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Washington State University
Student Financial Services Leaving WSU? Don’t Forget Your Exit Counseling!
Leaving WSU? Don’t Forget Your Exit Counseling!

Are you graduating, withdrawing from school, or dropping below half-time enrollment? If so, and you have any federal student loans, there are several steps you need to take to both manage the status of your federal student loans and begin planning for the future.

Loan Exit Counseling

Did you receive aid from a federal loans program? You are required to complete Exit counseling when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. This process provides important information regarding repayment of your federal student loan(s).

Students who need to complete this requirement will be sent an email.  If you believe you should be completing this, there is no need to wait for the email.

To complete this process:

  1. Go to
  2. Hover over “Manage Loans” at the top of the page
  3. Click “Complete Exit Counseling” link on the left
  4. Based on your student type (undergraduate, graduate, or professional)
    • Click the corresponding “Log In To Start” button
    • NOTE: Viewing StudentAid’s demo will not fulfill this requirement

If you want to check to see if you have already completed this process, please do the following:

  1. Log into
  2. In the upper-right, hover over your name
  3. Click “My Documents”
  4. On that next page, from the dropdown select “Loan Counselings”

Did you take out a Perkins and/or Nursing/Health Professionals Loan? Students with either or both of these loans must complete a different Exit Counseling process, administered through WSU’s Bursar’s Office. When graduating, withdrawing, or dropping below half-time attendance, students will receive an email from Heartland ECSI when this process is required. For more information, contact the Bursar’s Office or visit Heartland ECSI’s site.

Exit Counseling

Thumbnail of Loan Exit Counseling

WSU’s 3-year Cohort Default Rate:


Every 3 years, the US Department of Education informs institutions of the loans that have gone into default and provides them with their Cohort Default Rate – the percentage of student loans in default during the 3 years. All Family Education Loans (FFEL) and/or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans are used as part of this rate calculation. Cohort default rate as of FY 2020.

WSU is committed to helping students through this transition! For this reason, we have partnered with Student Connections to help students navigate their repayment options! Students entering repayment will be receiving a communication from Student Financial Services introducing you to the Student Connections team. You will also be receiving an email from Student Connections with next steps.  As always, we are here to help!

Student Connections


Repaying Loans

Are you borrowing money for school? If so, it is always helpful to plan ahead and map out your path for repaying your loans. What will your monthly payments be? How long is it going to take you to pay them off? Learn more to prepare yourself on how you are going to manage your loans upon leaving WSU.

  • Cougar Money Matters offers i-Grad, a free online program that helps you manage your finances.
  • You can use the Repayment Calculator to get an idea of what your federal student loan payments might be under each repayment plan that is available to you.
  • Direct Consolidation Loan Application allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments.  Not everyone will qualify to consolidate their loans, so please review the requirements at the link above.
  • If you have a Perkins or Nursing/Health Professionals Loan, setting up a repayment through Heartland ECSI will help you manage and repay either of these loans.
  • The US Department of Education offers 2 loan forgiveness programs to encourage borrowers to enter full-time public service or teach in certain high-need areas in high-need subjects.  Not everyone will qualify for loan forgiveness.  Please review the requirements at the link above.
Repayment Options

Manage Your Debt

Withdrawing from WSU

Are you considering withdrawing from classes? If your circumstances are having you consider the possibility of dropping your classes, it is important to contact our office AND your academic advisor first so you understand the potential consequences of this decision. In some situations, you may be charged for the course(s) and have to repay all or a portion of your financial aid.

Important Things to be Aware of:

  • Interest — Interest is the price you pay to borrow money. How much will it cost you? Calculating interest depends on a few factors, your interest rate, your loan term, and your loan amount. Higher rates and longer terms mean you pay more for the same amount of money. Try your best to avoid interest whenever you can!
    • $10,000 at 6.8% will cost you $13,810 over 10 years with a $115 monthly payment. Paying just $30 more a month will save you over $1,000 in interest.
    • Extending your loan repayment will typically reduce the monthly payments, which may be needed.  It will also increase the amount of interest you are paying over the life of the loan.  Please be aware of the impact of this.  Also be aware of your options to update your repayment plan, as necessary and allowable.
  • Loan Default — If you have debt from either student loans or credit cards, it is extremely important that you manage it proactively. The average federal and private student loan debt for students in Washington is $33,342.   There are a number of repayment options for students with federal student loans.  If you are having trouble making any of your payments, contact your loan providers to find out your different repayment options.  You want to avoid defaulting on a student loan, as it will have long lasting impacts on you.  If you need assistance with repayment options, please contact our office.