Student Loans

Loan Comparison Chart

Basic Student Loan Information

For more critical information go to:  http://studentaid.ed.gov

Types of loans:

  • Federal Perkins Loans are:
    • Made through participating schools to undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students.
    • Offered by participating schools to students who demonstrate the greatest financial need.
    • Made to students enrolled full-time or part-time.
    • Repaid by you to your school.
  • Stafford Loans are for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students. You must be enrolled as at least a Half-time student to be eligible for a Stafford Loan.

There are two types of Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. You must have financial need to receive a subsidized Stafford Loan. Financial need is not a requirement to obtain an unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The U.S. Department of Education will pay (subsidize) the interest that accrues on subsidized Stafford Loans during certain periods. These loans are made through one of two U.S. Department of Education programs:

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Loans made through this program are referred to as Direct Loans. Eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Loans include subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (also known as Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans), Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans. You repay these loans directly to us.

Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. Loans made through this program are referred to as FFEL Loans. Private lenders provide funds that are guaranteed by the federal government. FFEL Loans include subsidized and unsubsidized FFEL Stafford Loans, FFEL PLUS Loans and FFEL Consolidation Loans. You repay these loans to the bank or private lender that made you the loan.

  • PLUS Loans (Direct or FFEL) are loans parents can obtain to help pay the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children. In addition, graduate and professional degree students may obtain PLUS Loans to help pay for their own education.
  • Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL) allow student or parent borrowers to combine multiple federal education loans into one loan with one monthly payment. (See page 33 for more information on these loans.)

Whether you (or your parents) receive a FFEL or Direct Loan depends on which program the school you attend participates in. Most schools participate in one or the other, although some schools participate in both.

It’s possible for you to receive both Direct and FFEL Loans but you can’t receive the same type of Direct or FFEL Loan for the same period of enrollment at the same school. Some schools use one loan program for Stafford Loans and another loan program for PLUS Loans. For example, a graduate or professional student could receive a Direct Stafford Loan and a FFEL PLUS Loan for the same period of enrollment at the same school.