You should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine your federal eligibility before seeking any private loans. As discussed in the main text, there are several options you should consider before apply for private loans.
For questions on your eligibility, contact or visit the Office of Financial Aid.
These loans can be beneficial to students who need funding over and above their eligibility for Federal Direct Loans. For law and graduate students, the Graduate PLUS Loan is designed for eligibility beyond the Stafford Loan. For dependent undergraduate students the Parent PLUS Loan is designed for eligibility beyond the Stafford Loan. Only independent undergraduate students should consider the private loan after Stafford eligibility.
Students who are ineligible for the federal loan programs, and those who do not meet the half time enrollment requirement for Federal Direct Loans, should consider a private student loan. The borrower's eligibility is based on his or her credit worthiness. Some students will be required by the lender to have a co-signer. The application and approval process is done directly with the lender of your choice.
We are providing this information to increase your options for financial aid. However, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the federal loan programs first. Many educational loans require immediate repayment and can not be deferred.
Graduate and law students should consider the Graduate PLUS Loans as an alternative to the private educational loan. Unlike the undergraduate Parent PLUS Loan, the student, not the parent, is the borrower. Some of the Graduate PLUS features include:
• Consolidation and repayment options
• Automatic in-school deferment
• Low fixed interest rate
• Fixed monthly payment