When the Award Isn’t Enough

Colleges aren’t always able to meet the full financial need of every student. What can you do if your financial aid package isn’t enough and you’ve already reduced all possible costs? Consider these financing options:

Contact Your Financial Aid Office

The financial aid office only has the information that was provided through the financial aid process. If there are other special circumstances impacting your family’s ability to pay for school, report the additional information, such as unemployment or high medical bills. They may be able to help.

Even if you don’t have special circumstances, inquire if there is more aid available or ask about ways to receive more aid in the future.

Tuition Payment Plans

Tuition payment plans allow you to pay your tuition in installments over the semester or year. Most plans are interest-free but may charge a fee.

Federal PLUS Loan for Parents & Graduate Students

If your parent is willing to borrow the loan for you, consider the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. The PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan for parents and graduate students.

Private Student Loans

Private loans (sometimes called alternative loans) are credit-based education loans offered through a bank or credit union. Usually, the student is the borrower and will need a creditworthy cosigner like a parent or grandparent. Learn more about Private Student Loans.

These student loans typically offer a variable interest rate. Since private loans lack the benefits of federal student loans, they should be considered after other federal financial aid has been exhausted.