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How do I fund the rest?

Alternative Loans

Some students may need additional funds to fill the gap between what they have been offered for financial aid and their Cost of Attendance. Below are links to some additional loan options.

If you are considering applying for an alternative loan and not a Federal Direct loan, consider these facts:

  • Currently, Federal Direct loans have a fixed rate, are not based on credit history, and require no fee to apply.
  • There are benefits offered for Federal education loans that are not offered with Alternative loans.
  • Only a FAFSA and a BC Graduate Financial Aid application are required to begin the process.
  • Alternative loans are a good source of additional funding once you have received Federal and other financial assistance for which you are eligible.
  • Generally, Alternative loans have a variable interest rate with no caps, are based on your credit history, and often have fees (which could be upfront, back-end, or part of the interest rate).

Alternative loans are private loans from lenders (banks) that students can use for educational purposes. Some lenders may charge fees for their loans, while others may not. A loan with fees could be a good option, depending on the borrower benefits offered. We recommend that you call the lender directly or view their website before applying to ask about borrower benefits and terms, and to ask any other questions you have about their loan.

Graduate PLUS loans are Federal Alternative loans for graduate or professional students that are taken out in the student's name, not the parents'. Under the PLUS Loan Program, graduate or professional students are eligible to borrow up to their Cost of Attendance minus any other financial assistance received. Students must be enrolled at least half-time and meet all of the other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs. In addition, the applicant cannot have an adverse credit history, generally with in the last 90 days. This loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.21% and a 4.288% fee for loans disbursed after December 1, 2013, and 4.292% for loans with first disbursement on or after October 1, 2014, and repayment begins after the loan has been fully disbursed; however, students can postpone payments while enrolled at least half-time.

Applicants for this loan are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also must have applied, and the school must determine the student's annual loan maximum eligibility under, the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program before they may apply for a Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan.

As a reminder, the Federal Direct Loan rate is 6.21% fixed, and the Grad PLUS Loan rate is 7.21% fixed.

To apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan, visit StudentLoans.gov and complete the MPN and application.


Boston College Payment Plan

Graduate students who wish to use the Boston College Payment Plan (BCPP) are required to make a minimum down payment of 25% of the semester charges due on September 15. A 3% participation fee will be assessed on the remaining balance. This deferred balance is then divided into three installments (due October 15, November 15, and December 15).

Upon receipt of the BCPP application, the Office of Student Services will send participants a confirmation of enrollment and a payment schedule. Monthly billing statements may be viewed in "My Bill" in the Agora Portal.

Prior semester balances must be resolved before you may participate in this plan. If you fail to make payments as agreed under the BCPP program during a previous semester, you are not eligible to enroll in this plan for subsequent semesters and will be required to pay in full by the due date.

Graduate Students who anticipate a problem with paying their bill should contact the Office of Student Services.