Financial Aid


After Alma Aid and Federal Aid is applied, a way to cover the out of pocket cost is through borrowing loans! Review what type of loans are available to you!

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Do I Need Loans?

  • Typically, financial aid does NOT cover your entire cost.
  • Determining if you need to use loans is an important step in the financial aid process.
  • Unlike grants and scholarships, loans must be repaid.
  • Loans can supplement what you can afford to pay out of pocket and make obtaining a college degree achievable.
  • There are different types of student loans. Eligibility, and terms vary by loan type.

Loans showing on my Financial Aid Portal?

There are a few types of loans that may be part of your financial aid. The student’s FAFSA determines eligibility for these. If eligible, they will be part of the student’s financial aid package. 

Federal Direct Loans

Under this program, the federal government is the lender. Federal student loans usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than other loans.

Federal Perkins Loan

THIS PROGRAM HAS ENDED EFFECTIVE October 1, 2017. If you have borrowed in the past, please review the Repayment and Loan Forgiveness Information.  

Alma College Long Term Loan (ACLTL)

A school-based loan program primarily for Junior and Senior students with financial need. Under this program, the school is lender. If you are eligible for the ACLTL, you will be notified on your Financial Aid Offer Letter. Instructions on the application process will be emailed to your student account by the Financial Aid Office. Rate Disclosure

If you are eligible for the Federal Direct or Alma College Long Term Loans listed above, they will appear on your financial aid package.

My financial aid doesn’t cover everything…
Now what?

There are two loan options for covering the remaining costs after all aid (grants, scholarships, federal student and/or institutional loans) has been determined. These have different requirements to determine eligibility such as a credit check by the lender.

Please Note: Many families combine paying out of pocket or using payment plans along with the loan options below.  Borrowing a combination of the two loan types listed below is also possible.

Option 1: Federal Parent PLUS Loan

A credit-based, fixed-rate loan that parents of dependent, undergraduate students can borrow to pay for the student’s education costs not covered by other aid. Parents may borrow up to the school’s cost of attendance less all other financial aid the student is receiving. Note: This loan can never be transferred into the student’s name. The parent is solely responsible for repayment.

Option 2: Alternative Loans

Alternative/private loans are student loans through banks or credit unions and are available to help students meet education costs not covered by other aid. Students/parents may borrow up to the school’s cost of attendance less all other financial aid the student is receiving.


What about other Federal Loans versus Alternative/Private Loans?
See the answer here: Federal Loans Vs. Alternative Loans

Track Your Federal Loans & Find Your Loan Servicer
NSLDS – The National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) provides detail on what kind of loans you have borrowed, the amounts of those loans, and provides you with your loan servicer’s name and contact information.

Resources For Loan Education, Requirements & Borrowing Tools - visit! 

Repaying Your Federal Student Loans - Check out this guide for more information about the process and your options for repaying federal student loans.