Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Financial Aid

Returning Student Aid Awards

Remember what you had to go through your first year just to get your aid award squared away? Accept this, mail back that, online promissory notes and entrance counseling...well, here it is - Why Life in General is Better for Returning Students, Reason #723:

You’ll receive your Financial Aid Notification via email, and in most cases, you don’t need to do ANYTHING. I know - better already, right? If your FAFSA was submitted on time, you should receive either your Award Notification email or our request for additional information during the month of June. If we request information, be sure to respond promptly to retain priority access to funding. Your email message from Financial Aid will direct you to WebAdvisor Southwestern’s secure web interface where you can view and print your Award Notification Letter.

Here’s how it all breaks down:

Merit Scholarships, Pell Grants, SEOG, and any other federal grants
No action required.

SU Scholarships or Grants
No action required. Students whose scholarship comes from certain endowed funds may receive a separate communication from SU’s Development requesting that you sign a “Thank You” note, but students will be notified individually  if this is the case. 

Texas Equalization Grant (TEG)
No action required as long as you have a Texas Residency form on file with our office. If it’s your first time to receive the TEG, check “My Documents” in WebAdvisor to ensure your form is on file with us. 

Stafford Loans
No action required if you’ve had one in the past. You are only required to complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) once, so unless you do NOT want the Stafford Loans, or would like to accept a reduced amount, you do not need to act. If you do NOT want to accept the Federal Direct Stafford Loans listed in your award letter, or if you’d like to accept a reduced amount, you must notify us or the funds will disburse to your account automatically.

If you are a Returning Student taking the Stafford loan for the first time, you must visit the Direct Loan website to complete the one-time Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN).

1. Sign InSign in, using your (student) PIN from the FAFSA process;
2. Complete Entrance Counseling;
3. Complete and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Federal Perkins Loans 
Okay, so this one you have to do. Go to the ECSI website. You’ll find full instructions on the website’s opening page.


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans must be initiated by the parent from the Direct Loan website. While a parent borrower need only complete an MPN once, borrowers must apply for the Parent PLUS loan each year they wish to borrow.

Sign In 1. Sign in, using your (parent) PIN from the FAFSA process;
2. Complete a PLUS Loan Application;
3. Complete and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) if you have not done so in a previous year. Until these steps have been completed, SU will have no loan information for you.

Alternative Loans (also called Private Loans) are credit-based loans used for educational purposes, available through private lending institutions. They typically have higher interest rates and fees, as well as more stringent repayment options than federal loans, so be sure you’ve maxed your Stafford eligibility before taking an alternative loan.

If “Private Loan” is included in your Financial Assistance Award letter, or if you’re considering an alternative loan as a substitute for the Parent PLUS loan, your next step is to apply for the loan with the lender of your choice. After approval of your application by the lender, certification will be requested from Southwestern University and your loan will be disbursed in accordance with the lender’s procedures. The lender you choose is up to you, but our Alternative Lender List may help you get started. Choose the loan that best suits your needs and remember to borrow only what you need.

Please contact us with questions or concerns regarding the loan process.