Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu


Aerial photo of campus

Loans are money that you can borrow from federal, state, institution or private lenders. Federal loans are the best starting place due to their flexible payback options.

Federal Loans

Federal education loans consist of:

Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

Federally-subsidized student loan offered directly by the U.S. Department of Education. Interest and payments are deferred when you are enrolled at least half-time.

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

Federal student loan where you incur interest even while enrolled in school. Payments on the principal amount are deferred, but you are encouraged to pay the interest at least quarterly. If you don’t pay the interest, it is “capitalized” meaning that it is added to the original loan amount. You will be charged interest on the interest.

Common Question: What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?

Parent PLUS Loan

If you’re a dependent, your parents can request a federal Parent PLUS Loan to fill the gap between your financial aid and the Cost of Attendance. Boise State offers the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan through the U.S. Department of Education. Start the loan process here to request a Parent PLUS Loan.

Payments on the principal loan amount may be deferred for as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. Your parent does need to pay the interest monthly or quarterly during your enrollment. A credit check is required for this loan. If your parent is denied credit, you may receive an additional unsubsidized loan if your parent will not use a cosigner/endorser on the loan. It is also possible for your parent to provide additional documentation to the Direct Loan Servicer to have the credit decision reconsidered.

Graduate PLUS Loan

A federal loan to fill the gap between the Federal Direct Loans you receive and the “Cost of Attendance” calculated by the Financial Aid Office. A credit check is required for this federal student loan. Start the loan process here to request a Graduate PLUS Loan.

Alternative Student Loans

Alternative student loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks. Before you take out a private loan, be sure that you have fully explored all federal funding options.

Private Loans

Private loans often require a credit check and may require a co-signer. Depending on the outcome of your credit check, these loans tend to be more expensive.

Alternative student loans may be used to fill the gap between your federal aid and the Cost of Attendance. Alternative loans are an option if federal aid is unavailable to you. View our list of alternative loan lenders here. Boise State does not endorse specific lenders and will process loans from any alternative loan lender, regardless of whether they appear on the list linked above.

Direct-to-Consumer Loans

These are the most expensive of all the student education loans. These loans are marketed to prospective borrowers by direct mail, email, internet ads, and TV commercials. The lenders may even be the same ones who offer the Alternative Student Loans, yet the interest rates and loan terms will be different. These loans typically are not “certified” by the Financial Aid Office and can be for more than the Cost of Attendance. Be very cautious about pursuing these loans.