Direct Loan Information
Students who have been awarded a Federal Direct Loan must complete a number of steps to complete the process.
Step 1 - Students must accept or decline awards. New students may return their paper award letters. Returning students may accept or decline their awards on SeaNet. Loans that have not been accepted or declined remain in offered status for three weeks; if no action is taken within the required timeline, the loans may be cancelled.
Step 2 – Students who are borrowing for the first time must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The Department of Education (the lender) has a website students may use to electronically sign MPNs (http://www.dlenote.ed.gov). To sign electronically, students need their Federal Personal Identification Number (PIN) received in the mail after submitting the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). A duplicate or replacement PIN may be requested via the PIN website (http://www.pin.ed.gov). An explanation of the electronic MPN process may be accessed via a Hot Link on the UNCW Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid (OSFA) website (http://www.uncw.edu/finaid). The electronic process is the preferred method for signing MPNs. If, for any reason, students are unable to electronically sign an MPN, they may contact their financial aid counselor. The MPN remains valid for ten (10) years, as long as there has been a disbursement from the loan within 12 months from the date the note is signed. Students who do not borrow within the 12-month period, and who wish to borrow at a later date, must complete a new MPN.
Step 3 - Complete On-line Loan Entrance Counseling. First-time student loan borrowers are required to complete loan entrance counseling. The requirement may be complete on-line, www.studentloans.gov.
Step 4 – For Parent Borrowers and Graduate Students
Parent borrowers and graduate students seeking PLUS Loans may apply for the PLUS Loan, on-line, at www.studentloans.gov. When completing the PLUS application, parents may indicate whether they wish any excess from the parent PLUS Loan to be refunded to the student or the parent.
Other than the FAFSA, no separate paper application is required. Parent PLUS Loans begin showing up on students' new financial aid award information in July of each year.
Parent PLUS borrowers must also sign a Master Promissory Note. The parent may sign the MPN electronically via the MPN website at http://www.studentloans.gov.
Graduate PLUS borrowers may have previously signed an MPN for undergraduate student loans; however, because a Graduate PLUS loan requires credit approval and the terms are different, the Lender also requires that a Graduate PLUS borrower sign a separate MPN when borrowing additional funds for graduate school. The graduate may also sign their note electronically via the MPN website at http://www.studentloans.gov.
The same rules apply for a parent’s MPN as the student’s MPN. The note, once validated by the lender, supports loans by a parent, for a student, at this institution for ten (10) years, as long as there is a disbursement within 12 months after the note has been signed. Failure to borrow within the 12-month period renders the master note invalid, and it does not support any future loans. Parents who decide to borrow in the future have to sign a new MPN.
If a parent’s credit application is declined by the lender, and an accepted endorser is provided, a promissory note is still required, but it is not be considered a Master Note. It supports only the loan and the amount for which the endorser has agreed to be responsible.
Borrowers should contact Applicant Services (800.557.7394) at the Common Origination and Disbursement School Relations Center for assistance with credit appeals, PLUS loan issues, and/or endorser processing. Applicant Services can also assist borrowers with the Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note web site.
Students or parents who have questions about the status of financial aid awards, or who wish to cancel a student or PLUS loan, should contact the OSFA at UNCW 910.962.3177 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick Checklist for Direct Loan Borrowers at UNCW
___ Did I accept my loan(s) on my paper award letter and return the letter to the UNCW OSFA or did I accept my loan(s) on SeaNet?
___ If I am applying for credit approval as a Parent PLUS Borrower or as a Graduate Student, did I complete the on-line application?
___ Have I signed a Master Promissory Note as required by the Lender?
___ Have I completed the required Direct Loan Entrance Counseling session?