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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 states 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 can 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 you research the best type of loan for you. A good resource for various types of private, credit-based loans is available on the Federal Student Aid website.

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 2017-2018 Academic year.

Eligibility for the MOFELP Loan requires:

  • Permanent residency in the state of Missouri
  • Full-time enrollment
  • Making satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Working toward first undergraduate degree
  • Having an expected family contribution (EFC) of $12,000 or less on the current FAFSA
  • Be 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
    • U.S. citizen
    • Permanent resident of Missouri
    • At least 18 years of age
    • No fraud convictions

After meeting all of the eligibility requirements listed above, students may apply online through the MOHELA website by filling out the application and sending it in to the Financial Aid Office. The application can be emailed to, faxed to (573) 875-7452 or mailed to the address below:

Columbia College
Financial Aid
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216

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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