student in media lab

Parent and Alternative Loans

Hampshire College realizes that the cost of attending college may require families to borrow some or all of their estimated family contribution. We advise that the overall borrowing done by the student be kept to a minimum.

There are several types of education loans that a parent may borrow on behalf of a student or a parent may co-sign a loan with a student. This website provides details about the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan and private alternative loans. 

The suggested hierarchy of loan borrowing is:

1. Student maximizes their Direct student loan;
2. Parent borrows a Direct PLUS loan to cover balance of bill;
3. If additional funds are needed, student, with parent as co-signer, borrows a private alternative loan. We recommend no more than $5,000 per year be borrowed in a private loan.

Your goal is to determine which loan best fits your current and future needs, so take the time to review all of the information provided on this website. Begin with reviewing The Loan Process and Comparison of Various Financing Options.

Financing Tip: If you are planning to borrow an education loan, you may also want to consider a monthly payment plan to reduce the amount you need to borrow. For example, if you are planning to borrow $10,000 but can afford a $200 monthly payment for 10 months (for a $2,000 monthly payment plan) you would then just need to borrow $8,000 instead of borrowing the full $10,000. The reduced loan amount will reduce your future interest charges and your future monthly loan payments.

Private loan borrowers are free to select any loan or lender from the various lenders and loan products currently available.

For any PLUS or private loan, the maximum loan amount is the cost of education less estimated financial aid (including loans). Each loan requires that Hampshire's loan counselor certify the loan amount and the enrollment of the student. Most loans also require the student to be making satisfactory academic progress according to Hampshire's guidelines.

Realize that lenders, loan servicers, loan guarantors, and loan holders may change their loan fees, benefits, terms, margins over the index, the interest index, and other loan-related criteria at any time.

Stay In Touch
With Hampshire's Loan Counselor
Snail Mail
Loan Counselor
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
Fax: 413.559.5585