Student Loans For An Engineering Degree

There are many reasons to pursue an engineering degree, and one of the most important is that engineering careers tend to be highly lucrative. The median starting salary for mechanical engineers is $60,000 per year, while computer engineers can expect a starting salary of $62,000 per year according to PayScale

The average mid-career salary for mechanical engineers is nearly $104,000 according to PayScale. Engineers who have studied computer science often find themselves on the higher end of these estimates. Engineering is a lucrative field, and it’s also one of the most competitive. If you’re looking for a career path that will give you plenty of opportunities for both educational advancement and financial gain, engineering might be right for you! 

But before diving into the world of engineering, there’s something to keep in mind. College degrees can be expensive, especially if they involve getting several years’ worth of tuition out-of-pocket (which is often the case). At least one study has suggested that students who go into debt tend to make less money than those who don’t borrow at all or only take on small amounts of debt. 

So while student loans may seem like an easy option at first glance (and sometimes they are), make sure they’re worth it by considering alternatives like scholarships or grants before choosing between taking out private loans or not borrowing at all.

Image Credit:

Student Loans For An Engineering Degree

If you’re looking for a loan, there are several options.

Federal loans are the most common and come in two forms: subsidized and unsubsidized. The former is based on need, while the latter is not.

Private lenders also offer loans, but they tend to be more expensive than federal ones because they often require cosigners or guarantees from family members or employers who have experience with the borrower’s ability to repay debt. You may also consider state-based student loan programs if your state offers them; some states even fund their version of federally-subsidized Stafford Loans specifically for students attending public colleges within their borders.

1. Unsubsidized Federal Loans

Federal loans are available to students who have not taken out any private student loans. Federal loan eligibility is based on financial need, so there is no credit check required. A federal student loan may be used for any accredited school or program, regardless of the college’s cost or the institution’s reputation.

Interest accrues while you are enrolled in school and applies to all new loans made after July 1, 1993 (the date on which Congress passed the National Defense Education Act). The interest rate charged on this type of loan is fixed at 6% per year, if it has been closed by June 30th; otherwise, it will remain at 5% until paid off by December 31st after graduation or withdrawal from school (whichever comes first).

2. Subsidized Direct Loans

Subsidized loans are available to students with financial needs. These loans are awarded based on your expected family contribution (EFC), which is a number that represents the amount of money you will have to contribute toward your education. 

Federal Pell grants, state and federal scholarships and grants, employment-based veterans’ benefits, and other financial aid sources do not count as part of your EFC.

You may qualify for subsidized loan programs if:

  • You’re enrolled in an eligible program at least half-time.
  • Your total cost of attendance (including room/board) is below Direct Loan limits.
  • You’re making payments on time.

3. Perkins Loans

Perkins Loans are low-interest government loans for students with exceptional financial needs. This means that you can use these funds to pay for college tuition, books and supplies, and even living expenses if necessary.

You must submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for Perkins Loans. You will also need to submit an acceptable financial aid application at the school where you want to enroll for classes. 

This will help them determine whether or not they will offer any additional funding opportunities over what’s available through federal programs such as Pell Grants or Stafford/Perkins Loans (which is typically a better deal).

4. Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application for federal student aid. This can be done online or by filling out a paper form with your school’s guidance counselor. The FAFSA helps students apply for grants, loans, and work-study programs.

FAFSA is free to complete, but there are some exceptions: students who qualify for certain types of financial aid may have to pay fees to get them.

  • Those who are under 19 years old will have their information sent directly to their college’s financial aid offices instead of having to complete the entire form themselves; 
  • If you live within 100 miles of an institution that offers no more than three credits per term (this includes community colleges), then only part of your FAFSA needs completing. 
  • The school must send what it believes would be necessary information about you based on its records already available from other sources like transcripts from high schools attended during elementary through senior year levels respectively.

5. Apply For Scholarships And Grants

If you’re going to earn a degree in engineering, it’s important to consider scholarships as one of your options for funding. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and not financial need. There are many scholarships out there, for example, the National Science Foundation offers over $3 billion worth of grants every year.

Before you apply for any awards or grants, make sure that they’re open only to those who meet their criteria (and don’t forget: some private scholarships require an essay). If there’s something specific about your background or experience that qualifies you for a particular scholarship, let them know.

Also, remember that many private organizations will give preference to people who have gone through extracurricular activities like sports teams or clubs; this can also help boost your chances of getting accepted into certain academic programs.

6. Explore Employer Tuition Assistance

Employer tuition assistance is a great way to pay for school. Many companies offer this type of program and you can use the money for any degree or certification, including engineering. Employer tuition assistance programs typically provide up to $10,000 per year in aid towards your education costs (up to $50K if you’re attending graduate school). 

You’ll also need to complete some paperwork so it’s best if you have access to an online account management tool like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive where these documents will be stored securely until needed. Once everything has been submitted and approved by both parties involved, your employer will match whatever amount they gave previously with another grant from them (usually twice the amount). 

