When determining how to pay for your education, it may be necessary to supplement your other financial aid with education loans. Federal Direct Stafford Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized, should be your first choice in borrowing.
Once you have reached your annual Direct Stafford Loan limit, there are two additional types of education loans from which to choose:
- Federal PLUS Loan (for parents of dependent undergraduate students or graduate students)
- Alternative/Private Student Loan (usually available to students or parents)
Both of these loan types are credit-based and must be approved.
We recommend that you exhaust all aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and federal Stafford loans prior to applying for PLUS or private loans. To help you understand the differences that exist between student loan types, visit the links below.
» Higher Education Loans Comparison
» Questions to Ask Your Lender
» Comparison Tool Worksheet (.pdf)
When deciding how much to borrow to help pay for educational expenses, please consider both direct and indirect costs, which is how cost of attendance is calculated.
Direct costs are costs that are paid directly to FIT, such as tuition, fees, and residence hall room and board.
Indirect costs are not be paid to FIT directly, but would include estimated expenses such as transportation, books and supplies, off-campus housing, and personal expenses.
You may log in to MyFIT account to see the items in your estimated cost of attendance, found under My Financial Aid Award Overview.
Loan Types and Amounts
Once you have an estimate of your cost of attendance, you should determine how much you may need to borrow and which type of loan will be best for you.
It is suggested that students borrow no more than the equivalent of one year's entry-level salary for their entire education. Here are a few sites to research salaries:
For parents borrowing for a student, it is suggested that you borrow no more than you can repay within ten years or before you retire.