in business can help most students regardless of their choice of career. There are a number of emphasis track options, such as accounting, management and entrepreneurship, available within these programs. Common course topics include real estate law, risk management and analysis, and finance.

Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics

A 4-year finance degree provides students with the necessary acumen to analyze and manage financial issues that arise in loan origination. Coursework focuses on accounting, statistics, strategic marketing, and management principles.

Bachelor of Science in Real Estate

Many schools offer 4-year degree programs in this area, which include a strong foundation in business with a real estate emphasis. Common courses include business economics, real estate development, real estate law, and marketing.

Students interested in becoming loan originators have many undergraduate and graduate degree options to choose from in relevant fields of study, such as finance and business. Program formats, licensure preparation and networking opportunities are factors worth considering when choosing a school.

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