Many different kinds of student loans exist, and qualifications vary. Some loans are based on financial need (subsidized), others on factors such as past financial performance. Fortunately, you don't have to figure out loan eligibility on your own. We'll help, and so will your school and the Department of Education.
Loans come in two kinds: federal and private. And each is available in more flavors than Ben & Jerry's could dream up, so take time to research loan programs and terms. Eligibility for federal and private loans will differ. But typically, parents and students pursue federal loans first.
So, one of the first steps in the student loan process is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) After you submit this form, the Department of Education will send you a report called a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is your key to knowing your eligibility for subsidized loans.
The SAR shows your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), used to determine your financial aid eligibility. It's your EFC which determines eligibility for Federal loans. Eligibility for private loans will depend on financial information and can have eligibility requirements which vary widely.