Entrance/Exit Counseling


Loan counseling is required by the federal government for all Federal student loan programs. There are two types of loan counseling and they take place at different stages of the loan process.


Entrance counseling helps students understand the rights and responsibilities of their loans. This counseling covers the importance of repayment, the consequences of default, the use of the Master Promissory Note, and provides sample monthly repayment amounts. Note that Saint Mary's cannot credit a student's account with loan proceeds until she has completed entrance loan counseling.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans 

Students borrowing Federal Direct Student Loans who haven't previously received a Federal Direct Student Loan at Saint Mary's College must complete entrance counseling before Saint Mary's can make the first disbursement of the loan. Entrance loan counseling for direct loans is only needed once during a student's academic career at Saint Mary's College.

To complete entrance counseling for Direct Loans, students must log on to www.studentloans.gov and click on the link for complete entrance counseling. Students will be prompted to enter their Federal PIN, full name, Social Security Number, and birth date as identifying information. Entrance Counseling is in the form of an online session that the student (the borrower) must read and answer several true/false questions.

Federal Perkins Loans

At Saint Mary's, students must complete entrance loan counseling for Perkins Loans every year in which a student receives a Perkins Loan.

To complete entrance counseling for Perkins Loans, students need to read and sign the Perkins Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which was mailed to her along with her award letter.



Exit Counseling helps students to understand their rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower, and also provides useful tips and information to help students manage their loans. Exit Counseling includes information about the importance of repaying the loan, loan repayment options, deferment and forbearance, and reasons for loan cancellation.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans

Students who borrowed Federal Direct Loans while enrolled at Saint Mary's are required to complete Exit Counseling when they withdraw, graduate, or drop below half-time attendance (even if the student plans to transfer to another school).

To complete Exit Counseling students must log on to www.nslds.ed.gov and click on the start button for Loan Counseling. To access the Exit Counseling Session, students will need their FAFSA PIN number. During the session, students will need to provide their expected permanent address, the phone number of two family membersm and the name and address of the student's expected employer (if known).

Federal Perkins Loans

Students who borrowed Federal Perkins Loans while enrolled in Saint Mary's are required to complete Exit Counseling when the students withdraw, graduate, or drop below half-time attendance (even if the student plans to transfer to another school).

Students who need to complete Exit Loan Counseling for a Perkins Loan will receive an email from University Accounting Service with a link to the location they need to go to in order to complete Perkins Loan Exit Counseling.

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman

If a student enters repayment and has a problem with her federal loan and other reasonable efforts have failed, we recommend that the student contacts the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman. The Ombudsman office managed by the U.S. Department of Education may be able to:

  • Propose solutions to discrepancies in loan balances and payments,
  • Clarify interest and collection charges,
  • Clarify financial aid requirements,
  • Find loan holders,
  • Rehabilitate loans by establishing satisfactory repayment plans,
  • Reestablish eligibility for Federal Aid,
  • Find promissory notes,
  • Defer or discharge loans,
  • Resolve issues related to income tax refund offsets, default status, consolidations, or bankruptcies,
  • Service quality, and any other customer concerns.

Students can contact the U.S. Department of Education's Ombudsman at:

Office of Ombudsman
Student Financial Assistance
Room 3012, ROB #3
7th & D Streets, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202

Phone: 1-877-557-2575
Website: www.ombudsman.ed.gov