Financial Aid

Direct Loan Exit Counseling

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is concerned that students who have borrowed loans fully understand their loan balances and repayment responsibilities. Therefore, whenever students graduate or discontinue their education for any period other than summer term, federal student loan borrowers are required to complete loan exit counseling.

The University of Cincinnati Student Financial Aid Office works with ED's National Student Loan Data System to offer the loan counseling requirement for Federal Stafford and Direct Loan borrowers. Federal Perkins, Nursing, Health Professions, and institutional loan borrowers complete specific exit counseling available from the UC Collections Office and Heartland ECSI's online tool.

Even if you plan to enroll again, loan exit counseling at the time you take a break from your education beyond summer term provides valuable information on your loans.

Each loan counseling session takes approximately 25 minutes to complete, and UC will receive record of your successful completion within 48 hours. Students who have received funds from multiple loan programs while in college will have to complete both counseling sessions.

Please complete the appropriate counseling session(s) based on your loan borrowing.

  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Nursing Loans
  • Health Professions (Pharmacy) Loans
  • Institutional UC Loans
    • You will need a specific PIN to access the system; call 1-888-549-3274 to obtain your Heartland ECSI PIN.
    • University of Cincinnati’s school code is "3W".
    • Your SSN will be your account number.
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans 
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans 

NOTE: Students who benefited from the TEACH Grant program while at UC also need to complete TEACH Grant-specific Exit Counseling.

When is Exit Counseling Required?

Exit counseling is required when one of the following conditions is met:

  • graduation,
  • complete withdrawal,
  • less than half-time or no enrollment, or
  • no upcoming fall registration for a returning student.

While it is always important to complete loan exit counseling when notified (even if you plan to re-enroll in classes), failure to complete loan exit counseling for Federal Perkins, Nursing, Health Professions, or institutional loans can result in service block holds on the release of your UC transcripts.

Completing exit counseling does not put your loans into repayment. It only provides key information on understanding your loans and responsibilities.