What is a Private Alternative Loan?

A Private Alternative Student Loan is a non-federal education loan through a privated lender.  A student may wish to consider a private, alterntive loan if he/she needs additional financial assistance for school beyond what is available from the standard forms of federal aid.  These loans are intended to be a supplement to federal, state, and institutional  aid awarded as a result of the completion of a FAFSA.  Approval of the loan and interest rates are based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and are established by the lender. 

When should I apply for a Private Alternative Loan?

You are first encouraged to complete the FAFSA and utilize federal, state, and institutional funding sources prior to obtaining an alternative student loan.  If this funding is insufficient, you may then want to explore Private Alternative Loan options.  A request for a private loan should be submitted at least ninety (90) days prior to the start of the term for which the loan is intended.

Who is eligible?

Any student is eligible to apply; this includes undergraduate, graduate, and credential students.  The private lender will determine the student’s eligibility based on credit history.  The school will certify the loan for the student’s loan period based on the Cost of Attendance less any other forms of financial assistance received by the student for the loan period.  Students should know that Private Alternative Loans are certified for the school year; loans are not based on the calendar year. 

Check with your lender or the school for additional eligibility requirements. 

How do I apply?

Should you decide to borrow an alternative loan, we encourage you to research and become familiar with the loan options including interest rates, terms and conditions, and other specifics pertaining to the loan. 

Most commercial lenders participate in Private Alternative Loan programs.  You may wish to contact your current bank or financial institution where you or your parents maintain a checking or saving account to inquire if the lender participates in the Alternative Loan programs.  Many lenders allow borrowers to apply online through their web sites.  Once the loan is approved by the lender, the application will be sent to the school for certification.

When are Private Alternative Loan funds disbursed?

These funds are disbursed at the beginning of each term or, if certified after the term begins, after the loan process has been completed.  The check is sent to the school and you will be notified when it is available for pick-up.

complete process

  • Apply for Financial Assistance - Complete the FAFSA
  • Review your Offer of Financial Assistance
  • Evaulate your need for additional funds
  • Obtain terms and conditions of Private Loans
  • Apply for a Private Loan early but AFTER your Financial Aid Offer