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.