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Loan Process & Promissory Note Completion

In addition to accepting loans as part of your financial aid award, loan borrowers have additional processes that need to be completed in order to have loan funds available.

Promissory Notes

The promissory note is a legal document. It is your promise to use the money for educational purposes and to repay the loan.

All student and parent borrowers
for Federal Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans
who have not previously borrowed these funds in
the Direct Loan Program must complete
a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Borrowers complete the appropriate promissory note for each loan program they accept through the online award process.

New students will need to complete promissory notes. Returning students can always sign onto the individual promissory websites linked below to check to see if they have a completed, active promissory note on file.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: MPNs should be completed with the Department of Education (ED) online after accepting the loan. You will have to "sign in" using your ED PIN and follow the appropriate links.

  • Federal Direct Parent and Graduate PLUS Loans: Parent and graduate student borrowers must pass a credit check when a loan is processed. The credit check is done by completing the online promissory note. "Sign in" and links on subsequent pages will walk you through the application (credit check) and MPN processes.
    • Parents or step-parents of dependent students can borrow the Federal Parent PLUS Loan.
    • Graduate students are the borrowers of the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. These loans are offered and will show as part of the online award generally 5 business days after an original award offer.

  • Federal Perkins, Nursing or Health Professions Loans: Students may eSign using their U.S. Department of Education (ED) PIN, or they can print, sign, and mail a paper promissory note from the Website. Please select your awarded loan program to complete the appropriate promissory note:

Loan Entrance Counseling

First-time UC Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan borrowers and new Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers also must receive detailed information on the responsibilities of taking out an educational loan prior to the arrival of loan funds. A 20-30 minute online loan counseling session completes this requirement.

If this federal requirement is not met, loan monies received for the student will not be able to be applied to the student bill.

NOTE: Financial Awareness Counseling on the same Website, while a helpful tool with valuable information, is NOT the same as required Loan Entrance Counseling. Be sure to select the appropriate counseling session.

Loan Arrival

Perkins, Nursing, and Health Professions Loans will appear on your eBill following the completion of the promissory note. Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans will be applied to the eBill approximately 10 days prior to the start of each term assuming all steps above have been completed.

Loan estimates will appear on eBills prior to the beginning of a term. Borrowers must ensure they have completed loan counseling and promissory notes in order to make estimates a reality. Students must also be in good academic standing and be registered for at least half-time (or co-op) to be eligible for their loan funds for the term.

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Federal loans all use Master Promissory Notes (MPNs). These open-ended loan documents allow multiple year borrowing for that individual loan program.

If a Master Promissory Note has a disbursed loan attached to it within a year of signing by the borrower, it is then active for 10 years of borrowing thereby making the aid process much easier in subsequent years.

Remember, while the promissory note allows for multiple years, the FAFSA must be completed each year as soon as possible.

StudentLoans.gov Website

IMPORTANT: Borrowers who had a past MPN for Federal Stafford or PLUS Loans will need to complete a new Direct Loan MPN for each program if they have not borrowed loans since 2009-10 due to the change in loan programs at UC. "Sign in" as indicated on the government's student loan page.