Types of Student Loans

There are a variety of federal loans and other types of student loan option available. Before you take out a college loan, be sure to understand the specific conditions and requirements regarding disbursements, deferments and repayment options.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

The subsidized loan is a need-based loan for undergraduate students provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The interest for this loan does not accrue while you are enrolled in school at least half time (6 credits) and during your six-month grace period. Eligibility for the subsidized loan is determined based on your FAFSA application.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The unsubsidized loan is available for all eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Eligibility for this loan is determined by the FAFSA. The interest on this loan accrues on the account from the date of disbursement. Payments on the interest and principal are not required during periods of half-time enrollment and during your six-month grace period.

Federal PLUS Loan

The PLUS loan is a credit-based loan available to graduate students or parents of dependent students. The eligibility for this loan is determined by the FAFSA and by the amount of financial aid received. The maximum PLUS loan amount you can receive is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are credit-based loans available through the state agency or private banks. We encourage you to accept federal student loans before applying for alternative loans. Be sure to review the terms and conditions for all loans before accepting. Examples of alternative loans include Alaska student loans, Sallie Mae student loans and Wells Fargo loans.

Search for alternative loans that best meet your needs


Submitting Your FAFSA

To apply for student loans (as well as other federal student aid, such as grants and work study) you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used to calculate your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) — the amount that a family can reasonably afford to pay each year for higher education.

Most people fill out the FAFSA when they're beginning the college application process. You’ll need to submit a new FAFSA application for each year that you intend to receive financial aid.

When is the FAFSA due?

The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after October 1. The earlier you file, the more grant money you are likely to receive, sometimes up to twice as much. Filing early also helps to ensure you don't miss FAFSA deadlines for state and college aid, which may differ from the federal deadline.

Applying for Loans: Next Steps After Completing the FAFSA

Once you complete and submit your FAFSA, you’ll need to accept your loan offers and acknowledge that you promise to repay your loans.

  1. Accept loan offers
    • Log into UAOnline
    • Click on "Financial Aid"
    • Click on "Award"
    • Click on "Award By Aid Year" and select Academic Year
    • Review all tabs and open "Accept Offer Tab"
      • Determine the amount you would like to accept for the academic year. (You cannot accept loans on a semester basis, but can adjust the amount needed for a future semester at a later date.)
    • Submit Decision
      • Adjustments to amounts are not available on UAOnline after you submit your decision. You can submit a Loan Adjustment Form to our office to change amounts.
  2. Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN) at
  3. Complete entrance counseling at


Calculate Your Financial Aid and Estimate Monthly Loan Payments

Estimate how much financial aid you will receive with our Net Price Calculator. It only takes a few minutes — be sure to have an estimate of your family's income and assets available.

Want to estimate the amount of your monthly student loan payments?