All Hampshire College students who have borrowed Direct loans and are taking a leave of absence, withdrawing, or graduating must attend an exit loan counseling session before leaving school. This is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education. Hampshire College has the right to withhold official college transcripts for students who do not satisfy this requirement. Group sessions are conducted by the College's loan counselor in November, December, April, and May. Participating in an online version is acceptable at www.studentloans.gov.
At an exit loan counseling session, students:
- learn about the various loan repayment options available to them;
- are given their accumulated loan debt borrowed while they attended Hampshire, and other colleges if a transfer student;
- are given an approximate monthly payment based upon their accumulated debt;
- learn when they will receive their first bill;
- learn about requesting a future forbearance or deferment;
- learn the terms and conditions for forgiveness or cancellation;
- learn about loan default and how to prevent it;
- learn about options to prepay or pay on shorter schedule;
- learn Debt Management strategies, including the options and consequences of loan consolidation;
- learn about tax benefits available to borrowers;
- learn how their Master Promissory Note was used;
- learn what the Student Loan Ombudsman's office can do for them;
- are provided with information about NSLDS; and
- are reminded that the the borrower must repay the full amount of the loan regardless of whether the borrower completes Hampshire's program, is unable to obtain employment upon completion, or is otherwise dissatisfied with or did not receive the educational or other services the borrower purchased from the school.
Students attending an exit counseling session will be given an opportunity to ask questions about their rights and responsibilities as a federal loan borrower.