Skip to main content

Choosing a student loan that’s right for you


Students use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast federal and private student loans to help them find the one best suited for their needs.

Big idea

You have a choice about how you pay for your education. Understanding your choices can help you make the right decision for your situation.

Essential questions

  • What are my options if I have to borrow money to pay for higher education?
  • What should I consider when shopping for a private loan?


  • Identify similarities and differences between federal and private student loans
  • Explain why it’s best to borrow as much as you can through federal student loans before taking out any private student loans

What students will do

  • Research federal and private student loans on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website.
  • Use a graphic organizer to illustrate important similarities and differences between these types of loans.

Download activity

Teacher guide


Student materials


Note: Please remember to consider your students’ accommodations and special needs to ensure that all students are able to participate in a meaningful way.