Also new this season are slightly higher origination fees on the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. For students, the fee rose from 1 percent of the principal to 1.05 percent for Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. Parents and graduate students taking out a Direct PLUS Loan will now pay 4.20 percent instead of 4 percent.

To help families pay the expenses the aid package won’t cover, here are some practical funding options:
  • Continue to apply for scholarships. Using Sallie Mae’s free online Scholarship Search, students and parents can quickly identify scholarships still available for the upcoming school year, including many with deadlines between now and the end of summer. The scholarship search is available at
  • Call the financial aid office to discuss special circumstances. Colleges may be able to adjust their award packages if a family’s financial situation has changed significantly.
  • Consider a private education loan to supplement financial aid. A private education loan may be right for those who still have a gap after exploring federal financial aid or who want to investigate whether they qualify for a lower interest rate based on good credit. Students should consider interest rates, fees, repayment terms and borrower benefits of various loan products. With Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan, students can graduate with less student loan debt by opting to make payments while in school. To learn more, visit
  • Earn extra money for college through Upromise by Sallie Mae. Upromise members can earn cash back when they make eligible purchases while shopping at Upromise with hundreds of participating companies or when they use their Upromise credit card.
  • Budget with a payment plan. Besides financing an education with grants and loans, families can pay as they go by enrolling in a payment plan. Available at hundreds of college campuses, Sallie Mae administers tuition payment plans that let families spread tuition payments over a number of months instead of making a large lump-sum payment. Visit for more information.

Sallie Mae encourages students to apply for financial aid, build a budget, and compare their loan options to make the choice that’s right for them. Families can build a customized plan to pay for their degree with the free Education Investment Planner. Students can explore federal or private student loans, estimate monthly loan payments and project the starting salary needed after graduation to keep payments manageable. Education Investment Planner is available to anyone online at

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Celebrating 40 years of making a difference, Sallie Mae continues to turn education dreams into reality for American families, today serving 25 million customers. With products and services that include 529 college savings plans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search and planning tools, education loans, insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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