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 $657- $6,195 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

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, Citizens Bank Student Loan for Undergraduates, Citizens Bank Student Loan for Graduate Students, Citizens Bank Parent Loan, College Ave Student Loan, College Ave Graduate Student Loan, College Ave Parent Loan, Custom Choice Loan, Discover Undergraduate Loan, Discover Graduate Loan, Discover MBA Loan, MEFA Loan Undergraduate Loan, MEFA Graduate Loan, MPOWER Loan, raise^ Private Student Loan, RISLA Student and Parent Loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Parent Loan, Sallie Mae, Graduate School Loan, Sallie Mae MBA Loan, U-fi Student Loan, Union Federal Private Student Loan, the Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan and the Wells Fargo Graduate 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.