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Spread out the Cost of Your Child’s Education

Your family may choose to pursue loans to spread the cost of education over a number of years. You can take out loans to cover the entire cost of education, or just a portion of the cost, as a supplement to contributions from family income and assets.

We will help you navigate both federal and private loan options. While there are no income restrictions, you must pass standard tests of creditworthiness. All loans may be prepaid partially or in full with no penalty.

If you intend to borrow a parent loan, applications are typically available after June 1st and should be submitted by August 1st in order for loan credits to be available toward registration. Please apply for only one parent loan at a time.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

PLUS loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through our participation in the Direct Loan Program. Borrowers must apply and qualify for the PLUS loan annually.

Direct PLUS Loan Details

Direct PLUS Loan Application Instructions

Parent Private Loans

If you are considering a private education loan, you should compare the loan terms offered by several programs in order to choose the best fit for your situation. Private education loans typically have the student as the primary borrower and the parent as a co-borrower. Parents and students are encouraged to look into the federal and institutional loan options available to them before deciding to borrow a private educational loan.

Private Loan Details

Facts About Financial Aid


Amount that parents making less than $65,000 are expected to contribute.

Ninety percent of American families would pay the same or less to send their children to Harvard as they would a state school.

Current Student Tip

Check out the new Shoestring Strategies Guide! The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative has just launched a handy mobile app with tips for living on a budget at Harvard College. It is produced entirely by Harvard students, for fellow students. Find the App at the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace (search “Harvard Shoestring”), or online.