STEP 1: Your Award
You were awarded a Federal Direct Loan (Stafford Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and/or PLUS) as part of your financial assistance award. Each graduate division has its own financial aid award procedure. Make sure that you have received and accepted your award according to its guidelines.
For more information regarding loan types, interest rates, fees, and repayment, go to www.studentloans.gov
STEP 2: Complete Entrance Counseling
If this is the first time you have received a Federal Direct Stafford and/or PLUS loan at Washington University, you need to complete entrance counseling. Please note that entrance counseling for both loans is completed in one session through the Direct Loan website at www.studentloans.gov
STEP 3: Complete Your Master Promissory Note (MPN)
There are two separate procedures for completing an MPN depending on which loan(s) you are awarded. Students who are awarded both Direct Stafford and PLUS loans will need to complete two separate MPN’s, one for each loan. Both MPN’s can be completed through the same website. Please read the instructions below for more detailed information.
Note: Your FAFSA PIN will be utilized to complete your MPN. If you do not have a FAFSA PIN, you may apply for a PIN from the Direct Loan home page at www.studentloans.gov.
Completing a Federal Direct Stafford, Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN)
You may have been awarded a Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loan as part of your financial aid award. If you completed a Direct Stafford Loan MPN last year, you do not need to complete another one. Master Promissory Notes for Direct Loans are good for 10 years. Go to www.studentloans.gov
to complete your Federal Direct Loan MPN.
Completing a PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN)
A PLUS loan is a government guaranteed loan that provides funds up to the cost of attendance less financial aid for graduate and professional students. In addition, you must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be completed).
This loan is not based on need and carries a fixed interest rate of 7.21%. The Direct PLUS Loan carries a 4.288% origination fee.
1. Request a Direct PLUS Loan. This request authorizes a credit check and determines your loan eligibility at that time. This request must be completed each year that you wish to borrow.
2. Complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you completed a Direct Loan Promissory Note in a previous year, you are not required to complete another one.
If you decide not to maximize your Direct Stafford Loan eligibility before taking a PLUS loan, you will be asked to review and initial the Federal Loan Comparison Chart for Graduate and Professional Students
indicating that you understand the difference in the loan terms between the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and PLUS loans. This acknowledgement by the borrower is a Federal Regulatory requirement. PLUS loans do not have a grace period and enter repayment immediately. Students can postpone payments while enrolled in school at least half-time by submitting an in-school deferment request.
All students at Washington University must be registered at least half-time in a degree-seeking program to receive Federal Stafford Loans.
"To be enrolled half-time, a student must be taking at least half of the course load of a full-time student. Your school defines a full-time workload, but it must meet the minimum standards in the FSA regulations. The definition of full-time used for FSA purposes can differ from the definition used for other purposes at your school, such as the definition used by the registrar’s office." (Federal Student Aid Handbook, Chapter 1)
Please refer to the Enrollment Status Definitions for Washington University’s definition of full-time and half-time enrollment prior to completing entrance counseling.
Should you decide to withdraw from classes for ANY reason, contact your school's financial aid representative.
If you have any questions regarding your rights and responsibilities as a borrower or about loan terms and conditions, you may contact Student Financial Services at (888) 547-6670.
To review your Federal Loan history or find your loan servicer, go to www.nslds.ed.gov