The Office of Management and Budget approved revised versions of the Master Promissory Notes for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS loans. The new MPN’s available in paper format expire on July 31, 2022.  The Plain Language Disclosures have also been updated.

Federal Student Aid made these available on on April 26, 2020 and provided guidance for schools who wish to print and use the paper versions.


It’s October 1st and that means origination fees on direct loans are changing again. Blame it on the Budget Control Act of 2011. Since 2013 the sequester law has been a nuisance for college financial aid administrators working with Federal Direct Student Loans. Unfortunately, the sequestration law isn’t set to expire until 2021.

Beginning on October 1, 2017 the loan origination fees have gone down slightly. For Federal Direct Loans where the first disbursement is made on or after October 1, 2017, and before October 1, 2018 the origination fees are as follows:

  • The loan fee for Direct Subsidized Loans and for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 1.066%. For example, the fee on a $5,500 loan will be $58.63.
  • The loan fee for Direct PLUS Loans (for both parent borrowers and graduate and professional student borrowers) is 4.264%. For example, the fee on a $10,000 PLUS Loan will be $426.40.

Sequestration doesn’t just impact Federal Direct Loans, it impacts other forms of aid too including the Iraq – Afghanistan Service Grant Program and TEACH Grant Program, both of which require a reduced award amount for any grant that is first disbursed during the time the sequester is in effect. For more information about these programs, check out this electronic announcement from Federal Student Aid.

EDExpress MPN Print Functionality Discontinued

If your school uses EDExpress to print master Promisorry Notes you’ll be disappointed to learn that the service has been discontinued following the implementation of new forms last week.  When a school begins using the newly approved Master Promissory Notes (MPNs), it will no longer be able to print MPNs, MPN Manifests, and Disclosure Statements using EDExpress. Fillable PDF versions of the revised MPNs will be available on the EDExpress Direct Loan users should begin directing loan applicants to the website to complete online versions of the MPN. Otherwise, schools will need to have students complete pre-printed paper versions of the MPN, MPN Manifest, and Disclosure Statement which can be obtained from FSA Pubs or use another software system to complete the MNP.

Why I love the Direct Loan MPN

Students, parents, and even Financial Aid Officers can learn everything they need to know about the terms and conditions of federal student loans, right on the Master Promissory Note and accompanying disclosures that borrowers sign when they apply. The Direct Loan Entrance Counseling guides that are provided by Federal Student Aid do a great job of summarizing the essential points of student loan borrower rights and responsibilities.

When students are equipped with these basics, they can borrow wisely and that’s the real foundation of establishing a healthy credit history and learning good debt management practices.