In order to be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan, a student must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the FAFSA has been completed Student Enrollment and Financial Services will send a financial aid award to the student. If the award includes a Federal Stafford Loan, the student needs to accept or decline the loan through their Gateway by June 28th. This is so that the aid will credit to the account prior to the first billing for the fall term.

All students borrowing Federal Direct Loans at JCU will need to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling as well as a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note. You may have completed both of these requirements if you have attended a previous institution, but you will need to complete them again in order to borrow at JCU and have these funds credit your student account.

You will need your Department of Education-issued FSA ID to complete this process. Go to to find your current ID, apply for an ID, or to obtain a new ID. Please note: This process needs to be completed by the student with the student’s information, not the parent’s.

In order to finalize your Direct Loan you must complete both of the following online:

Entrance Counseling

  • Go to
  • Click on green “Sign-In” button.
  • Sign in using your information and FSA ID.
  • Click on “Complete Entrance Counseling” and follow the instructions.

Master Promissory Note

  • Go to
  • Click on green “Sign-In” button.
  • Sign in using your information and FSA ID.
  • Click on “Complete Master Promissory Note.”
  • Select “Subsidized/Unsubsidized” and follow the instructions.

*The process is not complete until you see a ‘Congratulations’ message.*

Please print confirmations for your personal records. John Carroll will be notified electronically within 24-48 hours once you have completed the process. All Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds will be electronically transferred to the student’s account on the first day of classes for the fall and spring semesters.

Both the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans charge a 1.069 percent origination fee for loans disbursed by September 30, 2017 and a 1.066 percent origination fee for loans disbursed October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. For undergraduate students, the subsidized Stafford loan has a fixed interest rate of 5.045 percent for loans disbursed between 7/1/2018 and 6/30/2019. Interest will not accrue on this loan until the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. The unsubsidized Stafford loan also has a fixed interest rate of 5.045 percent for loans disbursed between 7/1/2018 and 6/30/2019.  For graduate students, an unsubsidized Stafford loan that disburses between 7/1/2018 and 6/30/2019 has a fixed interest rate of 6.595 percent. Interest begins accruing on unsubsidized Stafford loans right away. Once the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment status, there is a six-month grace period before repayment begins.

Effective  July 1, 2013 all NEW borrowers will be subject to a maximum time period that they can receive SUBSIDIZED loans.  Students will only be eligible to borrow subsidized loans for 150% of the published length of their program.

New borrowers are any student without an outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan) as of July 1, 2013.  This can include new students entering college for the first time as well as non-traditional students returning to college who have paid off their previous student loans.

Additional information on the new time limitation is available here.

For more information about Stafford loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.