How to Apply for a Stafford Direct Loan

Federal Direct Loan Process

To apply for a Federal Direct Loan, students must obtain or complete the following:

Apply for an FSA ID

Before you begin the process of applying for federal financial assistance, you will need a U.S. Department of Education FSA ID. If you have already completed a FAFSA and used your Federal PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA, you will need to create an FSA ID to complete loan entrance counseling and sign your Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note. Once your information is verified with the SSA (1-3 days from the date of application), you will be able to use your FSA ID to fully access your financial aid information. If you do not have an FSA ID or you have forgotten your login information, visit the federal student aid website. You must provide a valid email address to receive your login information. For help creating an FSA ID for the first time, please visit How to Create an FSA ID.

Complete the FAFSA

Students apply for financial assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application process can be done completely online at

Complete Loan Entrance Counseling

The Entrance Counseling is a one-time required process that must be completed before receiving a student loan disbursement. To complete the Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling, please visit the website the student aid website. You must have an FSA ID in order to gain access to the loan entrance counseling process.

The Direct Loan Entrance Counseling will walk the student through the Direct Loan borrowing process. The counseling will provide detailed information regarding Direct Loans, the loan process, management of student education expenses, and the rights and responsibilities of a student loan borrower.

Sign Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note

Signing a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) is an important part of the student loan process. Students may print out and mail their promissory note; however, it is strongly recommended that students sign their promissory note using their FSA ID. To sign and/or complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note, visit

Complete a Federal Direct Loan Request Form

All student loan borrowers are required to complete an AIMS Education Direct Loan Request Form each year. Students are asked to indicate the loan amount to borrow for the academic year or term. The AIMS Education Direct Loan Request Form may be obtained at the Financial Aid Office on campus.

After completion of the above procedures and submission of all required documents to the Financial Aid Office, students will typically be notified of their Financial Aid Awards within two to three weeks.