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Paying for College

Word of the Day Wednesday: Self-Certification Form

Each Wednesday, MEFA will feature a Word of the Day, in which we’ll highlight a word (or sometimes a phrase) related to the college planning process. This summer, we’re focusing on vocabulary related to college loans, and will highlight words you may come across on your loan application, solicitation disclosure, or a lender’s website.

Today’s Word of the Day is Self-Certification Form.

The Self-Certification Form is a form that must be completed by an individual seeking to borrow a private education loan. The form must be signed in order for the borrower to receive the loan funds. The form notifies the borrower that free or lower-cost financial aid may be available from the federal government, state government, or college, and encourages the borrower to pursue these options first before borrowing the loan.

The Self-Certification Form includes the cost of attendance of the college, as well as an estimate of the financial aid the student is eligible to receive for the semester or academic year.
The Self-Certification Form was established by the Truth in Lending Act, as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008. As of February 14, 2010, all borrowers are required to sign Self-Certification Forms before receiving loan funds. You can view a copy of a Self-Certification Form here.

Why does this matter to you?

The Self-Certification Form is intended to caution students and parents against borrowing a loan for college costs when there is an opportunity to receive financial aid. It encourages the borrower to pursue all financial aid avenues before taking on college loan debt and, as such, is an important reminder that the federal financial aid application, the FAFSA®, should be filed for consideration of federal financial aid funds.

MEFA loan borrowers receive the Self-Certification Form after receiving approval to borrow a MEFA loan, and must sign the Self-Certification Form before MEFA sends loan funds to the student’s college account.

For more information on MEFA loans, and to apply, visit our website.


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