Many students must borrow money to meet the costs of their college education. Loans can be extremely useful, but understanding their terms and conditions can be confusing. We have centralized loan information to help you find the answers to your questions about the loan process. If you cannot find what you need here, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

The information in this section is intended for prospective students and for students who have never borrowed funds before.


Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Most students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may participate in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. If you received a notice of financial aid eligibility from Oberlin, it indicates whether you are eligible for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, either subsidized or unsubsidized.

General information on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program may be found at

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Federal Perkins Loans

The Perkins Loan is awarded to students with exceptional financial need. This is a campus-based loan program with the school acting as the lender using a limited pool of funds provided by the federal government.

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Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Parents

Parents of dependent students may take out loans to supplement their child's aid package. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan allows parents to borrow money to cover any costs not already covered by the student's financial aid package, up to the full cost of attendance.

General information on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan may be found at

To begin the Federal Direct PLUS Loan application process, you are required to complete the Oberlin Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application [click here to download from our Forms page].  You will also need to complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note on the website.

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Alternative Educational Loans

Alternative educational loans help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the limited amount the government allows you to borrow through its programs. Private loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete.

These loans can be made to the student or parents and usually require a co-signer.  We highly recommend that students first apply for financial aid and Federal Student Loans before considering borrowing through an alternative loan program. 

Compare and contrast private alternative student loans at the FinAid website. 


Loan Information for Oberlin Graduates

The typical Oberlin graduate will accumulate $19,000 in student loans by the time of graduation. Standard monthly payment amounts and lender expectations can be projected now.

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