Applying for Student Loans

Loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education and private lenders may help cover all or part of a college education.

Federal Direct Loans are available to all students who submit a FAFSA. Please review your Colby-Sawyer Financial Aid offer letter for your eligibility and next steps. For more information visit

Declining Federal Direct Student Loans

If you were awarded a Federal Direct Student Loan and want to decline all or part of your loan, email the Financial Aid Office at and specify which portion you are declining (unsubsidized, subsidized, or both) to update your offer.

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a federal loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students. It is a fixed interest rate loan and has minimal credit requirements. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives. For more information on terms, interest rates, and repayment options, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

STEP 1: Loan Application

To be completed by a parent.

Go to and log in using your parent FSA ID.

Apply for Parent PLUS Loan

Follow prompts to complete the application and submit.

Colby-Sawyer receives notification within two business days after the application has been completed.

STEP 2: Master Promissory Note

To be completed by a parent.

Go to and log in using your parent FSA ID.

Complete MPN (i.e. Loan Agreement) for PARENT PLUS Loan

Follow the prompts to complete the MPN and submit.

Colby-Sawyer receives notification within two business days after the MPN has been completed.

PLUS Loan Options

When completing the Federal Direct PLUS Loan application, you will have the option of entering a specific loan amount, or you can select the maximum option.

  • Exact Amount
    The government charges a 4.228% origination fee on these loans. If you are applying for your exact balance, please factor in this fee to avoid a shortage.
  • Maximum Loan
    If you select the “maximum amount” option on your Federal Direct PLUS loan, Colby-Sawyer's Financial Aid Office will calculate the exact amount needed to cover your remaining balance, factoring in the origination fee.
Denial Options

If you are denied a Federal Direct PLUS loan you have several options.

  • Pursue Endorser
    You can re-apply with an endorser (cosigner).
  • Appeal
    You can appeal the reason your credit was denied.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Increase
    You can choose to increase your student's loan by $4,000 (for First-Year Students and Sophomores) or $5,000 (for Juniors and Seniors).

Private loans are student loans that typically require a credit worthy co-signer. Colby-Sawyer can provide a list of lenders who may serve your needs, however, you are not obligated to choose from these suggested lenders and may secure private loans at any time with the lender of your choice.

This list of alternative loan lenders has been researched using a variety of criteria including quality customer service, borrower benefits, interest rates, fees, repayment options and lender stability. Borrowers are encouraged to review the terms and conditions of each program prior to selecting a lender. Please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss alternative loans in greater detail.

View private loan recommendations at the Elm Select website by searching for Colby-Sawyer College.