Alternative Loans

Private loans, also called alternative loans, are available to students and parents to help cover educational costs not covered by grants, scholarships, or educational loans.

NOTE: Students and parents are strongly encouraged to pursue Federal Stafford and Federal Parent (PLUS) loans before exploring alternative loans. These lower-cost federal loans may be available in place private education loans.   
See below for details to complete the FAFSA for federal student loan eligibility.

If you decide to pursue a private/alternative loan, your lender may request the Private Education Loan Self-Certification

Click here to download the Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form.

How to Apply

Note that tax return information is needed to complete the FAFSA and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is the preferred method for providing that information. 

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    The federal government is strongly encouraging applicants to file the FAFSA on the Web. Electronic filing is faster, more economical, and reduces paper waste.

    To sign your online application you can:
  • Create an FSA ID. The FSA ID is your username and password that gives you access to all things related to Federal Student Aid. You will use it to sign your FAFSA, access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and complete the Entrance/Exit Counseling and Master Promissory Note for your student loan. Go to and click "Create an FSA ID." Full instructions for creating your FSA ID can be found on our Forms page under "How to Create an FSA ID."

    If you are considered a dependent student, a parent will also be required to set up an FSA ID.
  • If you are unable to use an FSA ID, you can print a signature page at the end of your FAFSA application. Apply the requested signatures and mail the form to the address listed.

If filing online is not an option for you, you can download a  of the FAFSA. The Department of Education is no longer providing schools with paper forms. Follow the directions indicated, complete the form, and mail to the address listed. 

The Bristol Financial Aid Office staff can help you complete the financial aid applications. 
 are available.

  1. Visit the Forms page to view the Financial Aid Application Checklist/Information Sheet and other forms.

  2. Verify the data on your Student Aid Report (SAR)
    About one to six weeks after submitting your FAFSA, you will receive a SAR from the U. S. Department of Education. If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, you will receive the SAR electronically. Otherwise, you will receive the SAR through the mail.
    • Read the SAR carefully to check for accuracy.
    • Make sure Bristol School Code 002176 is listed so we will receive your data.
    • If 002176 is not listed, contact the U.S. Department of Education at (800) 433-3243 or you can add the school code online with your FSA ID at
  3. Respond to requests for information promptly.

    • You will be contacted by mail by the Bristol Financial Aid Office if additional information is needed to complete your file.
    • Massachusetts residents may also be contacted by the Massachusetts Office of Student Assistance for additional information.
    • Rhode Island residents may also be contacted by the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority for additional information.

Send Your FAFSA Results to Bristol

If you did not list Bristol to receive a copy of your FAFSA results, you can add Bristol after your FAFSA is processed. There are three ways to do this:

  • If you have an FSA ID, go to to make a correction and add another school. 
  • If you do not have an FSA ID, wait until you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) either by e-mail or postal mail (If you misplaced your SAR, call 1 800 433 3243 and request that a duplicate SAR be sent to you.) Look for the four-digit DRN on the first page of your SAR and then call 1.800.433 3243. Follow the prompts to add Bristol to the list (Bristol code is 002176). 
  • If you have your DRN, the Bristol Financial Aid Office can add the school for you. Provide Bristol Financial Aid Office with your DRN, social security number, full name, and date of birth.

File Complete, Now What? 

Once all requested documents have been received, the Financial Aid Office will review and you will be notified that either additional documentation is needed or that an award decision has been made. 

Your bill will show a pending payment and you will receive consideration for a book advance once ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • An award decision has been made by the Bristol Financial Aid Office. 
  • No additional documents are needed.
  • Revised FAFSA results have been received by the Financial Aid Office (if corrections were needed). 
  • You are admitted and registered in an eligible program. 
  • You are enrolled at the level indicated on your award letter. 
  • You are making satisfactory academic progress. 
  • If a loan was offered, you have accepted the loan and then followed up with the entrance counseling and promissory note requirements.

Check your Financial Aid Status

You can check your application and award status through your  account. To check your financial aid application for missing documents, log into your accessBCC account, then go to: My Quick Links > Financial Aid > My Eligibility > Student Requirements.

To check your award status, log in and then go to My Quick Links > Financial Aid > My Award

Documentation sent to the Financial Aid Office is scanned and indexed through a document imaging system. During peak periods, it can take up to a week for information to appear as received. Please allow mailing and scanning time when checking your application status. The information you view through accessBCC is the same information viewable to the Enrollment Services staff.