Loans can help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and earned gift aid.
You will be required to repay your loans within six months of graduation.

Federal Loans

There are several types of federal education loans that are available to most undergraduate and graduate students. You are automatically considered for federal student loans when you file your FAFSA.

Subsidized Loans

Direct subsidized loans are awarded on the basis of financial need. No interest is charged before you begin repayment. The federal government subsidizes the interest during periods of enrollment.

Unsubsidized Loans

Direct unsubsidized loans are not awarded on the basis of need. Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. As the interest accumulates, it will be capitalized; meaning the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and additional interest will then be based upon the higher amount.

Plus Loans

If your student is an undergraduate, the Parent PLUS Loan is an option for you to help pay their education expenses. Likewise, if you are a graduate student, the Grad PLUS Loan is an option for you. The interest rate on PLUS loans is fixed and based on a 10-year treasury rate plus a fixed margin of 8.05%.

Plus Loan Application

The Parent PLUS loan has a fee that is a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.Need help calculating the PLUS Loan Fee?  Use the calculator below!

PLUS Loan Application Calculator


Enter an estimated balance here or the balance shown on the statements.

It is the sole responsibility of the parent borrower to ensure they are borrowing the amount needed. Review the student’s billing statement each semester to ensure you have borrowed the amount you need. Contact our office if you would like to change your loan amount.

Loan amount(s) may be reduced depending on eligibility. If additional financial assistance or other educational resources are received by the student after the Direct PLUS loan is certified, one or both of the loan disbursements may be reduced or cancelled to prevent over-awards. An example of other resources might be a student who received a $500 scholarship from the Red Cross.

Alternative Loans

Alternative student loans, also known as private loans, are offered by private lenders to provide another financing option to pay for educational expenses.

You must apply directly through a lender.

You are free to choose any lender you wish. If you choose to borrow from a lender you might consider using a tool called ELM by visiting ELM Select. ELM Select helps undergraduate, graduate and international students determine which lender and product is right for them. You can filter by lender, repayment types, index rate, enrollment and satisfactory progress. You can also compare lenders and their products side by side to determine the best private education loan for you.

Get started
Alma does not recommend or promote any of the lenders listed on ELM Select. The list represents lenders who provided private education loans to students at Alma College. It is up to you to decide which lender to use to obtain your private education loan.

Cohort Default Rate

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year. Please refer to the Cohort Default Rate Guide for a more in-depth description of cohort default rates and how the rates are calculated.

Cohort Default Rate Guide

Alma’s current Cohort Default Rate is 0%. To learn more on how to avoid  defaulting on a loan, visit


Get In Touch

Questions about financial aid? We’re here to help! Stop by our office, send us an email or give us a call.

Location: Hamilton, Lower Level
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (989) 463-7347