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Supplementing Need-Based Aid

We do not have the resources to cover our expected family share of the costs of education. What are our options?

If you have questions about how much you owe, contact Student Financial Services.

To cover the expense of higher education, many families choose to spread the costs over time by taking out loans. The following educational loans are not based on need and may be used to pay a family’s share of costs, without reducing eligibility for need-based aid.

Unsubsidized Ford Federal Direct Loans are available to students who complete the FAFSA and do not borrow the maximum Subsidized Ford Federal Direct Loan.

Federal PLUS Loans allow parents of dependent students to borrow up to the cost of education, minus any financial aid received. The PLUSLoan is guaranteed by the federal government and funded by private lenders. The program allows parents to spread the cost of education over a 10-year period.

Supplemental Loans are designed to help students who need additional assistance with educational costs. In most cases, it is advantageous for students to pursue Unsubsidized Ford Federal Direct Loans and for parents to pursue Federal PLUS Loans before seeking alternative loans. A major advantage of these two programs is that the federal government caps the interest on the loans.

Each of the loan programs listed below offers zero fees, borrower discounts during repayment, excellent service, and electronic application processing and fund delivery.

See a comparison of these lenders ยป

You are not required to borrow from one of the loan programs listed above. We invite all lenders who would like to be considered for inclusion on this list to submit a proposal to the Wake Forest Office of Student Financial Aid. All proposals must include: origination fees, range of interest rates, range of Annual Percentage Rates, monthly payments, number of payments, total cost of loan, due date of first payment, and borrower benefits.

How do we choose between loan options?

Each family must assess their lending priorities–interest rates, size of monthly payments, student vs. parent loans, deferment provisions, home equity options–and decide what type of loan best meets their current financial needs. Reference the Loan Compare page for a comparison of recommended lenders.

We encourage you to compare lender discounts and other borrower benefits with these loan comparison tools:

Elm Select

College Board Student Loan Comparison Calculator

Loan Discount Analyzer from FinAid.org

What about home equity loans?

With today’s low interest rates, borrowing against the equity in a primary residence to finance educational expenses is an option worth considering. The principal advantage is that the interest paid on a home equity loan can be deducted from taxable income, which is not possible on many other types of educational loans. Contact your local lending institutions for further information.

Does Wake Forest offer a monthly tuition payment plan?

The FACTS Plan at Wake Forest is a tuition management plan that gives families the option of dividing the cost of yearly tuition into ten monthly payments, beginning in August of the academic year. Information about the FACTS Plan is sent to all students with the summer billing statement. To learn more about the FACTS Plan, call 800.609.8056 or email

Are there jobs available for students who are not eligible for Federal Work-Study positions?

A listing of on-campus and off-campus jobs is posted on the Financial Aid web site under Student Employment.