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Educational Loan Options

Whether or not you are receiving scholarship assistance there are financing options available for students and their parents to help pay for their educationally related costs.  The options discussed on this page are for U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens only.  Due to current market conditions, we are unable to recommend any loan options for international students and their families at this time.  Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss all of your financing options.

Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal education loans should be the first form of financing considered when a family is deciding whether or not to borrow funds to help pay for a student's cost of education.  Undergraduate students can apply for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and parents of dependent undergraduate students can apply for funds through the PLUS Loan program.  The lender and guarantor for both of these programs is the U.S. Department of Education.  All borrowers will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at  First-time Direct Stafford Loan borrowers will need to complete an Entrance Interview Counseling Session at this site as well.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Also referred to as Federal Direct Loans)

Federal Stafford Loans are loans in which the student is the applicant/borrower.

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students(Direct PLUS Loans)

PLUS Loans are loans in which the parent of a dependent undergraduate students is the applicant/borrower. 

Private Alternative Loans

There are many private alternative student loan programs available. A quick Internet search will provide you with many options. We strongly recommend that you consider a private alternative education loan only after all other types of federal and institutional financing options have been exhausted. Please meet with a financial aid officer to discuss the method of financing that is in your best interest.

A student's ability to obtain private education funding is largely based on his/her credit-worthiness and current aggregate indebtedness. We suggest you consider using a cosigner, which may help to reduce the cost of the loans and to ease the approval process. Citizenship status is also a consideration for most programs.

If you plan on borrowing an alternative loan, please pay careful attention to the loan terms (interest rates, fees, payment obligations, etc.) These terms vary widely from lender to lender and from loan program to loan program. Most alternative loans do not offer deferment or forbearance options if you have difficulty repaying your loan, so check your loan terms carefully. If you experience problems during repayment, contact your lender immediately.

Dartmouth College Private Alternative Loan Lender List

Due to changing market conditions some of these lenders may no longer be participating in a Private Alternative Loan Program.  This list is accurate as of May, 2011.

Last Updated: 10/10/13