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Application Process for Federal Student Loans

In this Section

File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

You will need your federal PIN to sign your application.  Visit to apply for a PIN or to retrieve your previous PIN.

Complete a “Graduate Loan Application” located in the forms section.

If you are applying for a Graduate PLUS loan, you can apply online at or you can complete the “Graduate PLUS Loan Application” located in the forms section. If you apply online, you will be given an instant credit decision.

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate if you have been selected by the US Department of Education to complete the verification process.  If you have been selected for verification, you must complete the Clarkson Financial Aid Verification form located in the forms section.  

Complete the online Entrance Counseling session at  By indicating graduate status, you will complete the required entrance session for all Direct Loans, including the GradPlus.  Completion of Entrance Counseling is a requirement mandated by the US Department of Education for all student loan borrowers.

Undergraduate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Notes (MPN) will usually transfer to your graduate student status.  First time borrowers for unsubsidized and GradPLUS must complete the MPN online at  You will need your Federal PIN to sign your MPN. 

Complete the “Student Title IV” form located in the forms section the first time that you receive federal aid as a graduate student.

Federal Direct Loans are now serviced by one of many servicers.  Borrowers will receive paper notification informing them of the servicer who has been assigned to their loans.  You may also access this information as well as other details regarding your federal student aid at  Your Federal PIN is required to access this site.