A Student Loan is a quantity of money that a student borrows from a financial institution (either the Federal Government or a private bank) specifically for the purpose of school, that the student must later repay. There are many types of loans, lenders, and loan servicers*— each with a its own purpose and set of policies. To find out what type of loan is the best for you, please see our pages on Federal Student Loans and Alternative Loans.
*Lost in the lingo? Check out our Financial Aid Glossary page.
If you are considering taking out student loans, it is important to keep in mind that loans are an asset to employ only once you have exhausted all other scholarships and grants. Loans are valuable resources that should be used only with careful consideration and foresight. It is highly recommended that you borrow Subsidized Loans before Unsubsidized Loans, and Federal Loans before Alternative Loans, when possible.