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Alternative Financing

External Scholarships

Many scholarship and financial assistance programs are available to deserving students through local and state civic groups, clubs, and organizations. Students are urged to seek out such programs in their local areas. You can also access a variety of external scholarship search sites listed below.

External Scholarship Links

Please forward copies of all letters or notices detailing external scholarships to Student Administrative Services as this is required financial aid information.

Visit www.finaid.org to access The SmartStudent® Guide to Financial Aid.  This guide was developed to help students and their families understand financial aid and search for additional financial assistance.

Payment Plans

Families should consider what they can afford to pay out of pocket prior to borrowing the remaining educational costs. This helps minimize the debt burden on students and parents. The University offers a 10 month and a 12 month payment plan. Information and applications for these plans are available by clicking here.

Parent Loans

There are several high quality parent loan products from which to choose, including the federal Direct PLUS Loan for parents, and the University does not endorse any individual lender. Private student loans, discussed below, using a cosigner with good to excellent credit can result in fixed and variable rates lower than the federal Direct PLUS Loan. Families are encouraged to compare attributes of any loans to pick the one that is right for them.

Visit ELM Select for more details regarding private loans. Many loan sites provide repayment calculators with various options from which to choose. These can be very helpful when deciding what type of loan and repayment is best for your family.

Plan ahead; apply early for any parent or student loans to give yourself time to resolve any issues.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents

The website for completing the Direct PLUS Loan application and simultaneously signing the Master Promissory Note is studentloans.gov.

With this loan option, parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid resources. The interest rate for the PLUS Loan is a fixed 6.31%, and eligibility depends on a modest credit check. It is important to account for a 4.27% origination fee that the government withholds upon loan disbursement. Increase the requested amount by at least 4.3% in order to cover any anticipated balance. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is disbursed, but parents can choose to defer repayment until 6 months after the student departs school. Be aware that deferring payments increases the total cost of the loan.

If the parent's application is denied, he or she can add an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. If a PLUS application is denied, the student is eligible to borrow an additional $4,000-$5,000 through the Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan by completing a form at the SAS Office.

Note: The University requires a completed FAFSA in order to secure a PLUS loan.

Student Private Loans

There are many high quality student loan products from which to choose. The University does not endorse any preferred lender. Student loans using a cosigner with good to excellent credit can result in fixed and variable rates lower than the federal Direct PLUS Loan for parents. Payments are deferrable until after graduation, but deferring payments does raise the cost as interest accrues. Many loans give an option for immediate repayment of principal and interest, or just interest. Freshmen are almost always required to use a cosigner, while all others may be eligible without one. However, the cost of the loan is always lower with a cosigner.

The private loan application process requires several e-signed disclosure confirmations, and the interval from application to disbursement takes several weeks. For the "self-certification" step, you will need to utilize the "Cost of Attendance" and "Total Financial Aid" figures found on the Award Letter enclosure.  The "Cost of Attendance" is also found on our website under "Cost & Aid".

Visit ELM Select for more details regarding private loans. Many loan sites provide repayment calculators with various options from which to choose. These can be very helpful when deciding what type of loan and repayment is best for your family.