Stafford Loans and other forms of federal aid are a good way to help with college financing and accrue the lowest amount of interest possible. The important thing is to make sure that the schools you are considering participate in these various programs. Give the financial aid offices of your target schools a call and see if they offer the Federal Stafford Loan and other types of assistance.
Another important issue to ask about is a college's loan default rate. This is the percentage of students that have attended the school using federal aid and failed to pay back their loans.
The reason why this is important to you is because certain federal programs, like the Stafford Loan Program, are no longer offered once a school is determined to have a high default rate.
Now you can make a more informed decision about your college choices. You may still wish to attend a school that does not offer one of these loans, but at least you will be able to plan your budget knowing this. It eliminates any last minute financial surprises.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|