Your school may require you to complete an introductory counseling course to inform you about the terms of your federal student loan(s).
Part of the entrance counseling process involves reading and signing a Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have one or more federal student loans, your MPN is the document that outlines the terms and conditions of your federal loan(s). By signing your MPN, you are promising to pay back your federal student loan(s), including any interest and fees. Note that private lenders also require one signed Promissory Note for every private student loan you borrow – however, you may not have to complete entrance or exit counseling for private student loans.
Understanding your MPN is critical and will help you when the time comes to start repayment on these loans. According to a TG report (a non-profit), 40 percent of students who completed their entrance counseling did not remember completing the counseling. If you do not pay close attention to these counseling sessions, it can result in confusion about your loans and repayment. Make an effort to understand your loans early and you will be better off in the future.
Your school may also require you to complete follow-up counseling (aka exit counseling) regarding your federal student loans as you prepare to graduate and begin repayment.