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Navigating Financial Aid: Covering the Costs Beyond Your Award

Once you have applied for and received your financial aid award package, your next question may be, "How do I take care of the costs that financial aid doesn't cover?" If your family cannot meet the financial responsibilities from current income and/or assets, there are a variety of options available. Similar to the purchase of a house or a car, higher education is a long-term investment with long-term value.

A number of Marietta College financing options are outlined below for you to consider. As you review this information, you may decide that one method best fits your needs or you may elect to use a combination of payment plan for part of the cost of a loan for the remainder.

Semester Billing

You will receive an email from the Student Accounts Office in early July that will contain instructions on how to access your initial bill. Enrollment forms and instructions will also be included for our two payment plan options. All of the details can be found on the Student Accounts Payment Options page.

Pioneer Four Payment Plan

This plan allows the student to make four payments each semester. The Pioneer Four Payment Plan has a $60 enrollment fee and each student is automatically enrolled. If you choose to pay your bill in full before the due date you will not be charged the enrollment fee. The due date for Fall Semester is August 1st and the due date for Spring Semester is January 2nd. Students can login through Self-Service.

For more information about payment plans, contact the Marietta College Business Office at 1.800.274.4619.

Borrowing Options

If you are thinking about borrowing to help pay for your student's higher education, first learn all you can about education loans, study your cash-flow position, and then borrow only what is necessary.


You may be eligible for a Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). You must be the biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent) of the student for whom you are borrowing. You may borrow up to the total cost of education less any other financial aid received. To be eligible for the PLUS loan, the borrower must be considered credit-worthy. If the parent's loan application is denied, the student becomes eligible to borrow an additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan of up to $5,000, depending on need and grade level. Please see the Federal Student Aid website for more information on what to do if you are denied for a PLUS loan.

To apply for a Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan, the parent must go to and select the Parent of a Student borrower type. The parent will then login using their parent FSA ID (the same one used to sign the FAFSA). Once the credit check is completed, if approved, the parent will be directed to complete Entrance Counseling and the Parent Plus Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Alternative/Supplemental Loans

Students who have borrowed the maximum allowable under the Federal Stafford Loan program but who need to borrow additional amounts may want to consider borrowing an alternative loan. Alternative loans are borrowed from a bank and don't have the same restrictions as federal loans. However, since they are education loans, they may include advantages that are similar to some of the federal education loans such as deferment options and lower interest rates. Alternative loans usually require a credit-worthy cosigner if the student does not have a favorable credit history and require certification by the school. The maximum borrowing limit is the annual cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received.

To apply for an Alternative/Supplemental loan, you will need to research and choose a lender. You are welcome to use any lender.

There are 5 application components students and their cosigners must complete for an alternative loan:

  1. Initial application submission for a credit check
  2. Lender credit approval
  3. Completion of a promissory note
  4. Acceptance and completion of a Loan Disclosure
  5. Completion of a Self-certification Form.

The alternative loan process can take up to four weeks or longer to complete. The order in which these items are presented varies by lender.

The Office of Student Financial Services has chosen ELMSelect as a resource to help you find a private loan lender that best fits your needs. The lenders and options presented in ELMSelect have been used by at least one student at Marietta College within the past 5 years. You are free to choose any lender, including those not listed. If you choose a lender that is not presented, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

To view these lenders, please visit ELMSelect.

While we understand that you may have questions, we believe you have the right and ability to seek the education loan provider of your choice. ELMSelect allows you to compare several lenders, containing the most up-to-date rates and benefits. 

Life Insurance

Your life insurance policy may have options for borrowing for education purposes. For more information, contact your insurance agent.

For more information about federal or alternative loans, contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 1.800.331.2709.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

Marietta College admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, gender orientation, or religious affiliation to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, gender orientation, or religious affiliation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and loan programs, and athletic and other college-administrated programs. If you have any questions regarding our non-discrimination policy, please contact Marietta College’s Office of Human Resources.