Admissions & Aid

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans can help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount of financial aid you are eligible for. These loans are offered by banks and have their own application process.

Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid already received. Eligibility for private student loans depends on students’ and/or parents’ credit worthiness. The loan is typically in the student’s name, but a credit-worthy cosigner is often required.

Please note that Federal student loans are less expensive and offer better terms than private student loans, so you should exhaust your eligibility for federal student loans before resorting to alternative student loans by filling out the FAFSA each year. See Federal Aid First for more information.


Check out the FASTChoice online tool to compare alternative loans from numerous lenders.

Loan Period Dates

Private loan applications require a requested loan period. Use the following dates to indicate what semesters you are intending to borrow for. 

Fall and Winter: 9/8/2015 - 4/22/2016
Fall Only: 9/8/2015 - 12/18/2015
Winter Only: 1/11/2016 - 4/22/2016
Spring Only:  4/22/2016 - 5/26/2016
Fall, Winter and Spring: 9/8/2015 - 5/26/2016

Once the Financial Aid Office receives a certification request from the lender, the loan is applied to the student’s account.  Please note: Incomplete or extended loan periods will result in a delay in processing. 


Because of a change in the law, starting February 14, 2010, lenders will require student applicants to supply a Self-Certification Form as part of the application process. The lender should provide the form to you either online or in the mail.


If you have questions about any of the federal or alternative loan programs, please call the Financial Aid Office at 989-463-7347.

*Neither Alma College nor the Financial Aid Office promotes, endorses or recommends any of these loan products or lenders