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Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment

What is the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment?

Starting in the 2021–2022 school year, borrowers of Federal Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans must complete the Informed Borrowing Confirmation process once each award year before their loan(s) will disburse. This applies to all borrowers of federal loans — undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, and parents.

The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment is an online session that will allow students and parents to see how much they have borrowed, preview what their monthly payments might be, and explain concepts such as capitalization and the difference between federal and private loans.

What am I acknowledging?

If this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan.

If you have existing federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much more you can borrow.

What will you gain from the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

  • Making informed choices by showing students and their parents how much they owe in federal student debt before agreeing to borrow more money to pay for their higher education.
  • Knowing the borrower's obligation by calculating the monthly payments and the median salary that students can expect to receive after graduating from a specific college.
  • Understanding the balance for repayment by breaking down basic loan concepts such as interest accrual and capitalization and the difference between private and federal student loans.

How do I complete this?

In mid-May 2021 log into your studentaid.gov account using your FSA ID and password to complete your Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment requirement.

  • Parent PLUS loan borrowers must also complete this requirement.

What Can I Expect?

The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement should take less than 10 minutes to complete. The experience will be personalized based on the borrower's attributes, but generally:

First-time borrowers (those who have no current loan balance) will:

  • Answer a few questions about their state, school, expected degree, and field of study.
  • View summary information from the College Scorecard about total estimated school costs, graduation rate, total estimated student loan debt, and estimated monthly payments.
    Note: College Scorecard data is unavailable for borrowers attending foreign schools. Borrowers attending foreign schools will be able to proceed without viewing College Scorecard data.
  • View general financial literacy information about borrowing student loans.
  • Check a box acknowledging they read and understood the information.

Returning aid recipients (borrowers with current outstanding loan balances) will:

  • View summary information about their loans and grants from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) as of the day they complete the acknowledgement. Information includes outstanding balance, estimated 10-year standard monthly payment based on the borrower's current balance, servicer information, loan limit information, grant summary, and grant limit information.
  • Check a box acknowledging they read and understood the information.

Please note: This new requirement is in addition to the existing Master Promissory Note (MPN) process and does not replace existing counseling requirements. This means that in addition to completing the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement, first-time student Direct Loan borrowers must also complete entrance counseling before receiving their first loan disbursement, and Direct PLUS Loan applicants who are determined to have an adverse credit history and qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser or documenting extenuating circumstances must also complete PLUS credit counseling.

The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgements is not school-specific. If a borrower completes the process for a loan associated with a particular award year at one school, the borrower will not complete the process for another loan associated with that same award year again, even if he or she receives the other loan at a different school. For a Direct PLUS Loan made to a parent borrower, only the parent completes the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement.