icon of check with dollar sign on itLoans are financial aid that you do need to repay and which accrue interest. You are responsible for repaying these funds even if you do not complete your program of study.

Federal Loan Programs

By completing the FAFSA, you are applying for consideration for federal loans. The federal government will review your information and determine which Federal Direct Loan you qualify for: subsidized or unsubsidized. The amount that you are able to borrow each year is determined by whether you are a dependent and the number of credit hours you have completed. You must be enrolled at least half-time (at UAA this means 6+ credits for undergraduates and 5+ credits for graduate students). Information on UAA’s most recent loan default rate can be found on UAA Institutional Research's Student Consumer Information page.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

These loans are available to undergraduate students who have financial need. Interest on the principal loan does not accrue while you are enrolled in college at least half-time.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

These loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students or those pursuing a professional degree. You do not have to show financial need to receive this loan. Interest begins to accrue as soon as you receive the funds, although you may choose to defer paying on the interest until after you have graduated. You have the option of paying the unsubsidized interest before you enter repayment, otherwise the interest will be capitalized.

icon of gold circle with black arrow pointing rightTo apply for Federal Direct subsidized or unsubsidized loans, complete the FAFSA.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS loans are available to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. Eligibility is not based on financial need but a credit check is required.

  • Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students (often referred to as a grad PLUS loan)
  • Direct PLUS Loan for Parents (often referred to as parent PLUS loan): Parents can apply for a PLUS loan to help with educational costs beyond what other financial assistance their child receives. Students must submit the FAFSA before parents can apply for a PLUS loan. Parents must complete the Parent PLUS Loan Request Form (available on the OFA Forms page).

Alternative Education Loans

Alternative education loans, also know as private education loans, are made through banks and private lenders. They often have a high interest rate, more restrictive repayment terms, and rarely offer loan forgiveness when compared to federal loans. Federal Student Aid can help you compare federal and private loans.

You should consider private loans as a last resort and after applying for federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA.

Before Applying for a Private Loan

While UAA is unable to provide guidance as to which alternative loan best meets your specific needs, UAA Financial Aid advisors can direct you to some helpful tools. When providing assistance, UAA Financial Aid advisors follow the UAA Alternative Loan Code of Conduct.

Helpful Tools

If you do decide to apply for a private loan, here are some helpful tools as you consider lenders and how much to borrow:


Learn about other financial aid options