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Applying for Direct Stafford Loans

What is the first step in receiving a Federal Direct Student Loan?

The first step is applying for financial aid.

 How do I apply for Financial Aid?

  • The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at for the current aid year.  This must be done annually as long as you intend to receive financial aid. 
  • You must list the NLU school code 001733 for NLU to receive your FAFSA results.
  • If you need help completing any of these steps above please call 888.658.8632 x5350.

What documents are required to complete the FAFSA application?

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver's License Information
  • Alien registration number if you are not a U.S. Citizen
  • Tax returns from the previous year
  • W-2's from previous year

Do I have to complete a FAFSA to receive student loans?

Yes, you must complete the FAFSA for the Student Finance Office to determine your financial aid eligibility.  

Who is eligible for financial aid?

Students who are fully admitted to a degree-seeking program and are taking classes that are required for the degree. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for most financial aid programs including student loans.

How do I know if I am receiving a loan?

You will be sent an Award Notification Letter that includes the offer of student loans. Award letters are emailed to your NLU student email address. The award letter will include a Loan Acceptance Form. Please follow all the instructions on the loan acceptance form and return it to the Student Finance Office.

What are the different types of loans?

There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans, Stafford and PLUS loans.

Do I have to accept the full amount that is offered?

No. You will be offered your maximum loan eligibility. You have the option to accept all of the offered loans or a partial amount.

Are there any other documents I need to complete besides the FAFSA and Loan Acceptance Form?

Yes, you have to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) in order for the Student Finance Office to disburse the loans to your account. These can be completed online at

What is Entrance Counseling?

This is a federal requirement that helps students understand their rights and responsibilities regarding their loans.

Do I need to complete a new Entrance Counseling for Direct loans?

All first time borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling. You can complete it here: We will receive electronic notification that you have completed entrance counseling 1-2 business days after you have done so online.

What if I do not complete Entrance Counseling and I am a first time borrower?

Your loans will not disburse until Entrance Counseling has been completed.

What is a Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a contract/legal agreement between you and your lender that you will repay the loan.

Do I have to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Direct loans?

Yes, unless you have already completed a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) that hasn't expired. When you complete an MPN and have a loan disbursement within one year, the MPN is active for ten years. You are able to complete the MPN here:

What if I do not sign a Master Promissory Note?

Your loans will not disburse until the MPN has been completed.

What if I borrowed previously from the FFELP Loan Program?

As of July 1, 2010, all loans are Federal Direct and you are required to complete a new Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note.



    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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