Loans can be an invaluable resource for financing an education. While loans are a type of financial aid, they are not a gift like grants and scholarships, since loans need to be repaid eventually. Loans are mostly a tool for liquidity management: they allow you to postpone paying for a portion of your education. For the class that graduated in 2014-15, 39 percent graduated with educational debt. The average debt at graduation was $20,667. See more borrowing statistics.
All financial aid applicants are considered for a need-based loan from the Federal Perkins Loan or Caltech Loan programs. If you need additional funding, more federal loans are available through the Federal Stafford Loan and Federal PLUS Loan programs. You may also choose to search for loans on the private lending market.
• Federal Student Loans are required by law to provide a
range of flexible repayment options, including but not limited
to, income-based repayment and income contingent
repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits which other
student loans are not required to do.
• Federal loans are available to students regardless of income.