Student Loans for College in Wisconsin

Unfortunately, the excitement of going to college can turn into something of a reality check once you begin tangling with student loans and financial aid details. So how can you find help?

If you’re a college bound Wisconsin student, a parent, or out-of-state student pursuing a college or university in Wisconsin, make sure one of your first resources is the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (WHEAB).

The site’s plentiful financial aid information includes:

  • State of Wisconsin grants and scholarships
  • State of Wisconsin student loans and applications
  • Information on the federal student loans and FAFSA
  • Guidance for college planning
  • State college and university system overview and links
  • Tuition reciprocity programs

The WHEAB website also provides a list of Wisconsin schools, along with a checklist of financial aid requirements for each school.

This list includes the following information, all of which is necessary for any school you’re applying to. Make sure to identify these details through every institution you’re considering attending. This list should definitely be one of the first sources you consult when applying for financial aid at any Wisconsin school:

  • The college or university’s Financial Aid Office address, telephone number, and email address.
  • A link to the college or university’s financial aid website
  • The college or university’s 6-digit federal school code, which is used on the FAFSA
  • A YES/NO on whether the school requires its own financial aid application form
  • A list of any other forms (besides the FAFSA) that the school requires for incoming freshmen who are requesting financial aid
  • The Application Priority Date by which students should apply for financial aid
student loans in wisconsin

Begin with Your Federal Loans

Federal student loans should trump state student loans in your priority list. The reason being is that they have several favorable attributes:

  • Affordable and low-cost
  • Stafford Loans require no credit check
  • Guaranteed against default
  • Most widely available to borrowers
  • Flexible repayment plans
  • Prerequisite to most other types of student loans and aid programs.

The Stafford Loans are common among undergraduates and graduates, and after a grad student receives the maximum loan amount on his or her Stafford Loan,  the Grad PLUS Loan becomes an option.

Also, a key feature of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) is the Parent PLUS Loan, an affordable alternative parents that might not be able to help their students attend college otherwise. Learn more about your federal student loan options.

Alternative Loans and Loan Repayment Programs Available in Wisconsin

Like many other states, Wisconsin offers a number of incentive loan programs for students pursuing highly demanded fields. The loans provide teaching and nursing students with a certain amount of loan money each academic year.

When the borrower agrees to provide service in a high-need facility or region, a certain percentage of the loan is "forgiven” for each year he or she works in that capacity.

Wisconsin loan repayment programs the following:

  • Nursing Student Loan
  • Minority Teacher Loan
  • Teacher Education Loan
  • Visual Impairment Teacher Loan

Does a Private Student Loan Make Sense?

In many cases students must borrow private funds to make up for gaps in education costs. Students often choose this option when federal loans don’t meet the full cost of a college education. When shopping for private loans in Wisconsin, consider the following:

  • Be able to prove good credit or borrow with a co-signor.
  • Avoid loans with pre-payment penalties.
  • Avoid loans with high borrowing minimums.
  • Only borrow what you need for your immediate education costs; avoid financing costly "extras.”

Private loans for education can be had from nearly every lender and bank in existence, so proceed with caution.

For more information on Wisconsin student loans and financial aid programs, visit the WHEAB website.