Some families find it necessary to supplement the financial aid package with additional funding. Below are some other options to research and compare. Please allow adequate processing time to select an alternative funding source, so that funds will credit your bill by the semester payment due date.
The SJFC payment plan allows families to finance their semester balance in 5 equal installments. The payment plan does not charge interest, only a small enrollment fee. Student Accounts also accepts payment online, by mail, by phone, or in person.
For more information on the payment plan and payment options, please visit the Student Accounts Payment Options page.
Many students and/or families that are seeking additional financing to cover the costs associated with education consider Federal Direct Parent PLUS, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and private student loans. Which loan program is better is an individual decision and will be dependent on your and/or your family’s individual circumstances and preferences. We highly recommend you research all options and choose the loan program that best meets your and/or your family’s individual needs.
- Dependent undergraduate students and families have the option of using the Federal Direct Parent PLUS and private student loans
- Independent undergraduate students have the option of using private student loans
- Graduate and professional students have the option of using Federal Direct Graduate PLUS and private student loans
Many students, particularly undergraduate students, will likely need to find willing, creditworthy
individual(s) to co-sign their private education loan applications in hopes of being approved and getting the best pricing and terms extended to them.
For students and/or families that would like to consider both options prior to making a final decision, it is advised that you start the process early and apply (cross-shop) between Federal Direct Parent PLUS/Graduate PLUS and private student loans. Applying for a private student loan does not impact eligibility for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan and applying for multiple credit-based student loans (rate shopping) within a 30 day window will be treated as one inquiry when determining a credit score by private student loan lenders.
Three categories are generally compared when considering loan options. They are eligibility, costs (interest rate and fees), and repayment. The weight you and/or your family place on each of these categories when making a decision will be based on your individual preferences. We have developed the questions and chart below to assist you with this process.
Regardless of what loan option and lender you choose to use, our office will do our best to process your loan as efficiently as possible.
While the Federal Direct Parent PLUS and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS program terms are known, private student loan terms will vary based on lender. It is for this reason we recommend that you compare all options carefully.
When comparing the eligibility of student loans, students and/or families should ask:
- Who is the borrower on the loan?
- Will I need a cosigner?
- Am I eligible if I am not going to school at least half-time?
- Can I borrow for past due balances?
- Do I need to be pursuing a degree?
When comparing the cost of student loans, students and/or families should ask:
- What is the interest rate (fixed or variable rate)?
- Are there any loan fees?
- Are there any loan discounts?
- What will the monthly payment be upon graduation?
- What is the repayment term?
When considering repayment, students and/or families should ask:
- Is there a grace period after graduation?
- How long is the repayment term?
- Who will service my loans?
- What repayment options are available?
- Are there deferment or forbearance options?
- Is there loan forgiveness and under what circumstances?
Further Information and Instructions
- Understanding Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan vs. Private Student Loan [pdf]
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Information and Instructions
- Understanding Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan vs. Private Student Loan [pdf]
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Information and Instructions
For a comprehensive list of lenders that offer private student loans, visit the FASTChoice website. By clicking the FASTChoice link, you can view a list of previously used lenders from the past year. You may choose from this list or opt to use another private loan lender of your choice.
St. John Fisher College does not recommend or endorse certain lenders. We encourage students and parents to review all of the available information very carefully.