Because grant and scholarship funds are limited, many students must rely on loans to cover at least some portion of college costs. Undergraduate students, parents of undergraduate students and graduate students may borrow money for education. In fact, approximately 80% of Penn State's aid recipients borrow educational loans.
The following steps represent borrowing options beginning with the best value and proceeding to other, less favorable loan options based on interest rates, loan terms and conditions, and repayment options. These loan options may be used alone or in combination with each other. Select the loan links below for more information about each option.
Loan program awarded to our highest need students.
Loan program awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate high financial need.
Federal Direct Stafford Loan
A federal loan program available to all students.
Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan
When undergraduate students need funding beyond the Stafford or Perkins Loan, parents may need to consider the PLUS Loan.
Students who need additional funds after considering the feasibility of the loan options in Steps 1 and 2--or students who are ineligible for federal aid--may need to apply for an alternative loan.
Click Here to compare Parent PLUS and Student Alternative Loans
Emergency Loan Funds
Bernreuter Emergency Loan Fund
Any undergraduate or provisional student enrolled at Penn State Altoona may apply for an emergency loan from the Bernreuter Emergency Loan Fund, provided he or she can demonstrate sufficient need. Ideally, the need will result from circumstances that could not have been foreseen by the applicant and represent a threat to the academic welfare of the student. A loan application may be secured through the Student Aid Office in W113 Smith Building. Please be advised that emergency loans are not available as a source of funding that can be applied to outstanding tuition charges.