Loan Requirements

No matter which loan you have chosen to help finance your education, they each require documentation that confirms you understand and agree to the terms and conditions of your loan. Requirements outlined by private lenders will vary. So be sure to contact your lender of choice directly to clarify their requirements and/or confirm they have received all necessary documentation. Instructions for completing the federal loan requirements are listed below.

Please understand that your loan funds will not disburse to the school until after all documentation has been completed! 

Federal Entrance Counseling

All recipients of Stafford or PLUS loans are required by federal regulations to complete Entrance Counseling. You must complete the interview before Simmons College will credit loan funds to your account. This online Entrance Counseling will provide you with information concerning your student loan, including your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, interest rates and other loan details, and who to contact if you have questions. Use your Federal Student Aid ID to sign-in to the website below to complete your interview. Here are instructions:

  1. Sign into the Direct Loan website using your FSA ID.
  2. Choose "Complete Loan Counseling (Entrance, Financial Awareness, Exit)".
  3. Click "START" next to "Entrance Counseling (Required)".
  4. Select Simmons College as your school and click "NOTIFY THIS SCHOOL".
  5. Indicate your student type (graduate or undergraduate).
  6. Follow the remaining prompts and instructions on each page.
  7. The system will display a "you have successfully completed Entrance Counseling" message and send you and email when you have finished.

This process will take approximately 30-45 minutes and it is generally advisable to have your award letter and bill on hand for reference. 

Signing Your Master Promissory Note

Recipients are also required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to the first disbursement of any Stafford or PLUS loans. Failure to sign the promissory note will result in cancellation of the loan. Please note that Stafford Loan MPNs are generally valid for up to 10 years and typically only need to be signed once. PLUS loans, however, must be signed for each year. To sign your MPN, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Sign into the Direct Loan website using your FSA ID.
  2. Choose "Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)"
  3. Click "START" next to your loan program type. (Careful! Graduate students signing for their Graduate Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan still need to select "MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans" here.)
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions and prompts on each page
  5. Enter your name and click "SIGN & SUBMIT"
  6. You will know you have finished when you reach the "Confirmation" screen and receive a confirmation email

This process will take approximately 15 minutes and you will need several pieces of information:

  • The borrower's FSA ID (an FSA ID can be obtained here)
  • The borrower's driver's license number
  • The names, completed addresses, and phone numbers for two references living at two separate addresses. One should be a family member.
Federal Exit Counseling

If you received Stafford or PLUS loan funds as part of your financial aid award while enrolled at Simmons College, federal regulations require that you complete an exit interview when you graduate, withdraw, or cease to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. This online Exit Counseling will provide you with information concerning your student loan, including your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, interest rates, other loan details, and who to contact if you have questions. Here are instructions:

1. Sign into the Direct Loan website using your FSA ID.
2. Choose "Complete Counseling".
3. Select "Exit Counseling"
4. Follow the onscreen instructions and prompts on each page to complete and submit your Exit Counseling

As you finish your degree, it is important for you to begin planning for your loan repayment. Finaid.org is a great resource for some basic information on federal loan repayment. In fact, one of the benefits of federal loans is their many repayments options. For example, students who plan to work for non-profit organizations, especially students in our Master of Social Work (MSW) online program, may find the document below helpful when considering the various loan forgiveness programs offered by the federal government.

Financing Your Master's Degree: Loan Forgiveness Programs

Be sure to check in with your loan servicer/lender as well! While most loans do have a grace period, you should identify which company or companies you will be working with before transitioning into repayment. We recommend that you: 

  • log into nslds.ed.gov to retrieve the contact information for the servicer/s managing each of your federal loans

    and

  • pull your free credit report to identify all loans in your name, specifically which private lending institutions you may have borrowed from over the course of your academic career.

If you have general questions, please let us know, but don't be afraid to contact one of your servicers/lenders as they will be managing your loan/s moving forward.