Entrance Counseling

What is entrance counseling?

Entrance counseling is a mandatory process by the United States Department of Education for student loan borrowers to best understand their responsibilities when taking on federal loans. The ultimate goal of entrance counseling is to lower the rate of delinquency and default among borrowers.

When do borrowers have to complete entrance counseling?

Entrance counseling is required for first-time borrowers that take out a federal student loan(s). The loan(s) will not be dispersed to the educational institution until entrance counseling is complete.

  • For undergraduate students, entrance counseling is explicitly required for direct subsidized, direct unsubsidized, and federal family education loans.
  • For graduate students, entrance counseling is required for direct subsidized, direct unsubsidized, federal family education loans, and direct PLUS loans.

Students can find entrance counseling via studentaid.gov, which must be fulfilled in one session and takes about 30 minutes to complete.

What does entrance counseling entail?

Entrance counseling covers the following topics:

  • Basic terms and financial concepts
  • Budget planning
  • Credit scores
  • Debt growth over time
  • Educational tax credits and deductions
  • Emergency funds
  • Interest accrual
  • Loan cancellation, capitalization, consolidation, deferment, forbearance, and grace periods
  • Master promissory notes
  • Paying down student debt while still in school
  • Repayment planning and repercussions of failing to do so
  • Resolving lender disputes
  • Savings accounts and savings plans per semester
  • Types of federal loans and maximum amounts

What do you need to complete federal student loan entrance counseling?

To complete mandatory entrance counseling, you will need:

  • The name of your school
  • Your federal student aid ID
  • Your email, date of birth, and social security number
  • Your income and financial aid information
  • As well as your current and expected living expenses

Be sure to double-check your school’s entrance counseling requirements through your educational institution’s financial aid office.

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