Steps for Applying for Student Loans:

Step 1:  Complete a Stafford Master Promissory Note

Student loan borrowers are required to use a Master Promissory Note (MPN) when requesting funding through the Federal Direct Student Loan Programs.  The MPN allows students to borrow for multiple years without having to complete a new loan application each time.  The MPN will automatically expire upon the earliest of:

  1. The date the Direct Loan Servicing Center receives written notification from the student asking that the MPN no longer be used as the basis for additional loans; or
  2. Twelve months after the original MPN was signed, if no disbursements were ever made under that MPN; or
  3. Twenty-four months after the last disbursement was made under that MPN; or   
  4. Ten years from the date the MPN was signed.  If a portion of a loan is made on or before ten years from the signature date, remaining disbursements of that loan can be made.

LSU Health Shreveport allows students to use the multi-year feature of the Federal Direct Loan MPN.  Students with a valid, non-expired, Federal Direct Loan MPN on file with the Federal Direct Loan Servicing Center do not need to complete a new MPN. Previous Direct Loan borrowers may log into  and click on “Completed MPNs” under “My Loan Documents” to check the status of their existing MPN. To apply go to

Step 2:  Complete a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling Session

All Federal Direct Loan borrowers, except Parent Plus Loan borrowers, must complete entrance counseling requirements before being awarded a federal loan. This helps borrowers to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding their loans. LSU Health Shreveport requires borrowers to complete this requirement online at

Step 3: Review Credit-Based Educational Loans for Unmet Need

Credit-based loans are non-need based educational loans that students can borrow to assist with unmet educational expenses after federal aid has been applied.  The amounts that a borrower can receive, interest rates, and repayment terms vary among lenders. Credit-based loans include:

The Federal Direct Grad Plus: a credit-based loan for graduate and professional students.  Students must complete the FAFSA, the Federal Direct Grad Plus Master Promissory Note (MPN), and the Federal Direct Grad Plus Entrance Counseling Session.  The Grad Plus loan is awarded after all federal and non-federal aid is awarded.  

The Federal Direct Parent Plus loan: a credit-based loan for the parents of undergraduate students.  Parents can borrow up to their dependent student’s cost of attendance minus other financial aid the student is receiving.  If the parent is unable to secure a Direct Plus loan, the dependent undergraduate student may be eligible to borrow additional Unsubsidized loan funds.

Private Educational Loan: Private educational loans are offered by a variety of different lenders. Students can borrow up to their total Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid the student is receiving.  Students do not have to borrow the Federal Stafford Loan in order to receive a private educational loan.  However, students must complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling session first.  This will allow students to compare repayment terms, interest rates, and fees which can vary by lender.  Borrowers are strongly advised to contact each lender that they are considering to determine the exact terms, conditions and availability of individual incentive programs.