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Educational Borrowing

Families have many opportunities to manage educational costs through long-term borrowing. Federal student loans are the best option, offering low cost and postponement of repayment until the student graduates. You must be enrolled at least half-time (six hours undergraduate, four hours graduate) to be eligible. Parent PLUS is one federal option that offers reasonable rates and attractive repayment terms.

With private loans, interest typically accrues immediately and fluctuates with market rates. Unlike federal loans, most undergraduate private loan borrowers will need a cosigner. Overall, federal loan programs are less expensive than private loans and should be considered first when developing your cost management plan.

Private Loans


Private loans should not be a first choice since interest typically begins accruing immediately and fluctuates with market rates.

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Student Loans


Federal loans, available to both undergraduate and graduate students, are either subsidized (interest-free before repayment begins) or unsubsidized (interest begins accruing upon loan disbursement).

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PLUS Loans for Undergraduate Students


PLUS is a federal borrowing opportunity for parents of undergraduate students enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours.

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PLUS Loans for Graduate Students


Graduate PLUS is a federal borrowing opportunity for students who have a bachelor's degree and are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking graduate or professional program.

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