Stafford Loan FAQ


Barbie Papalios, Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Peggy Higgins, Associate Dean

Step-By-Step: Applying For a Stafford Loan

1. Fill out the FAFSA AND

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 Post-Baccalaureate students may request up to $12,500 in their first year only.

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 Personal Identification Number (PIN) from your FAFSA to log onto this site. If you do not recall the PIN that was assigned to you when you completed the FAFSA, you can request it again here.

7. Sign Master Promissory Note (MPN). Once you have completed Step #6, Entrance Counseling, you will need to sign your MPN. This can also be done here. 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.