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Alternative or private loans

Federal student and parent loans are not always enough to cover educational expenses. Students may consider applying for a private, credit-based loan that can be used as a supplemental resource for paying college costs.

Alternative loans are credit-based loans and in most cases, a credit worthy co-applicant is required. In addition, by having a co-applicant, the risk to the lending institution is reduced, and a better interest rate is given to the borrower. Individual eligibility will vary according to cost, need and any other aid that is received by the student.

As of Feb. 14, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education passed new legislative measures that affect the way you may obtain a private/alternative loan(s). Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act stipulates that lenders must provide multiple, detailed loan disclosure statements that also require active completion on the part of the borrower and co-borrower.

Stafford loans have a better interest rate and repayment terms than private loans. Private loans should be considered when all other federal aid options have been exhausted.

Columbia College recommends that you research the best type of loan for you. A good resource for various types of private, credit-based loans is available here.

Missouri Family Education Loan Program

The Missouri Family Education Loan Program (MOFELP) is a private loan offered by Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) and is available to Columbia College students who meet the requirements listed below for the 2016-2017 Academic year.

Eligibility for the MOFELP Loan Requires:

  • Being a Permanent Resident of Missouri
  • Full-Time Enrollment
  • Making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • US citizenship
  • Working toward first undergraduate degree
  • Having an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $12,000 or less on the 16-17 FAFSA
  • At least 17 years of age
  • GPA of at least a 2.5 OR have a composite score of at least 21 on the ACT or 1500 on the SAT
  • No fraud convictions
  • Must Have Certified Financial Need (determined by the Financial Aid Office) of at least $500
  • Not have been delinquent on any MOFELP Loan Payment more than 60 days
  • Must have at least two Years of Credit History
  • Must receive annual loan limits for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, OR a cosigner who meets the following requirements:
    • Two years of credit history
    • US citizen
    • Permanent Resident of Missouri
    • At least 18 years of age
    • No fraud convictions

The original, paper application must be filled out and returned by mail to:

Columbia College

Financial Aid

1001 Rogers Street

Columbia, MO 65216

After meeting all of the eligibility requirements listed above, students may apply online through the MOHELA website by printing out the application, filling it out and mailing it to the address listed above. Please note: faxes and scanned/emailed copies will not be accepted. 

Preferred lender list disclosures

The following is a list of lenders selected by Columbia College as its preferred lenders. The lenders on the list were selected based on their efficiency in working with Columbia College's processes. Students are free to choose from lenders not referenced on this list.

Please reference the cost of attendance to estimate financial need before making loan borrowing decisions.


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