Stafford Loan FAQ


Barbie Papalios, Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Peggy Higgins, Associate Dean


Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available starting October 1, 2016

  • Applicants will use income from two years prior (2015 income and tax information) when reporting personal income

  • Applicants may also be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to import tax data from the IRS to the FAFSA

  • Although the 16-17 and 17-18 applications utilize the same income and tax information, students must still complete the 17-18 FAFSA, as marital status, household size and asset information may have changed

Step-By-Step: Applying For a Stafford Loan

You may apply for loans at any point during a semester in which you are enrolled at least 6 credits. 

The following deadlines are are merely for priority processing, and processing in time to meet tuition due dates.


Loan Application Due Dates (to meet tuition due dates)

Priority Deadline: Materials submitted by this date will be processed and posted before the semester bill is run.

Final Deadline*: Materials must be submitted by this date in order for the loan to post before the tuition due date. 

*If your application is not received by this deadline, your loan may not post to your account by that semester's tuition due date  

ALL loan materials must be submitted by the following dates:

  • Priority Deadline: May 15
  • FINAL Deadline (to meet semester's tuition due date): July 14
  • Priority Deadline: November 15
  • FINAL Deadline (to meet semester's tuition due date): December 9
  • Priority Deadline: April 30
  • FINAL Deadline: June 9


 Stafford Loan Application Instructions

1. Fill out the FAFSA AND

2. Complete the appropriate Federal Direct Stafford Loan Application:

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

(PLEASE NOTE: you must download/save the PDF 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).

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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. 

9. 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.