Stafford Loan FAQ


Barbie Papalios, Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Peggy Higgins, Associate Dean

Step-By-Step: Applying For a Stafford Loan


Please Note, for priority processing in order to meet the semester due dates for tuition bills, 

ALL loan materials must be received by the following dates:

Fall Semester:  May 15

Spring Semester: November 15

Summer Semester: April 30

*You may submit your application after these dates, but your loan may not post to your account by that semester's tuition due date


1. Fill out the FAFSA AND

2. Complete the appropriate Federal Direct Stafford Loan Application:

(PLEASE NOTE: you must download/save the PDF versions in order to fill out the electronic signature section).

(PLEASE NOTE: you must download/save the PDF versions in order to fill out the electronic signature section).

3. E-mail the application as an attachment to Barbie Papalios at or mail to the address on the form.

arrowFAFSA Tips: the Title IV school code (Section H) is 002133 and all graduate students are considered independent and do not need to provide their parents’ financial information. Master’s and Ph.D. students may request up to $20,500 in Stafford Loans per year and postbaccalaureate students may request up to $12,500 in their first year only ($5,500 for dependent postbaccalaureate students).

2. After submitting the FAFSA, the Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). When the SAR arrives, carefully check it for accuracy and make any necessary corrections.  The GSAS office will receive this information electronically.

3. If you are selected for verification, you may be asked to complete additional paperwork or submit supporting documentation such as proof of citizenship or income tax forms. You will be notified by the GSAS Office should you be required to do so.

5. Once you have been approved for a Stafford Loan, the GSAS Office will send a loan letter to you outlining the amount and disbursement schedule for your Stafford Loan.

6. Complete Entrance Counseling. To begin your Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling session online, go to the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Servicing website and click the green "Sign In" button at the top left of the screen. You will need your FSA ID in order to sign in.  If you have not yet created your FSA ID, you should do so first.

7. Sign Master Promissory Note (MPN). Once you have completed Step #6, Entrance Counseling, you will need to sign your MPN **IMPORTANT** Please select "Brandeis University"; do not select "Brandeis University-Graduate School of Arts and Sciences" on the Department of Education's website. Failure to sign your MPN will result in cancellation of this loan under federal regulations. If the cancellation of this loan causes a balance due on your account, a hold will be placed on your account. 

8. Once you have fulfilled all loan and course registration requirements, you may then file for a refund of your credit balance through Student Financial Services. The earliest loan credit can be released from your account is 10 days before classes begin. The form is available in their office and online.