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These outside-of-need loans are used to help families that can't afford to pay their expected contribution from savings and current income. Some colleges will include one or more of these loans in your child's award letter. When reviewing your child's aid, these loans should be removed and put to the side. When you calculate your family's share of costs, you may find that it is more than you can afford. If so, it's time to consider these loans.
The three main types of non-need-based loans are unsubsidized Stafford or unsubsidized direct loans for students, PLUS Loans for parents and private loans for students.
While not considered financial aid loans, for many families, these non-need-based loans can play an important role in making college affordable, particularly for families that are unable to pay the family share from current income and savings.
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