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Alternative (Private) Loans

Before you Apply

Before you apply for private loans, contact us to learn more about federal aid, which is typically the smartest and least expensive option.

Finding the best lender for you and/or your family is important. The Financial Aid Office has put together two options to review and compare lenders and select the best fit for you and/or your family. We utilize two different alternative loan tools that helps filter loan options.

Please note that there may be lenders outside of these tools that Boise State can work with. Once you and/or your family have considered all federal loan options, you can view and compare alternative loan options using ElmSelect or Sparrow.


Sparrow helps you determine which private student loan best meets your unique financial situation.


Compare private loans for your school and your degree.

Interest rates, loan fees, and repayment options vary based on lender specific criteria and borrower credit score. Please read carefully about the different options available or call the lender directly to fully understand the various loan options. Federal regulations require alternative loan borrowers to provide their chosen lender with a “Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification” form.

Some lenders offer loans that don’t require you to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, be at full-time status or degree seeking. If you currently are ineligible for federal financial aid, make certain to check with the lender to see if they offer loans to students for your unique situation.

Processing Times

  • If we received your request before the next academic aid year begins, processing begins in May.
  • If we received your request during the academic aid year, please allow up to 2 weeks for reviewing and sending the certificate to the lender for final approval.
  • August and January are peak processing times. It may take 3-4 weeks for your loan to be processed and on your student account.
  • Summer Loans: Processing summer loans begins in April. You must be enrolled in summer courses in order to be awarded.
  • Late start classes (modules later in the semester) do not disburse on the first disbursement date of the semester. Please review your Student Center for more information if enrolled in these classes.

Boise State does not endorse, recommend, or promote any lender or any products or loans offered by lenders. Boise State will process loans from any alternative loan lender, regardless of whether the lender is listed.