Paying for College

Word of the Day Wednesday: Entrance Counseling

Learn about entrance counseling, a comprehensive tutorial focused on the important details of student loan borrowing and repayment.
Student using laptop to learn about Entrance Counseling

Each Wednesday, MEFA features a Word of the Day, where we highlight a word (or sometimes a phrase) related to the college planning process. This month, we're focusing on vocabulary related to Federal Direct Student Loans.

Today's Word of the Day is Entrance Counseling.

Entrance counseling is a comprehensive tutorial focused on the important details of loan borrowing and repayment. All borrowers of Federal Direct Student Loans must complete entrance counseling in order to receive their loan funds. Entrance counseling provides an overview on:

  • Important loan terminology and policies
  • The cost of loan interest
  • Guidance on borrowing wisely (and not borrowing more than is needed)
  • Other potential resources to help pay for college

Colleges and universities perform entrance counseling in different ways - some require students to meet one on one with a financial aid administrator, while others have students attend an in-person workshop. A majority of schools allow students to complete entrance counseling online, most using the federal website

Why does this matter to you?

If you plan to borrow a Federal Direct Student Loan, entrance counseling will provide important information to help you understand the full cost of borrowing the loan and the guidelines for repayment. Taking on debt to pay for college costs is a serious decision, and it's necessary to know all the facts about your loan(s) before agreeing to borrow.

Check in with your college to find out your own entrance counseling requirements. And if you have questions about your loans, or borrowing for college costs in general, contact us at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) or

Learn more about Federal Student Loans