Criminal Justice Student Loans — The Ultimate Guide

If you are interested in a criminal justice career, you may find more opportunities than most students for loans to help pay your college bills. Thanks to increased needs for security personnel at the local, state, regional and federal levels, many loan opportunities may be available for criminal justice graduate and undergraduate students.The best way to find school loans for that undergraduate criminal justice program is through the government’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. Through the FAFSA, you can apply for Stafford and Perkins loans. Investigate these possibilities before you apply for a standard bank loan, as the interest rates on government loans are much lower.

The Federal Direct Loan Program and lender participants in the FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program) both feature Stafford Loans. Almost every student qualifies for Stafford Loans, so if you don’t fill out the FAFSA, you’re leaving money on the table. Perkins loans are available for those students with “exceptional” financial needs. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so apply with that FAFSA early.

If you are a graduate criminal justice major, you can apply for PLUS loans. The Direct Loan Program and FFELP lenders all offer the Grad PLUS Loans. These are credit-based loans, so if you have bad credit, you may need a co-signer.

If you must apply for private student loans, first subtract any scholarships, grants, federal loans and personal savings from your college bill. Then, decide how much you really need to borrow from the bank. These loans carry high credit limits, but they also carry variable – not fixed – interest rates with the potential to cause financial trouble down the road.

Finally, think about obtaining your first two years’ worth of college credits at a community college. Many lenders have developed loan programs designed specifically for community colleges or for paying short-term continuing education or career training programs.

Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Liberty University
BS in Criminal Justice

Liberty University — Liberty University is an online university that prepares students for success in their careers following graduation. Liberty University offers two programs in the field, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice, and a B.S. In Multidisciplinary Studies - Criminal Justice.
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Purdue University
AS in Criminal Justice
BS in Criminal Justice
MS in Criminal Justice

Purdue University — Purdue University is one of the largest accredited online colleges, and it offers a wide range of degree programs in the field of criminal justice. These programs include associates, bachelors, and masters in criminal justice, with possible specialties (depending on degree level) in Computer Crime, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Law, and Global Issues.
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American InterContinental University
BSCJ in Generalist
BSCJ in Law Enforcement
BSCJ in Case Mgmt and Corrections

American InterContinental University — American InterContinental University online is one of the most popular online universities for students interested in a criminal justice career. Degree programs at AIU include an BS in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement), and B.S. in Criminal Justice (Case Management and Corrections).
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Saint Leo University
AA in Criminal Justice
BA in Criminal Justice
BACJ in Criminalistics
MS in Criminal Justice
MSCJ in Forensic Science

Saint Leo University — For years, Saint Leo University has helped students across the county obtain Criminal Justice degrees through online programs. These programs cut many of the costs associated with campus programs and have the added benefit of being accessible from any computer. SLU has several degrees available including an Associates, Bachelors, and Masters in Criminal Justice as well as specialized programs for BACJ in Criminalistics and MSCJ in Forensic Science.
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