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Before you Borrow: Choosing to borrow a Federal or Private Loan is a decision to consider seriously before entering into a loan agreement. Loans can be a wonderful way to make attending college possible but many students enter into loan agreements without fully understanding the terms associated with borrowing money. Loans must be repaid when you're no longer enrolled in school. Loans, unlike grants and scholarships, are borrowed money that eventually must be repaid, with interest. 

Students and borrowers are strongly advised to borrow through the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan program first. If additional loan funds are still needed, we recommend the Federal Direct PLUS (for the parents of dependent students) and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (for graduate students).

There are significant differences between federal loans and private education loans. Students are encouraged to exhaust financing options such as federal loan programs before considering a private education loan as they may provide more favorable provisions.

Helpful Resource for Students and Families

Understanding the Differences Between Federal and Private Loans