US Federal Direct Loans: FAQ

As a Foreign School, how is receiving US Federal Direct Loan funding different at SFU than at a US domestic school?

How do I get my 1098-T form completed?

For the current tax year, you will need to complete this form to claim the Education Tax Credit on the income tax return you send to the USA Internal Revenue Service. Submit an online request through SFU Student Accounts.  For questions about the 1098-T, please contact

How do I receive US Federal Direct Loan Funding at SFU?

Students start the application process for US Federal Direct Loan funding by submitting their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).  Your FASFA can be submitted after you have filed your taxes for the previous year. For the 2021-2022 academic year, you can submit your FAFSA as early as Oct 1, 2020. Financial Aid and Awards will have access to your 2021-2021 FASFA starting in April 2021. 

After your FASFA, you will need to complete a series of other steps in order to complete the application process to receive US Direct Loan funding to attend SFU. This includes submitting an SFU-based application form each year.

Students must complete the entire application process each year since SFU is a Foreign School.  

Students can receive funding in the Summer term (May - August) if you are registered as a full- or half-time student and you have not already reached your annual and/or aggregate loan maximum. Please email us at with questions.

What is my Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID?

An FSA ID is a username and password that gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. Only create an FSA ID using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use. You are not authorized to create an FSA ID on behalf of someone else, including a family member.

Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity and electronically sign your federal student aid documents. We encourage you to visit Creating and Using your FSA ID.

What is a Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a binding legal document you sign in order to receive US Federal Direct student loans. The MPN contains the terms and conditions of your loan under which you are borrowing and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan. As SFU is an international school, students are required to complete and submit a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) every academic year. You can complete your MPN online here.

If you will be applying for Grad PLUS funding, you also need a PLUS MPN.

What is the deadline to apply for US Federal Direct Loan funding?

We start to assess applications for the upcoming year starting in mid May.  It will take approximately two weeks to assess your application. 

We encourage students to apply by our early deadline May 28 to make sure that any outstanding items have been addressed and that you will have funds available in September.

US Federal Direct Loan funds will be used to pay off your outstanding SFU Tuition and Fees first. 

Any refunds will be electronically deposited to your account.

After your FASFA has been submitted, you will need to follow this up with your Undergraduate Application or your Graduate Application to Financial Aid and Awards for processing.  Without your SFU-based application for US Federal Direct Loan funding, Financial Aid and Awards will not begin to assess your funding.

You can apply for US Federal Direct Loan funding up until the last month of classes in your academic study period.  Please reach out to for more information.

What if I want to return all or part of my loans after I have received a disbursement from Direct Loans?

You have the right to cancel all or part of any disbursement of a Federal Direct Loan without being charged interest and other loan fees. Your request must be received by our office within 14 days of either receiving your Award Letter or a disbursement*, whichever date is later. Your disbursement date is the date the funds were applied to your SFU student account during the funded term

To request a cancellation, you must make your request through SFU Financial Aid & Awards by email at

My Parent/Grad PLUS Application has been denied due to adverse credit history, what should I do?

A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you (i.e. the PLUS Loan borrower) have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Parent/Grad PLUS loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Parent/Grad PLUS loan if you do not repay it. Note for Parent PLUS Loan: The endorser cannot be the child on whose behalf you are borrowing.
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for Parent/Grad PLUS loan borrowers.

What if my parent’s credit check is declined and they are not able to appeal or obtain an endorser?

In this case, the dependent student may be eligible for additional Unsubsidized funding. For more information, contact SFU Financial Aid and Awards at

Who completes the Master Promissory Note for my parent borrower's endorsed (co-signed) Parent PLUS Loan - my parent or the endorser?

The parent borrower is to complete the MPN, not the endorser. Even if your parent borrower has had to obtain an endorser for their Federal Direct PLUS Loan, they are still the borrower on the loan so they have to complete the MPN.

Are there any fees charged to US Federal Direct Loan Borrowers?

Yes. In addition to interest, you pay a loan fee that is a percentage of the principal amount of each loan. We deduct the fee before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay. See the current fees by loan type.

Can I get US Federal Direct Loans for attending school in the summer?

Yes, you can receive financial aid for attending school in the summer if you are meet all the eligibility requirements and you have not already reached your annual and/or aggregate loan maximum.

Where can I find information about the US Federal Direct Loans I have received?

Visit “My Aid” to view information about all of the federal student loans and other financial aid you have received and to get contact information for your loan servicer. You can also see your total US Federal Direct Loan when you complete your Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment for each funding year.

My family’s financial circumstances have changed since my application, and I have concerns about our ability to contribute to my educational expenses. What should we do?

Typically, assessment can be reviewed if your family’s financial situation has changed significantly since you applied for aid, or if there is additional information that was not included on your original FAFSA. For example, a family may be experiencing extended unemployment or extraordinary uninsured medical expenses which may qualify for an adjustment. Please be prepared to provide documentation that supports your request. We are unable to consider appeals for all circumstances, for example high consumer debt or personal expenses. Contact SFU Financial Aid & Awards at for further assistance

If I made a mistake on my FAFSA, how can I correct it?

If you made a mistake in what you reported on the FAFSA form, you will need to make a correction. Here is how you can make a correction to your FAFSA information. Make sure you notify SFU Financial Aid & Awards at so we are aware of the correction(s).

Where can I find more about Student Financial Literacy?

MyFinances101 is an online financial literacy course that is available for free to help you understand your personal finances. Consisting of 7 modules, filled with insightful resources and helpful tools, MyFinances101 will provide you with a good level of foundational knowledge for your financial future.

Also review the Federal Student Aid Financial Awareness Counselling Tool which helps students and families better manage their finances and understand their obligations as borrowers.