Many people are under the assumption that loans are not financial aid. "Financial aid," however, refers to grants, employment and loans. The types of federal loans a student is eligible for are included in the student's Award Letter.
Although recommended as a practical means of funding a college education, you are not obligated to accept a loan as part of your Award Letter. In fact, you should think carefully about borrowing. While educational loans may be considered "good debt", keep in mind the level of debt that you may be incurring over the span of your education and the amount you may be repaying over the life of the loan.
Should you decide to accept the loan offered to you, additional forms must be completed. Please read all forms carefully prior to submitting them to the appropriate agency. Keep in mind that loans must be repaid and borrowers do have specific rights and responsibilities when taking a loan.
Your Award Letter will include information on federal student loans only. There are other types of educational loans available such as a PLUS and Alternative Loans. Descriptions on all of the loan programs can be found below. It is recommended that before borrowing a loan, all other options are considered. If a loan is needed, we recommend that you exhaust federal loan options first.
To review the overall cost of a loan, please review the loan calculator(s).
Stafford Loans - federal loan
Nursing Student Loans - federal loan
Perkins Loans - federal loan
PLUS - federal loan
Alternative Loans - private loan*
* Please read the information about choosing a lender prior to completing your loan application.
The Federal Trade Commission has published a brochure about consumer credit and student loans. It is a valuable resource and a tool to becoming an educated student loan consumer.