If you need additional funds to pay for education-related expenses, you can borrow additional money to cover your cost of attendance. Keep in mind that borrowers are expected to pay back the loan amount over a certain period of time with interest. Students can use federal and/or private loans to cover their expenses. You are not required to use one over the other, but you are encouraged to budget and borrow responsibly.
Federal student loans are low-interest loans issued to students directly by the federal government. These loans offer an affordable choice for borrowing money. You are automatically considered for federal loans when you file the FAFSA. The amount of loans offered to you is based on your grade level, dependency status and overall borrowing history. If you accept your federal loan(s), then you must complete a Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling at studentaid.gov the first time you borrow the loans. Since these loans do not require income, a credit check or other qualifying criteria, the amount you borrow is capped each year and over the course of the your academic career.
A subsidized loan is available to undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need as determined by FASFA. Not all students are eligible for a subsidized loan.
An unsubsidized loan is available to all undergraduate and graduate students and financial need is not required. All students eligible to receive federal loans are eligible for the unsubsidized loan, provided you have not reached your lifetime limit.
Direct PLUS/Parent PLUS
The PLUS loan is a supplemental loan borrowed by the parent of an undergraduate student (Parent PLUS) or a graduate student (Grad PLUS). These loans are borrowed from the U.S. Department of Education and require a basic credit check. A parent borrowing the Parent PLUS loan must be the legal, adoptive or biological parent of the undergraduate student. Graduate students borrow the Grad PLUS loan independently.
You can also apply for a private loan from a bank, credit union or other lending agency. If you are considering a private loan, we recommend comparing lenders and reviewing all of the rates, terms, conditions and repayment options, as these will vary from lender to lender.