UMUC MyAlerts

UMUC Maryland, D.C., Northern Virginia and Quantico locations are closed Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Evening on-site classes cancelled. More at or 301-985-SNOW.

Financial Aid: Alternative Loans Versus Financial Aid - Which is Better?

Question: Is it a better idea to apply for Alternative Loans prior to filing for Financial Aid

Answer: Absolutely not! Before applying for an alternative student loan, a student should apply for financial aid, including the Federal Direct Student Loan. 

If the student has applied for aid as a dependent student, his or her parent can apply for a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Direct PLUS Loan). Then, if the student needs additional funds, the student or parent can apply for a private alternative student loan in an amount up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student will receive for the loan period.