Indiana College Costs Estimator

Undergraduate Loan Options

Click on any of the loans below to learn more about each of these undergraduate loans.

Subsidized Direct Loan (Formerly Stafford Loan)

Unsubsidized Direct Loan (Formerly Stafford Loan)

Perkins Student Loan

Parent PLUS Loan


For more information, call the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243 (or the college you plan to attend).  You can also check out the Guide to U.S. Department of Education Programs

Private loans through third-party lenders (e.g., loan agencies, banks and credit unions) also are available. Additionally, some colleges have private loan funds available for students who attend their institutions.

What are some tips when considering loans?

  • Only borrow what you need. Many students take out much more loan debt than they need. Think very carefully about what you will use the money for and ask yourself: "Do I really need this loan?" And if you say yes, then you need to be prepared to answer: "Exactly how much do I need?"
  • Truly understand what you are agreeing to when you sign the Promissory Note. Know the terms and conditions of the loan, such as interest rate, when you will have to start paying back the loan, etc. For instance, some loans (like PLUS loans) go into repayment sooner than others (like subsidized and unsubsidized Direct loans). Also, many students do not understand interest accumulation. gives a helpful tip when trying to figure a ballpark interest accumulation for the lifespan of a loan. They say: your total interest paid will be slightly higher than the product of the amount borrowed multiplied by the interest rate and the length of the loan term in years, and divided by 2. So for example: A 10-year, $10,000 loan at 10% interest would yield an estimated $5,000 in interest (10 x 10,000 x .10)/2 = $5,000.
  • Research your probable earning potential upon graduation so that you can see the big picture. Will you be earning enough to afford your monthly loan payments? You can use the U.S. Department of Labor's website, O*Net, to see job outlooks, descriptions, salary information, and much more.
  • Take a financial awareness course. Some colleges offer these or even require them. If you take out a federal loan, you will be required to do entrance and exit counseling. But don't wait for it to be required...take a class or go to the Department of Education's new website,, so you can better understand the terms and conditions of loans you have already taken out, build a budget so you can see your repayment amounts in conjunction with all of your other financial responsibilities (such as rent, utilities, car payment, etc), set short and long-term goals, etc.
  • Are you/were you in the military? The G.I. Bill and other military programs offer loan options that are not highlighted in the links at the top of this page. Check with your local veteran's services office to learn what options are available to you. You can also see the section on this website that is dedicated to financial aid for veterans.
  • Read college financial aid award letters and Net Price Calculators carefully before you agree to attend the college/university. How much loan debt do they show you incurring? If it is not clear from looking at the financial aid award letter or the Net Price Calculator, you should ask them. If the institution does show you incurring large amounts of loan debt, you will want to ask yourself if this school is the best option for you--particularly if your chosen career path is not one where you will be making a significant income. Remember, a college needs to be a good fit for you academically and socially, but also financially.