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Office of Financial Aid

Division of Student Affairs

What is an Alternative/Private Student Loan?

  • A credit-based student loan applied for through individual lenders.
  • A student loan to help "bridge the gap" between a student's awarded financial aid and the Cost of Attendance budget.


Who should consider an Alternative/Private Student Loans?

Private student loans may be an important source of funding for students who are in one of these situations:

  • Ineligible for federal student loans
  • In need of loan funding beyond that which federal programs permit during the year.


How much of an Alternative/Private Student Loan can I request?

Students can request an alternative/private student loan in an amount not to exceed the Cost of Attendance minus all other accepted financial aid and resources.

How do I process an Alternative/Private Student Loan application as an ETSU student?

  • Complete the FAFSA.
  • Accept/decline any offered financial aid on GoldLink.
  • Search for a lender:  Research lenders carefully and apply to the lender of your choice. You have the right to select any lender you wish for an alternative loan.  Many lenders offer attractive terms and conditions which you can find by searching the internet.
  • Submit a completed Self-Certification Form to your lender.
    (Your lender should provide you with a copy of this form.  If you do not receive one, you can download a standard Self-Certification Form. If you download the form here, we recommend that you contact your lender for your application ID or other identifier that will help the lender match the form with your application.)
  • Complete all steps and paperwork as required by the lender.

Can the Office of Financial Aid recommend a lender for an Alternative/Private Student Loan?

According to Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, educational institutions are not permitted to recommend alternative/private lenders to students.

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