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Types of Alternative Financing

AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, National Health Services Corps and Military Service all offer college money in exchange for a commitment of time and service. Each program varies so we encourage you to go directly to these resources.

Families should work with their financial advisor to make choices related to family insurance, home equity, college savings (Roth, 529 plan) or a prepaid tuition plans.

Log into Navigator and enroll in an interest-free monthly payment plan through TouchNet, (plan enrollment is a $40 non-refundable fee).

Private student loans, also referred to as alternative student loans, are great solutions to help you pay for college or graduate school. These private college student loans are available through banks, credit unions, online lenders, and other financial institutions.

How to choose the loan that's right for you

Important Information on Private Loans

We strongly suggest that students and parents exhaust their loan options through FAFSA prior to taking private student loans. (Federal student loans can be a better option for you with their fixed interest rates, future payment postponement possibilities, loan forgiveness options, and various repayment plans. Subsidized direct loans are not charged interest while you are enrolled in school.)

If you need additional funding after exhausting your Federal Direct and Parent Plus loan options, Salem State participates in a number of alternative loan and programs. You and your family should research your options and choose the loan and lender that best fits your families' needs.

  • Financial aid will not certify a student’s alternative loan until their file with the lender is 100 percent  complete.
  • Financial aid cannot certify a loan amount above the students cost of attendance; therefore the loan amount you requested from your lender may be reduced by our office.
  • Borrowers should verify with their lender that all required documents and disclosures have been received.
  • Most "traditional-aged" undergraduate students will require a co-signer for a private loan.
  • Once your loan is approved, it can take from seven to ten days before your loan appears on Navigator. No exceptions.

To begin your private loan search and applications please visit our Resource List* (hosted by ELM Resources**)

*Salem State does not recommend any particular lender. The lenders on our preferred list are there as we are confident in their product, their customer service and the variety of loan and repayment options they offer students.

**ELM Resources is a third party loan comparison company, they do not endorse or promote any loan products. Please review Salem State University's Financial Aid Office, Code of Conduct

Tax credits result in significant savings for many families.  It is important to note that this is not a financial aid award, but money paid to the family through the annual tax cycle - not when the bill is due.

Review the IRS publication 970 “Tax Benefits for Education” to learn more.


Contact Us

Financial Aid

Monday–Thursday 8:30 am–5 pm, Friday 10 am–5 pm
Student Navigation Center: Second Floor, Classroom Building, Harrington (Central) Campus, 71 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Mailing Address:
352 Lafayette St.
Salem, MA 01970
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