In addition to federal student loans, most states in the US offer their own financial aid. In Alaska, the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) oversees all state-level student loan services. These loans are meant to take care of educational costs when federal aid, grants, and scholarships fall short.
There are three main types of student loans given by the state of Alaska:
- Alaska Supplemental Education Loans (ASEL) are usually a student’s best option when they have exhausted grants, scholarships, and federal loans. Like most student loans, borrowers must be in an eligible study program and enrolled at least half-time at their school. The ASEL program does require a credit check, so if your credit score is lower than 680, you will need someone with an approved credit score to cosign your loan.
- Alternative Consolidation Loans let borrowers take all their ACPE student loans and consolidate them into one. Depending on when you took out your original loans, your current interest rates might already be lower than they would be if you consolidate. This option is available to students who have at least $3,500 of eligible debt and have a minimum credit score of 680. If your credit score is lower, you could still qualify if you have made full payments on time for your existing loans. Additionally, regardless of credit score, you must not be delinquent on any loan and made most of your payments voluntarily.
- Alaska Family Education Loans (FEL) are taken out by a student’s family members, such as their parent/guardian, grandparent, or spouse. Although there is no strict credit score required, borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history; if they do, they will need someone with better credit history to cosign. The borrower must fulfill other requirements regarding their financial history, particularly in matters involving child support obligations, recently having educational loans written off, and repayment of debts in general.
In addition to the above loans, ACPE has programs for students pursuing careers in fields deemed to have a shortage of qualified professionals. Borrowers are still expected to repay these loans, but they might be able to qualify for partial or full forgiveness upon meeting certain requirements. Here you go for more resources paymystudentloans.com
- Teacher Education Loans are given to students in rural school districts who wish to become teachers. Borrowers must be nominated by their school in order to receive this loan; application forms are only available to these nominees. If the recipient returns to Alaska and teaches in a rural school district, they might qualify for loan forgiveness.
- Winn Brindle Loans provide money to students in a fisheries-related program. Up to half of this loan can be forgiven, provided the borrower works in an accepted fisheries-related field in Alaska.
- WWAMI Biomedical Program Loans help students receive medical education not yet available in Alaska through a collaboration of universities in other states. Since medical students must often study at schools outside of Alaska, this loan covers the cost difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. By fulfilling service obligations in Alaska, borrowers might be able to have this loan forgiven.
- Professional Student Exchange (PSE) Loans are available to participants in the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP), which helps students receive education or training unavailable in their home state. Borrowers must attend a PSEP-eligible institution and study dentistry, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistance, or podiatry.
Even though it can be possible to have your debt forgiven, borrowers should be aware that, in most cases, they will be expected to repay their student loans. Before taking out additional funds, students should explore grant and scholarship opportunities to make sure their money ultimately goes farther.