Applying for student loans and grants is a fairly simple process.
Step 1: File Your FAFSA
To apply for any type of federal student aid you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college. Even if you don't think you qualify for federal aid, or don't plan to apply for it at all, the College still requests you to fill out the FAFSA. We use its information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers use it in their determination as well.
After you complete the FAFSA it will be processed and return an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The College, the government and private lenders use this figure to determine your eligibility for aid. The EFC is not how much you are expected to pay for college nor is it how much college will cost.
Step 2: Accept or Reject Your Awards
All students manage their accounts through Self Service. Once your financial aid award package is created you'll receive a letter or email providing your awards or a link to Self Service to review your awards, as well as any special terms and directions on how to accept, reject or modify the awarded amount. Some federal loans are automatically listed in your award, but you do not have to accept them. The fewer loans you need to pay for college the better, so use loans wisely.
If you accept a student loan as part of your award package and then change your mind, you can cancel all or part of your loan within 14 days after your student account is credited with your loan funds.
Step 3: Sign a Master Promissory Note
If you choose to accept federal student loans you will need to complete and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document where the borrower, usually you or your parent, signs a contract to repay the loan in full and on time. Private loans will have a similar promissory note, but the MPN is for all federal loans and only needs to be signed once for up to ten years of loans. You don't need a new MPN each year if you receive additional federal loan funds.
The Master Promissory Note is available on the Federal Student Loans website. You'll need your FSA ID to login and sign the note. Once completed, you should download or print a copy of the note for your records. You do not need to submit the note to the College because we'll be electronically notified that it's done.
Step 4: Complete Loan Entrance Counseling
All first time federal direct loan borrowers are required to complete entrance counseling. The entrance counseling session provides you with information about your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. After reviewing the information you will be quizzed on your knowledge. You only need to complete entrance counseling once, so if you already completed it with us or another college you don't need to do it again. You will not receive any disbursements of your federal direct loan until we receive confirmation of that you completed entrance counseling or have completed it in the past for previous loans.
Entrance counseling is available on the Federal Student Loans website. You'll need your FSA ID to login and complete the session. We'll be automatically notified when you're done so there's nothing you need to send to us.
Step 5: Receive Your Loan Funds
Loans are generally divided evenly over Fall and Spring semesters. If you accepted your awards, signed a promissory note and completed entrance counseling then your loan funds will be automatically applied to your student account at the beginning of each semester.
Step 6: Complete Loan Exit Counseling
When you leave the College, whether because you graduated, transferred or took a leave of absence, you must complete loan exit counseling if you have borrowed through any federal direct loans. Exit counseling provides information about your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, tips for managing loans and payments, and options for monitoring your loans and getting help if you have a dispute. Loans cannot be canceled because you didn’t like the education you received, didn’t get a job in your field of study or because you’re having financial difficulty. Loans are legal obligations that you must repay.
Exit counseling is available on the Federal Student Loans website. You'll need your FSA ID to login and complete the session.