7. Take out federal student loans

One of the best ways to pay for an engineering degree is through federal student loans. You’ll get lower interest rates, more flexibility, and repayment options than many other types of loans.

There are also some great financial aid programs available through the government that can help you pay for your education without taking out a lot of debt. These government financial aid programs include:

Student loan forgiveness for engineers

As an engineer, your student loan debt may be forgiven if you work in public service or a government-related job for 10 years. This student loan forgiveness program is called the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program and it’s available to graduates of any accredited engineering degree program.

To qualify for this benefit, all you have to do is make 120 qualifying payments on time throughout the course of 10 years which means that even if you’re working in an entry-level position with little money coming in each month, by staying employed full-time through at least one year of employment at each employer (not counting seasonal jobs), then there’s no reason not to try applying!

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is a federal program created by Congress to help borrowers who work in public service jobs. The PSLF was created by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, which also created a similar program for teachers and law enforcement officers.

The PSLF has two parts: the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP) and the Teacher Administrative Provision (TAP). Both programs forgive student loan debt after 10 years of qualifying employment, but they differ in how much time is required before forgiveness can occur, and what types of jobs qualify as qualifying employment.

8. Higher Education Opportunity Act

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) provides grants and low-interest loans to eligible students in need. These awards are available to you if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program, including undergraduate and graduate programs of study. Eligible programs include all fields of study except professional schools or those requiring a physical education degree.
  • Your financial need is demonstrated by your income, assets, or other resources.
  • The total cost of attendance (tuition plus fees) exceeds 150% of the average annual amount received during the previous 12 months from any source excluding scholarships/grants offered by institutions and employers.

9. Harold Alfond Foundation

For students who want to study an engineering or technological field, the Harold Alfond Foundation can help with financial aid. The foundation offers scholarships of up to $50,000 per year in addition to other assistance such as tuition reimbursement and loan consolidation. The foundation was established by Harold Alfond in 1980 and has awarded over $10 million in scholarships since then.

10. Specialty Equipment Market Association

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is a non-profit trade association that represents the interests of the aftermarket industry. 

It was founded in 1960, and its mission is to foster growth and improvement within the aftermarket industry by advancing new products, providing resources for members, coordinating activities among member companies, and providing educational opportunities for its members and their customers/employees.

The SEMA Foundation funds research programs that benefit consumers through education initiatives such as scholarships or grants; they also support projects that promote safety standards in equipment design or repair processes.

11. Private Loans

Private loans are not government-guaranteed. They have higher interest rates than federal loans, and if you can’t get a federal loan, consider private loans. Private loans are not eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) either.

12. SoFi Student Loan Refinancing

If you’re looking to refinance your student loans, SoFi is a great option. They offer lower rates and flexible repayment options that can help you manage your monthly payments. Their income-driven repayment plans can help borrowers avoid defaulting on their loans by making it easier for them to afford the monthly payments.

But what about students who don’t have access to their own hands-on labs? They can still get into the industry by getting licensed as an engineer through their state’s board or licensing agency – which will require them to pass both written and oral exams on topics such as physics, chemistry, and math before applying for licensure from their state board/agency. Student loan repayment for engineers Standard Repayment Plan Graduated Repayment Plan Income-driven repayment plans.  

The Standard Repayment Plan (SRP) is the most common student loan repayment plan for federal loans. The SRP plans have different monthly payment amounts, and you can choose between fixed or graduated repayment plans.

Graduated Repayment Plan: This type of plan allows you to pay off your debt over time by paying more each month than the previous one until your loan is paid in full. 

If you have federal direct loans, this option may not be available to you because it requires a higher income level than others do (see Income-Driven Repayment Plans below).

Income-Driven Repayment Plans: An income-driven repayment plan changes your monthly payments based on how much money you make each year instead of when they’re due.

However, if there are any outstanding balances on this account after 30 years then those loans will go into default mode where they automatically become 30 years old without any grace period at all. 

Is it worth going to engineering school?

You may be wondering, “Is it worth going to engineering school?” The answer is yes. Engineering graduates have higher starting salaries than their non-engineering counterparts and they tend to make more money over their lifetime.

The average starting salary for engineers is $57,000 per year and the average mid-career salary after 10 years of employment is $122,000 per year. The average engineer will earn an average of $2 million during their lifetime!


Engineering is a high-paying career path and it offers many opportunities for advancement. You’re also likely to enjoy a very satisfying work/life balance because of the variety in your job, as well as flexible hours and location options. 

If you decide to pursue an engineering degree and take out student loans, make sure you’ve considered all the options available before making any decisions about repayment plans or loan forgiveness programs.

Additional Contents

  1. Best Liberal Arts Colleges For Pre Med
  2. Best Colleges For Introverts
  3. Best Software Engineering Schools
  4. Best Colleges For Social Work In California
  5. Best Colleges For Botany