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Loans are money that you can borrow to help pay for educational expenses.

Biden-Harris One-Time Loan Cancellation

Federal loans are the best starting place due to their flexible payback options and low interest rates.

Federal Direct Loan Options

Other Requirements

There are times that a student will have to complete Loan Counseling. Also consider that there is a minimum amount of credits a student must be enrolled in and deadlines to receive federal loans.

There are origination fees associated with all federal loans that affect the net amount received. Please use our Loan Fee Calculator if you are wanting to receive a specific amount.

Information on Boise State’s Cohort Default Rate

The Cohort Default Rate is a measure of federal student loan borrowers who entered repayment in a year but defaulted within the next three years.

  • Boise State’s official cohort default rate for 2018 is 4.3%
  • The national default rate for 2018 is 7.3%
  • 35% of all 2021-2022 undergraduate students borrowed a federal student loan.

Borrow wisely and contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions or need assistance connecting with resources during repayment.

Annual and Lifetime Loan Limits

 Dependent StudentIndependent Student
Annual LimitLifetime Limit
Annual Limit
Lifetime Limit
First Year Undergraduate
(Max $3,500 in subsidized loans)
(Max $23,000 in subsidized loans)
(Max $3,500 in subsidized loans)
(Max $23,000 in subsidized loans)
Second-Year Undergraduate
(Max $4,500 in subsidized loans)
(Max $4,500 in subsidized loans)
Junior / Senior
Second Undergraduate

Third Year and Beyond
(Max $5,500 in subsidized loans)
(Max $5,500 in subsidized loans)
(Unsubsidized Only)
(Max $65,500 in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study)

Alternative student loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks. Before you take out a private loan, be sure that you have fully explored all federal funding options.


Alternative loans often require a credit check and may require a co-signer. Depending on the outcome of your credit check, these loans tend to be more expensive.

Alternative student loans may be used to fill the gap between your federal aid and your Cost of Attendance. Alternative loans are an option if federal aid is unavailable to you. View our list of alternative loan lenders here. Boise State does not endorse specific lenders and will process loans from any alternative loan lender, regardless of whether they appear on the list linked above.


These are the most expensive of all the student education loans. These loans are marketed to prospective borrowers by direct mail, email, internet ads, and TV commercials. The lenders may even be the same ones who offer the Alternative Student Loans, yet the interest rates and loan terms will be different. These loans typically are not “certified” by the Financial Aid Office and can be for more than the Cost of Attendance. Be very cautious about pursuing these loans.