After you’ve applied for financial aid and have received your results (your award letters), you may find that you still have a gap – an unmet need. Sometimes even the amount that the federal government says you can afford (your EFC or Expected Family Contribution) is out of reach. Fortunately there are ways to bridge this all-too-common gap. This mini-manual will focus on one of them – loans.
Loans can be categorized in different ways. You can categorize them into those based on need, and those not based on need. Or, you can categorize them based on source, whether federal or private. For our purposes we will take that approach, and discuss need based vs. non need based as well, within each category.