Entrance Counseling

Definition

The term entrance counseling refers to information provided to a student, which outlines their obligations before receiving a federal student loan.  As part of the Direct Loan and Direct PLUS programs, student and parent borrowers are provided entrance counseling, which explains the terms and conditions of their loans.

Explanation

Prior to being issued a federal student loan under the Direct Loan program, student borrowers are required to complete entrance counseling for the loan they're receiving.  The purpose of this counseling is to ensure students, as well as parents under the Direct PLUS program, understand their obligations and responsibilities as borrowers.  Topics covered as part of this entrance counseling include a fundamental understanding of the terms and conditions of the loan, managing spending, repayment plans, as well as how to avoid defaulting on a loan.

The counseling is mandatory for borrowers under the Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS loan programs.  The counseling course can be found on the StudentLoan.gov website.  Those attending this program are encouraged to have on hand detailed information about their income, financial aid, as well as living expenses; this information can be found on the Award Letter received from the school's financial aid office.

Borrowers must first log into their account using the Federal Student Aid PIN.  Once the course has been reviewed, schools will be notified counseling has been completed.

Related Terms

adult education program, apprenticeship, Career and Technical Education, advanced placement