Federal Student Loan Program

If you’re looking at options for funding your continued studies, there are a number of Federal loans that might be applicable to you – and so help you pay for your Masters in TESOL training. This post covers Federal Financial Aid Programs, and specifically Federal Student Loans. (Also read our post on the typical costs of a Masters in TESOL course.)

How to Pay for a Masters in TESOL

Federal Student Loans were introduced as early as 1944 and since then have provided a significant way for millions of students to afford undergraduate and postgraduate education. The Loans program is in place to help students and their families afford the costs of college education. With this simple aim, the Loans program has three options:

  • Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Plus Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans

Each of these options has various requirements of the applicant, so you need to choose which is right for your situation. The rest of this post gives an overview of each type of Loan.

One of your best first routes is to request an information pack from the schools or colleges that interest you: these contain personalised details about how the college can help you afford the cost of the course. To request a pack, search for the school that offers the course you want, then simply click the ‘More info’ button next to a school on this website.

Federal Plus Loans

Originally, these Loans were for parents whose kids were at undergraduate school. Now, students at graduate school can apply under their own name, but only if they have tried all other types of Federal aid. The loan itself is awarded with reference to your credit history.

Federal Perkins Loans

Perkins Loans are awarded more rarely since the Federal fund is smaller and more limited. For students, this means that the amount loaned is likely to be low, however the advantage is that interest rates are very low. Perkins loans are normally only awarded to people with extreme financial needs.

Federal Stafford Loans

Stafford Loans are awarded based on financial need rather than your credit history. This type of loan can be obtained from a bank, credit union or directly from the Government; although one of the most flexible loan options, it is a little more complicated since it has three categories:


The government pays the interest on the loan whilst you are still a student at school. You’ll only start paying interest when repayments start (ie, when you leave school), not when you first take out the loan (ie, when you start school)


Interest starts adding to the loan from the moment you take out the loan. Typically, this means that you will have to pay the interest and part of the principal back whilst you’re still at school.

Additional unsubsidized

These are for students who have no family contribution to their program costs and so are classed as independent students.

What’s great about Federal Student Loans is that the application process is so easy: you fill out one preliminary form that the government then applies automatically to all available loan types and returns availability and suitability. To start the process, work with your prospective school or college, then fill out a FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) online and wait for the results.

If you are looking for financial aid or a government grant in Canada, take a look at specialist sites including the Canada government site and canada-grant.com

Related grants

For students looking at leveraging their language skills to train vocational workers, typically in medical or healthcare training programs such as certified nursing or phlebotomy training, you’ll find a range of additional financial aid is available from the states with the most employment opportunities – such as California.


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