Types of Financial Aid

Loan Default Rate


Class of 2018 Federal student loan default rate

Boston College


FY 2017 National Federal student loan cohort default rate

U.S. Department of Education


Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department), though the entity you deal with once you go into repayment, your loan servicer, can be a private business.

With Direct Loans a student may borrow directly from the Federal government and have a single contact—your loan servicer—for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools. Each student will have online access to individual Direct Loan account information via the servicer's web site. Students can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower and can switch repayment plans if your needs change.


Direct PLUS loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the Cost of Attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

  • Apply for a Federal Direct PLUS through the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Interest rate is 6.28% fixed during repayment for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2021.
    Interest starts accruing at the loan’s first disbursement.
    Rates are annually reset by the federal government on July 1.
  • Origination fee is 4.228% for loans disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2021, and before Oct. 1, 2022.
  • Eligibility is COA (cost of attendance) minus any aid received by the student.
    The school will determine the amount you are eligible for upon certification of the loan.
  • A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed for the student before you apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loans.
  • Parents must complete an MPN (Master Promissory Note)
    The MPN is completed online using your FSA ID. As the parent of the student, you will need to sign with your own parent FSA ID and cannot use your son or daughter's FSA ID.

This is a federally subsidized loan program awarded to nursing students demonstrating financial need. Repayment of principal and interest (fixed at 5%) begins nine months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. The minimum monthly installment is $40.00, and the loan must be paid within ten years.

You will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and related disclosure materials. This is an electronic process; specific instructions will be emailed to you once the financial aid process is complete. Funds will be disbursed to your student account only after completion of all forms. Disbursements of this loan will be made in two equal installments—one each semester.

Students who have been awarded the Nursing or Law loan for the first time or the Balfour, Peter Jay Sharp, or the Bank of America Loan this year must complete Entrance Counseling and sign a promissory note. Visit ECSI's website for more information. Students will receive an email from the ECSI when it is time to sign their documents. Please make sure that your email client does not block communications from ECSI.

Private Educational Loans are loans not guaranteed by the Federal government. The borrower (either student or parent) may borrow a private educational loan through various banks, credit unions, or savings and loan associations. There are many different types of private educational loans for different types of borrowers.

These loans are not need based; rather, they are based on creditworthiness. Most students will need a creditworthy co-signer such as a parent or other relative in order to obtain a private educational loan. Terms and conditions applicable to these loans vary greatly. Factors such as interest rate, APR, length or repayment, loan minimum and maximum, and fees should be carefully considered when researching and choosing a private educational loan.

One feature of many private educational loans is the ability to completely postpone (defer) repayment until you graduate from college. Private educational loans almost always offer lower interest rates than credit cards do.

While we encourage students and families to pursue Federal financial aid before considering private educational loans, there are many student/family situations where a private educational loan is viewed as a preferred alternative. Sometimes parents want their student to be responsible for his/her education. In other cases, the convenience of not needing Federal forms to borrow funds is also a consideration. Whatever your situation may be, borrow only what you need, and compare your options before you borrow.


ELM Resources is the only not-for-profit mutual benefit corporation serving the student loan industry today. ELM Resources provides a common, non-proprietary, and open data exchange and disbursement system that seamlessly links the diverse computing platforms of schools and lenders through its industry-leading products.

ELM also offers a lender comparison solution, ELM Select, for schools that provide their own page to display a recommended lender list and offers students the ability to compare and select the loan that best fits their needs. Over 1,800 campuses use ELM Resources to send and receive loan data for alternative loans with the lender of their choice.


Credible is an online tool that allows students to compare personalized loans from multiple lenders. Students can analyze prequalified rates, terms, and eligibility rules side-by-side in just a matter of minutes.

Credible is not a lender or bank. Credible partners with student loan lenders so that applicants have a variety of competitive options, each addressing their particular needs.

Credible is completely free! You can find out more about Credible and begin the process at www.credible.com.

Note: Boston College does not endorse any of the lenders included at the links above and cannot recommend specific lenders. Students may also choose to use a loan provider that does not appear in the list of lenders included at either of the links above.


There are two types of student employment opportunities available to students: Federal Work-Study and campus employment. 

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally-subsidized employment program awarded to domestic students. Opportunities under the FWS program may be on- or off-campus, including community service positions. To be eligible for FWS, students must demonstrate federal financial need by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for a given year, and be enrolled in a degree program at least half-time or greater.

The amount indicated on your financial aid award is the maximum eligibility level, not a guarantee. Actual earnings depend on the hours worked and the pay rate of the position. Awards are based on students working 8–10 hours per week. Earnings made do not credit the student’s account, but rather are paid directly to the student in the form of a weekly paycheck.

If you do not qualify for FWS or did not apply for financial aid, you can work under the campus employment program. Campus employment is a separate option allowing students to hold part-time jobs on campus to help meet educational expenses. 

In either employment program, students may not work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. During the summer, students may work up to 40 hours per week as permitted. 

Preference is given to FWS-awarded students since they have demonstrated financial need.

For information about available jobs, visit our Student Employment web page.

All students are encouraged to seek outside scholarships to help with the cost of their education. To ensure the outside scholarship will benefit the student as much as possible, it is our policy to first replace the loan and work study portion of the student’s BC financial aid package; however, total grant funding (including outside scholarships) cannot exceed the student’s total demonstrated institutional need. If the amount of outside scholarship received exceeds the amount of loan and work study, then the student’s BC grant funds are reduced to meet their demonstrated institutional need. Unearned funding such as state grants reduce BC grant funds dollar for dollar within the financial aid package.
Sources for outside scholarships can include high schools, civic organizations, vocational rehabilitation programs, national merit, etc. Students can also visit www.fastweb.com for additional outside scholarship application information.


Boston College acts as a liaison with the Veterans Administration for students who may qualify to receive veterans' education benefits. Eligible students should apply through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in order to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. Applications can be completed online at www.gibill.va.gov or by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

Once the Certificate of Eligibility has been received, the student should contact Linda Malenfant, the VA Certifying Official in the Office of Student Services. The Certifying Official will then certify the student's enrollment information to the Regional Processing Office (RPO). The RPO will process payment of benefits directly to the student.

For more information on life at Boston College, visit our Boston College Veterans website.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.