I am still learning the ropes for this whole financial aid process. My son was offered a $5500 student loan for his freshman year, which we are planning for him to accept. If we feel he does his best in college, we will likely end up paying off his loans for him when he graduates. I was a bit surprised to learn that the loan is "unsubsidized", which means that it accrues interest even while he's in school. Are students only offered subsidized loans if they have demonstrated financial need? If he can get this loan without a cosigner, why is the subsidized vs. unsubsidized criteria based on my income? My car loan and mortgage have lower interest rates than this student loan, so I'm wondering if there are other options available with deferral of payments. We want our son to at least feel like he has some skin in this game rather than having us write the check every semester, but the interest is an annoyance.