After Receiving Your Award

At this point you should have received your award notification. Once you receive your bill, it should tell you the exact amount due for your first semester. Your award notification is not the same thing as your bill.

Please note the following:

  • We do not mail paper bills—bills are sent electronically to your BC e-mail address.
  • All charges are semester-specific and reflect current registration for that semester.
  • Athough the bill is for one semester of charges, you should make a financial plan that accounts for the entire academic year.
  • The aid reflected on your award notification is based on information you reported to Boston College and the Federal Government.

If either your current registration or what you reported is expected to change, please let us know so that we can provide more accurate information.

Check Your Estimate

Assuming your registration is the same for the fall and spring semesters and that you will waive the health insurance, doubling your fall bill is a good way to get a second estimate of what you will need for the year. If you are taking summer classes don't forget to include them in your estimate as well.

Complete Entrance Counseling

All recipients of Direct Federal loans, including PLUS loans, are required by federal regulations to complete Entrance Counseling. You must complete the interview before Boston College will credit loan funds to your account. This online Entrance Counseling will provide you with information concerning your student loan, including your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, interest rates and other loan details, and who to contact if you have questions. Use your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to sign in to the website below to complete your inteview.

  1. Sign into studentaid.gov using your FSA ID.
  2. Choose "Complete Loan Counseling (Entrance, Financial Awareness, Exit)".
  3. Click "START" nex to "Entrance Counseling (Required)".
  4. Select Boston College as your school and click "NOTIFY THIS SCHOOL".
  5. Indicate your student type (graduate).
  6. Follow the remaining prompts and instructions on each page.
  7. The system will display a "you have successfuly completed entrance Counseling" message and send you an e-mail when you have finished.

This process will take approximately 30–45 minutes and it is generally advisable to have your award letter and bill on hand for reference.

Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Recipients are also required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to the first disbursement of any Direct Federal loans. Failure to sign the promissory note will result in cancelation of the loan. Please note that Stafford Loan MPNs are generally valid for up to 10 years and typically only need to be signed once. PLUS loans, however, must be signed for each year. To sign your MPN, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Sign into studentaid.gov using your FSA ID.
  2. Choose "Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)"
  3. Click "START" next to your loan program type. (Careful! Graduate students signing for their Graduate Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan still need to select "MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans" from the list of Direct Loans.)
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions and prompts on each page
  5. Enter your name and click "SIGN & SUBMIT"
  6. You will know you have finished when you reach the "Confirmation" screen and receive a confirmation e-mail

This process will take approximately 15 minutes and you will need several pieces of information:

  • The borrower's FSA ID
  • The borrower's driver's license number
  • The names, completed addresses, and phone numbers for two references living at two separate addresses. One should be a family member.

Pay Remaining Balance

Once you know how much is needed for each semester and therefore the year, implement your plan. This may include taking the following actions:

  • If needed, set up your payment plan
  • Apply for your loan for the year
    • Note: Do not apply for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan until after July 1 if you are starting in the fall. The credit check for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan is valid for 180 days and credit must still be valid when classes start for the semester. The credit decision for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan typically takes about 24–48 hours. It is recommended that you submit your application approximately two weeks before the bill due date.
  • Send us copies of your outside scholarship award letters each year
  • Make a payment to your account
  • Waive the health insurance if applicable