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.

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 Title IV federal assistance includes the Federal Pell Grant (awards range from $635- $6,345 for undergraduates), the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (awards are typically $1,000 undergraduates), 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).


Parents or graduate students may want to apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. To learn more about this option, please visit our PLUS Loan page.

Non-Federal Loan Programs

ELMSelect Loan Comparison Tool

Students and families may wish to consider non-federal student and parent loan programs. The loan programs featured on our ELMSelect loan comparison tool are the AAA Advantage Student Loan, Ascent Student Loan, Citizens Bank Student Loan and Citizens Bank Parent Loan, College Ave Student Loan and Parent Loan, Custom Choice Loan, Digital CU Student Loans, Discover Loans, Earnest Student Loans, MEFA Loans for Students and Parents, MPOWER Loan for DACA Students, Nelnet Student Loans, NHHEAF EdVestinU Loans, Prodigy Finance Loans (for specific IBS programs only), RISLA Student and Parent Loans, Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans for Students and Parents, SoFi Student and Parent Loans, and the Union Federal Student 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 ELMSelect 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 ELMSelect

Credible Loan Comparison Tool

Credible is an online tool that allows students to compare personalized loans from multiple lenders. Students can analyze prequalified rates, terms, and eligibility rules side-by-side in just a matter of minutes.

Credible is not a lender or bank. Credible partners with student loan lenders so that applicants have a variety of competitive options, each addressing their particular needs.

Credible is completely free! You can find out more about Credible and begin the process at