Alternative and Private Financial Aid

Fairleigh Dickinson University encourages all students to apply first for federal and state financial aid, even if they believe they will not qualify, since some federal loans are not need-based.

However, alternative student loans — offered by banks or lending institutions — can help students and parents bridge the gap between the cost of education and the amount of University-funded, state and federal financial aid received.

As you and your family research potential lenders, keep in mind that alternative/private loans:

  • Are NOT guaranteed by the federal government;
  • Have varying terms and conditions, depending on the lender;
  • Generally have higher interest rates; and
  • Often require a co-signer.

Most lenders have informative Web sites, and we encourage students to visit and carefully review these sites as they consider their options.

The actual amount a person can borrow varies according to each student’s individual financial circumstance. Variables include the cost of attendance, financial aid resources and the loan limits imposed by the lender.

Unlike federally-guaranteed student loans, lending institutions that offer alternative student loans may impose certain requirements. In most cases, a student must have:

  • a good credit history, and
  • a low debt-to-income ratio.

Since a credit check is likely, not everyone will be approved for an alternative loan.

NOTE: Students and parents must apply for alternative/private loans on their own initiative. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Financial Aid Office does not originate any applications or paperwork.

If Using an Alternative/Private Loan, Be Sure to Apply Early!

Since the lender must determine eligibility for the loan, students and parents must apply early to ensure that the loans will be approved by the time the semester’s bill is due.