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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- 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.
- Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov.
- Complete entrance counseling at studentloans.gov.
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?
Repayment Policy and Default Rate
Federal, state and alternative loans are funds that are borrowed and must be repaid with interest and fees. All students borrowing federal student loans, which include Direct Stafford Loans and PLUS loans, must complete Entrance Counseling at studentaid.gov before the initial disbursement. A Master Promissory Note must also be completed before receiving the first payment of your loan. An active confirmation of that promissory note is required annually. Upon graduation or the end of enrollment, students borrowing federal student loans must complete Exit Counseling at studentaid.gov.
The UAF Financial Aid Office monitors counseling and promissory notes. We receive daily reports and link status to your student account. Student status can be viewed on UAOnline. Students ceasing enrollment will receive email communication regarding exit counseling at the end of the semester.
The 2019 3-year Cohort Default Rate for UAF is 2.7%. [2019 default rate is published in 2022. The 2020 default rate will be published in 2023.]
An individual defaults on a Federal Direct Stafford student loan when a payment is not made for 270 days. Read more about federal student loan default.
A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter repayment on certain federal loan programs during a federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) and default prior to the end of the third fiscal year.
UAF monitors delinquency and default status with the assistance of student loan servicers.
If you’re looking for other sources of college financial aid, you might want to explore alternative student loan options. This site can help match you with a lender that best meets your needs.
You may be eligible for scholarships, grants, Federal Work-Study and other types of financial aid to costs of education.