Education Loan Programs
Education loan programs are most frequently used to fund education due to federal subsidies, the incorporation of in-school deferment options, and/or possible tax advantages (depending on the specific loan).
Since each loan is credit-based, parents and/or students with credit problems may need to seek a cosigner to take advantage of these options. Unlike a home equity loan, these loans are intended solely for educational purposes, thus a borrower may not receive more than the budgeted cost of attendance less any financial aid received.
The loan programs featured in our BorrowSmart loan comparison tool are the MEFA Undergraduate Loan, MEFA Student Alternative Loan, MEFA Graduate Loan, Chase Select Private Student Loan, Citibank CitiAssist Loan, Citizens Bank TruFit Loan, Collegiate Custom Choice Loan, Discover Student Loan, EdAccess Private Student Loan, Kinecta Private Education Loan, National Education Preferred Private Loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan, and the Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan. These loans were chosen based on their competitive interest rates, their flexible deferment and repayment options and their exceptional customer service. Students and families are advised to compare the loans featured in BorrowSmart with other private loan products to determine the loan that best suits their needs.
Students and parents have the right to select the private education loan provider of their choice, and are not required to use any of the lenders or loans listed in BorrowSmart.
Brandeis University strongly encourages students to exhaust all federal sources of financial aid before considering private loans. To apply for federal aid, the student and, if applicable, the parents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Title IV federal assistance includes the Federal Pell Grant (awards range from$555- $5,550 for undergraduates), the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (awards range from $1,500 to $2,000 for undergraduates), the Academic Competitiveness Grant (awards range from $750-$1300 for first-years and sophomores), the SMART Grant (maximum of $4,000 for juniors and seniors), Federal Direct Stafford Loans (maximum of $5,500/year for first-year students, $6,500 per year for sophomores, $7,500 per year for juniors and seniors and $20,500 for graduate students), and Perkins Loans (maximum of $5,500 per year).