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Rising college costs make borrowing money a fact of life for most college students. More than 65 percent of students attending four-year colleges take out loans.

File your FAFSA

ISU's preferred filing deadline is March 1st

The average student at Illinois State

  • borrows $25,111 over four years
  • pays $236/mo. after graduation (on a standard, 10-year repayment plan)
  • 96.4% make payments on-time (based on 3-year cohort rate)

Once you decide to borrow money for college, you must choose the type of loan you want: a federal student, a parent loan or an alternative loan.

Federal Student Loans

Students are eligible to borrow loans from the government (co-signer free!) but there are some limitations. For example, a student must be enrolled as a part-time student and be considered "degree-seeking" in order to borrow. Be sure to review your potential eligibility, the interest rates, and borrowing limits as you plan for your educational future.

Before you receive funds from a federal loan, you must complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note.


When you graduate or stop attending Illinois State at least half time, you will need to determine your repayment options

Parent PLUS Loans

The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a loan borrowed in a parent's name for the student's educational expenses. Before a parent applies, please consider the interest rates, origination fees, and eligibility requirements for borrowing and repaying the loan.

Already know you want the PLUS loan? Great- don't forget to complete the application and Master Promissory Note.

Other Federal Loans

Two additional federal loan options for which a student may be considered are the Perkins Loan and the Nursing Loan. To be considered, the student must complete the FAFSA by March 1st, enroll at least half-time, and demonstrate need (as determined by the FAFSA). Nursing loan recipients must be enrolled in the Nursing Program in order to borrow the loan. Additional paperwork accompanies these loans, so be sure to complete any and all paperwork to ensure the loan is officially borrowed.

Alternative Loans

Various banks offer alternative loans (also referred to as private loans) to credit-worthy applicants and co-signors. The interest rates vary and may be much higher than the rates of the federal loans, so investigate your federal loan options before choosing an alternative loan. If you choose to move forward with an alternative loan, we recommend following these easy steps:

  • Choose a lender/bank
  • Determine how much you need to borrow for the year
  • Complete the application with your lender (your lender may also need this self-certification form from you, too)
  • Once approved, follow up with our office to check on the status of your loan
2015-02-25T08:36:50.498-06:00 2015