Types of Financial Aid

Loan Default Rate


Class of 2017 Federal student loan default rate

Boston College


FY 2015 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 7.08% fixed during repayment for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2019.
    Interest starts accruing at the loan’s first disbursement.
    Rates are annually reset by the federal government on July 1.
  • Origination fee will decrease to 4.236% for loans disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2019, and before Oct. 1, 2020.
  • 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 verification 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.

  • studentloans.gov—The U.S. Department of Education's portal for Direct Loan borrowers. On this page you can:
    • Complete a Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN). You will need your FSA ID to access this site.
    • Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling.
    • View Disclosure Statements and other electronic loan correspondence.
    • Find links to other tools and resources.
    • Initiate a PLUS Loan application.
  • studentaid.ed.gov—The U.S. Department of Education’s informational website on federal funding
  • nslds.ed.gov—Student Access to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • The Department of Education's Direct Loan Applicant Services hotline: 800-557-7394

Private Educational Loans are loans not guaranteed by the Federal government. The borrower (either student or parent) may borrow such a loan through various participants such as 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.

Note: Boston College does not endorse any of the lenders listed at the link above and cannot recommend specific lenders. In addition to the lenders listed at the link above, you can also choose to use a loan provider that does not appear on the list.

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 tuition benefits and 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.