Answers to your most frequently asked questions
The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment is recommended each award year you accept a federal student loan on studentaid.gov and is intended to help borrowers understand the financial responsibility of funding their education.
Who completes the acknowledgement?
Borrowers accepting a subsidized/unsubsidized loan, or a PLUS loan for parents.
What am I acknowledging?
If you are a first-time borrower accepting federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan.
If you have existing federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much more you can borrow.
How do I complete this?
Log into your MyStudentAid account using your FSA ID and password to complete this Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment requirement. A link entitled “Complete Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment” can be found under the “Complete Aid Process Tab.” Parent borrowers for PLUS loans must log in with their FSA ID and password.
The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment is in addition to the existing Master Promissory Note (MPN) process and does not replace existing counseling requirements. The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is a tool supported by the Department of Education with the goal of helping students understand their loans and how loans affect their financial future.
You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered for a student loan. The Financial Aid Office staff will process your award, which often includes your loan eligibility amounts. You will be able to view your award and accept or decline aid on My Northeast. If loans are not included in your aid package, contact the Financial Aid Office. You still may have eligibility. Once you know what your eligibility is you must complete the following:
- Accept or decline the loan(s) on My Northeast or by returning a paper award letter. Indicate the amount(s) you wish to borrow for the year.
- Complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at https://studentaid.gov/. The MPN is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan. This only needs to be done when you apply for your first Direct Loan at Northeast.
- Complete online Direct Loan Entrance Counseling at https://studentaid.gov/
- Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment at https://studentaid.gov/asla/
Northeast will be notified once you have completed your Direct Loan Master Promissory note, Loan Entrance Counseling, and the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement, and we will certify your loan request for the amount that you accepted in your award notification.
On subsidized Direct Student Loans, the U.S. Department of Education pays (subsidizes) the interest while the borrower is in school at least half time. A student has a grace period of 6 months after they graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status before they must begin repayment on the loan. Interest will accrue during these 6 months and will be payable by the student rather than subsidized by the federal government.
The interest rate of the Direct Federal Subsidized Student Loan for 2023-2024 is 5.50% fixed.
For an unsubsidized Direct Student Loan, the borrower is responsible for paying the interest that accrues. The student does not have to pay any principal, but can either pay the interest as it accrues or it will be capitalized (i.e., added to the principal loan balance later). A student has a grace period of 6 months after they graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status before they must begin repayment on the loan.
The interest rate of the Direct Federal Unsubsidized Student Loan for 2023-2024 is 5.50% fixed.
Your student must complete the financial aid application process (FAFSA) in order for you to be considered for a Direct Parent PLUS loan. To borrow a Direct Parent PLUS loan for a student, the parent must be the student's biological or adoptive mother or father. A stepparent is also eligible to borrow a PLUS loan if his/her income and assets were taken into account when calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA. A legal guardian is not considered a parent for federal purposes. The student must be attending at least half time and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Parent borrowers wishing to apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan must complete the following:
- The student is awarded a Federal Parent PLUS loan and needs to accept award on My Northeast account.
- Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application at https://studentaid.gov/. Available after May 1 each year.
- Direct Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at https://studentaid.gov/. The MPN is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that a parent receives over multiple academic years although a new PLUS Loan Application must be filed for each school year. The parent who completes the PLUS Loan MPN must be the same parent who completes the PLUS Loan Application.
- Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment at https://studentaid.gov/asla/
The Financial Aid Office at Northeast will be notified once you have completed the MPN, PLUS Loan Application, and the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment. We must receive this notification before any PLUS loan funds can be disbursed to your student's account.
PLUS Loan counseling is required for borrowers with an adverse credit history who are nonetheless determined to be PLUS Loan eligible because of meeting the extenuating circumstances provision or obtaining an endorser. Counseling can be completed https://studentaid.gov/.
The interest rate of the Federal Parent PLUS Loan for 2023-2024 is 8.05% fixed.
Payments are made to the U.S. Department of Education for both Direct Student Loans and Direct Parent PLUS Loans.
Students do not have to start repayment of Direct Student Loans until six months after they graduate or they fall below half-time status. However, payments may be made at any time towards your loan. Your loan servicer will provide information about repayment and will notify you of the date loan repayment begins.
The repayment period for all Parent PLUS Loans begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days of the final disbursement. Parent PLUS Loan borrowers whose loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, may choose to have repayment deferred while the student for whom the parent borrowed is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after that student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the parent during the deferment. Your loan servicer will provide information about repayment.
The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data SystemSM (NSLDSSM) provides information on your federal loans including loan types, disbursed amounts, outstanding principal and interest, and the total amount of all your loans. To access NSLDS, go to https://nslds.ed.gov.
If you're not sure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on https://nslds.ed.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY 1-800-730-8913). To see a list of Federal Student Aid servicers for the Direct Loan Program and for FFEL Program Loans purchased by the U.S. Department of Education, go to the Loan Servicer page.
On August 2, 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, which put into place automatic federal budget cuts, known as the “sequester.” While this law does not otherwise change the amount, terms, or conditions of your Direct Federal Loan or the Direct Plus Loan (for both parent and graduate student borrowers) it does increase the loan fees on these loans whose first disbursement is on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2021. The loan fee for Direct Subsidized Loans and for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 1.057%. The loan fee for Direct Plus Loans is 4.228%.
Direct Student Loans are disbursed at the beginning of each term, half in the fall and half in the spring.
The federal government requires students loan borrowers who graduate, withdraw or drop below half time status to complete student loan exit counseling. The purpose of exit counseling is to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Also, you will need to contact your loan servicer to update your contact information and setup a repayment plan.
Loan Exit counseling can be completed online at https://studentaid.gov/.
Your loan history and loan servicer information can be found at https://studentaid.gov/exit-counseling
For more information check out the Exit Counseling Guide for Direct Loan Borrowers