Students may apply for Federal Student Loans or Private Student Loans. Federal Loans offer several financial advantages over Private Loans.

Graduate Loan Exit Counseling

You must complete exit counseling when you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. The purpose of exit counseling is to ensure you understand your student loan obligations and are prepared for repayment.

You'll learn about what your federal student loan payments will look like after school. will recommend a repayment strategy that best suits your future plans and goals.

Go to to learn more with their Exit Counseling PDF.

Who should use this guide?

All student borrowers who are graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment are required to complete exit counseling.


Exit counseling is required by law. Exit counseling provides important information that you will need as you prepare to repay your federal student loan(s). During exit counseling, you will review the terms and conditions that apply to your federal student loans, be introduced to various repayment options, and learn the importance of avoiding default.

How do I fulfill the exit counseling requirement?

We strongly encourage borrowers to complete exit counseling using the online tool at However, some schools require borrowers to complete this paper version. Check with your school to see how (paper or online) it expects you to fulfill the exit counseling requirement.

Federal Loan Programs

All applicants for federal loans must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

The College Foundation of West Virginia is a free "one-stop-shop for information about preparing, applying, and paying for college" provides important information about several types of federal student loans available to most applicants. The CFWV website is sponsored by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy CommissionCommunity and Technical College System of West VirginiaWest Virginia GEAR UP, and West Virginia Department of Education.

PLUS Loans
"PLUS loans are meant to help parents cover the costs of your undergraduate school expenses. Your parents do not have to prove ..."

Direct Stafford Loans
Stafford loans are for students to help cover the costs of their school expenses. These loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized.

Check these links for information about the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. If you decide to apply for this loan, complete the new application (MPN: Master Promissory Note) through the following steps:

1)  Go to Sign in using student’s FAFSA FSA ID and password that you created when first completing the FAFSA form.
2)  Complete the master promissory note (MPN). This is the loan application.
3)  Complete entrance counseling.

Additional important information:
• Students will need the FAFSA FSA ID & Password.

(If the username is forgotten, visit ).

(If the password is forgotten, visit ).

  • Eastern’s federal school code is041190.

PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students
Graduate/Professional PLUS Loans are low-interest loans meant to help cover college.

Private Student Loans

Important Information About Private Loans

Please read below before entering into any private loan agreement.

Many banks and other financing organizations offer private student loans. Applicants for these loans also must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Prospective borrowers should be aware that they may also qualify for Federal Student Aid (FSA) loans (, or other assistance from the Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs ( Please note that the terms and conditions of an FSA loan may be more favorable than the provisions of private education loans.

Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification

As required by federal law, before giving out a private education loan, all private lenders must obtain a ‘Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification’ signed by the applicant (The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended; and the Truth in Lending Act).

Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification [<-- click here] 

Throughout this Applicant Self-Certification, “you” and “your” refer to the applicant who is applying for the loan. The applicant and the student may be the same person.

SmartStudent Guide to Private Loans: This website provides information about private student loans, including "key characteristics of the major private education loans" such as fees, repayment terms, comparison charts, etc. (Please note that Eastern provides this link as a convenience for students, and does not necessarily endorse any services or recommendations posted or advertised there.)

Federal Aid First: This website outlines many specific advantages for students of federal loans over private loans. (This resource is an official service of the U.S. Department of Education.)


Regarding all questions about financial aid of all types that students may consider applying for to cover college costs at Eastern, contact  Eastern's Financial Aid Office by email: or calling 877-982-2322, ext. 9256 for Eastern's specific procedures and policies, and for more information and individual advice.