Understanding Federal Loans

Entrance Counseling

First-time borrowers at Sandburg must complete loan entrance counseling prior to the first disbursement of their loan.  This is the third step of the loan application process, or you can access it here.    studentloans.gov

The Department of Education Entrance Counseling Guide can help you understand the loan programs and decide if a Direct Loan is right for your terms and conditions of the loan,

  •  how the master promissory note impacts the borrower
  •  the seriousness and importance of the repayment obligation
  •  consequences of default
  •  obligation to repay the full amount of the loan

To read more about federal loans we recommend this guide: Student Loan Guide

Exit Counseling

Exit counseling helps the student understand their rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower and provides useful tips and information to help manage student loan repayment. 

You are required to complete Exit Counseling within 30 days of the date you withdraw, graduate, or drop below half-time attendance even if you plan to attend another school.

Choose the following link to begin the Exit Counseling process:   https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action

If you cannot complete Exit Counseling online, please contact our Financial Aid Office at 309.341.5283 or email finaid@sandburg.edu for assistance. 

It is your responsibility to notify your Loan Servicer promptly of any changes in your name, address, college or enrollment status, or employer's name and address.

Department of Education Exit Counseling Guide

The Department of Education Exit Counseling Guide is available to help students learn more about the loan repayment process, rights, and responsibilities of the loan, etc.

  • Average anticipated monthly repayment
  • Repayment plan options and prepayment options
  • Debt management strategies
  • Use of Master Promissory Note
  • The Seriousness and importance of the student’s repayment obligation
  • Terms and conditions for forgiveness or cancellation
  • Copy of information provided by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Terms and conditions for deferment o forbearance
  • Consequences of default
  • Options and consequences of loan consolidation
  • Tax benefits available to borrowers
  • The obligation of the borrower to repay the full amount of the loan regardless of whether the borrower completes the program or completes within regular time for completion, is unable to obtain employment upon completion, or is otherwise dissatisfied with or did not receive the educational or other services the borrower purchased from the school. 
  • Availability of the Student Loan Ombudsman’s office
  • Information about NSLDS.  The U.S. Department of Education is required to provide a disclosure form for students and prospective students about NSLDS.

A link to this guide is provided here: Student Loan Exit Counseling Guide

Other things you should know about Student Loans:

  • You have certain rights and responsibilities under the Federal Direct Loan program, for information on student Rights and Responsibilities, please go to Student Rights and Responsibilities Information.
  • All loans will be submitted to the National Student loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.


Financial Aid Office
Location: Main Campus E101
Phone: 309.341.5283
Email: finaid@sandburg.edu