Steps to complete the Stafford Loan process at WCC....

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Step one—Be sure you have your Department of Education PIN number. You will need this PIN (the one used to sign your FAFSA) to create a Direct Loan account or even to sign in to an existing Direct Loan account using the "Manage My Direct Loan" feature. If you don't have one yet, you can obtain one from the US Department of Education's PIN site

Step two—Your first active step is to check what is required by visiting the Financial Aid Portal. Once logged in, under the "Information We Need From You" section you will need to look for the following items to be listed:

  • Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling (or Step 3 below)
  • Direct Stafford Loan Promissory Note (or Step 4 below)
  • Stafford Loan Worksheet (or Step 5 below)

If an above item is listed on the Financial Aid Portal AND shows a "Date Received" you can skip that step and move on to the next step. If one or ALL are not listed on the Financial Aid Portal, you must complete the appropriate step(s) below under Step 3, 4 and/or 5.

Step three—Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling. If the Financial Aid Portal does NOT show this as received, you can access and complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Session at This step can take 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Please be sure to select "Entrance Counseling" NOT "Financial Awareness Counseling" which is financial literacy information and while helpful, it DOES NOT meet the "Entrance Counseling" requirement. Using your Department of Education PIN number, sign in to "Manage My Direct Loan" and complete the "Entrance Counseling".   You are also required to read this important update to the Entrance Counseling materials, begninning June 28, 2013, it will also be presented to you during the counseling session.  Return here when completed.

Step four—Direct Stafford Loan Promissory Note. If the Financial Aid Portal does NOT show this as received, you can access and complete the Master Promissory Note at This is the actual loan application. Using your Department of Education PIN number, sign in to "Manage My Direct Loan" and complete your "Master Promissory Note". Please read and follow all instructions carefully. Be sure to select the "undergraduate" option as there are multiple promissory notes used in the Direct Lending process. Return here when completed.

Step five—  Stafford Loan Worksheet. If the Financial Aid Portal does NOT show this as received, complete and submit the Stafford Loan Worksheet to WCC's Financial Aid Office. THIS step must be completed EVERY academic year to process your loan.

Step six - The Financial Aid Staff at WCC certifies (or processes) your loan request once we receive notification that you have completed your Entrance Counseling (step 3), your promissory note (step 4), and your worksheet (step 5). You can use the Financial Aid Portal to verify that these items show in the "Information We Need From You" as received. Please allow a minimum of 1 1/2 to 2 weeks AFTER submission of ALL 3 requirements to process your loan request. Please be aware that during certain periods, such as registration or the being of the quarter, processing times WILL BE LONGER.

Step seven—Notifications

You will receive an email notification, at your FAFSA email address, after we certify your loan request. This email includes IMPORTANT information regarding the disbursement of your loan. Student loans, like other financial aid, are not disbursed to students until the beginning the quarter, please note that some students have different disbursement rules, READ this email . The Financial Aid Portal will show you the actual dollar amounts and subsidized/unsubsidized allocations of your processed loan(s).

BOTH the email and the Portal should be reviewed for you to have a COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING of your loan amounts and disbursement dates at WCC. By only accessing one or the other you will miss important information.

Additional Contact Information:

Direct Lending Service Center

Whatcom Community College Financial Aid Office

Whatcom Community College

237 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226

(360) 383-3000

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