Eligibility for federal loan programs is determined by evaluation of the student’s income and assets as declared on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Need-based awards are subject to the federally defined data verification process, which requires some students to submit a tax return and other supporting documentation. The amount of student debt load varies considerably, depending upon the type of loan(s) a student obtains, the student's intended course of study, and the student's need to borrow.

Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution. For more information on Federal Direct Loans, click here.

Other Loan Programs

Borrowers can apply for non-federal educational loans from the lender of their choice if additional loans are needed.

Review recommended lenders

Our recommended lenders meet the basic criteria listed below.

  • Federal loans are almost always better for the borrower than non-federal loans. Please explore the use of all federal aid, scholarship aid,  and institutional, state, and private grant aid before applying for a non-federal loan.
  • A student or parent borrower may choose any lender even if not included on the list. We urge you to carefully compare benefits and responsibilities before choosing a lender. Many states have state agencies that provide educational loans at competitive rates and benefits. It's recommended that you research what is offered in your state.
  • The lender list was developed based on information provided by lenders on terms and conditions favorable to the borrower. This includes competitive interest rates, payment or reduction of fees, high-quality loan servicing, sufficient minimum and maximum annual loan limits to cover average needs, and reasonable customer service call center hours and wait times, as reported by lenders.
  • Some lenders offer loans to cover past due balances or offer loans to international students. Please research products offered by individual lenders if you are seeking a loan for one of these purposes. All loans for international students require a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen (or U.S. permanent resident for some loans).
  • Lenders that have borrower reported issues that have not been resolved to the satisfaction of the College will be removed from the list.
  • The list of lenders is offered in random order on ELM Select. A borrower can choose any lender and is not limited in any way to lenders on the list.