Given the recent credit crisis, there will likely be greater challenges in getting private student loans. Private loans will likely harder to come by, and may be even more expensive. However, parents and students need to make sure that they take advantage of any available federal, state, and institutional aid, before looking at more expensive private student loans. It is estimated that almost half of undergrad students do not use all available low-cost federal loans their families are eligible for. They end up seeking more expensive loans from private lenders. College financial aid officers can be excellent sources of information, regarding all available programs and sources of aid.