Federal Direct Loan Application Instructions

Federal Direct and
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Application Instructions

4 Steps to Apply for a Federal Direct Loan

Step 1:

Go to www.studentloans.gov and sign in using your FSA ID.  This login process is new as of May 2015.  You will need to create an ID if you have not done so.  Find instructions here. Your Federal PIN number will be used initially to link your information to your newly created FSA ID but will no longer be valid to login in. An FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid's online systems and can serve as your legal signature.

Step 2:

Choose "Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)" then “Subsidized/Unsubsidized”

To complete the MPN you will need:

  • Your Federal Student Aid FSA ID
  • Approximately 30 minutes to complete
  • MPN must be completed in a single session.
  • Students must log in using their own FSA ID to complete Master Promissory Notes (MPNs). Use of another person's FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

Step 3:

Choose “Complete Counseling” then “Entrance Counseling”

To complete the requirement you will need:

  • 20-30 minutes to complete
  • Your FSA ID
  • Students must log in using their own FSA ID to complete Entrance Counseling. Use of another person's FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

Step 4:

Tell us the amount you wish to borrow using this online form.

The rest of our process is simple.  We will send you a letter from our office when your federal Direct Loan has been approved. You will also receive detailed information from the U.S. Department of Education concerning your loan when your loan has been paid to your student account.  All students who borrow must attend a brief loan session held during orientation. 

Contact scloans@swarthmore.edu with questions.

3 Steps to Apply for Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Step 1:

Go to www.studentloans.gov and sign in using parent’s FSA ID and password. This login process is new as of May 2015.  They will need to create an ID if they have not done so. Find instructions here. Their Federal PIN number will be used initially to link their information to the newly created FSA ID but will no longer be valid to login in. An FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid's online systems and can serve as your legal signature.

Step 2:

Choose "Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)" then “Parent PLUS”

Step 3:

Request a Direct PLUS Loan.  This option is found on left side menu under “PLUS Loan Process”.   Choose the option “Parent PLUS”.

Parents borrowing a Direct PLUS Loan to pay for their child's education are not required to complete entrance counseling unless  prompted by the U.S.  Department of Education under special circumstances.

The rest of our process is simple.  We will send your parent a letter from our office when the federal Direct PLUS Loan has been approved. They will also receive detailed information from the U.S. Department of Education concerning the loan when the loan has been paid to your student account. 

Contact scloans@swarthmore.edu with questions.