The Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant Program awards grants to eligible undergraduate students as determined by a formula used by the Department of Education. An undergraduate student is defined as one who has not received a bachelor’s or first professional degree in any area. Students seeking a second degree are not eligible. This award is a grant and does not have to be repaid.
The Federal Direct Loan Program
The Federal Direct Loan Program provides low-interest rate loans, need based and non-need based, to undergraduates and their parents and graduate-level students. These are loans that must be repaid.
The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students
The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a loan program for parents of dependent students. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. Eligible credit-worthy parents of eligible students can borrow the costs of attendance that exceed the amounts covered by other financial aid, including subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The interest rate for Direct Plus Loans is fixed at 7.9%. These are loans that must be repaid.
Direct GradPLUS Loans
The Direct GradPLUS Program is for students enrolled in a graduate-level program only. Eligible credit-worthy students can borrow for the costs of attendance that exceed the amount covered by all other financial aid, including subsidized and unsubsidized loan limits. If a borrower is denied a Direct GradPLUS loan based on adverse credit, they may still be eligible for the loan with a credit-worthy co-signer. The interest rate for a Direct Grad PLUS loan is fixed at 7.9%. These are loans that must be repaid.
Private Alternative Loans
A number of major lending organizations offer private loan programs to qualified borrowers to help finance the remaining costs of education. We recommend that you examine all other options before pursuing private loan options.