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Financial Aid Office

Alternative Loans

It is important to first consider your lowest cost options which include scholarships, state grants and federal student aid. The terms and conditions of federal loans may be more favorable than the provisions of private education loans. We encourage you to first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal and state aid.

If federal aid, along with scholarships, state grants, tuition waivers and personal savings are not enough to cover your educational expenses, you may wish to consider borrowing an alternative loan. Below you will find information which should help guide you as you decide whether an alternative loan is right for you. Please visit the Department of Education Federal Aid First web site to learn the differences between federal and private student loans.

Alternative loans are non-federal loans offered by lending institutions to assist students in meeting their educational expenses.  They are also referred to as private education loans.  Interest rates and fees are generally determined by the credit-worthiness of the borrower and/or co-signer.

Students should be aware of the difference between federal and private loans.  A private loan counseling session, located at, will provide information to guide you in determining if a private loan is an option for you.

Due to federal regulations, we are not able to recommend a specific alternative loan for you; however, we do offer an online comparison tool for you to use. It is called FASTChoice. FASTChoice is a comparison tool, customized for Minot State University, which was designed to assist you in making the education loan choice that is best for you. FASTChoice is not a lender. The site provides an independent, web-based, student loan comparison solution. The lender comparision tool includes the most common alternative loans used by Minot State University students over the last three years. Please keep in mind that you may select any lender of your choice, even if they do not appear in FASTChoice.


The MSU Financial Aid Office and its staff do not endorse or accept any incentives, financial or otherwise from any lender.  Lender information is provided as a courtesy and in no way should it be interpreted as a requirement to use one of the lenders listed below.  MSU will process loans from any lender that participates in any educational loan program.

The lender will send the loan applicant a Self-Certification form. This may be incorporated into the application process, e-mailed to the applicant, or mailed to the applicant. The form is also available here: Private Loan Self-Certification Form.

Truth in Lending Act