stafford loans

So back in April and May I completed the FAFSA - federal app for student aid - and North Park Seminary's financial aid application. This makes me nervous, although I know it's normal course. I know I'm 29, but I've never borrowed educational money because my parents amazingly took care of tuition during undergrad.

Tons of questions:
- how much do they give me?
- how much should I choose to take? less than they give? will I need more?
- how the heck am I going to pay this back with a theology degree?
- I'm giving up and re-applying to law school

Getting nervous that in July that I still hadn't heard heard a peep - I contacted the seminary admissions office, but they didn't have anything to tell me about loans. Different office, you see.

Then on Tues, I get this e-mail:

You have been given student loans for the 07/08 academic year, but these loans cannot be processed because you have not completed the documentation required for these loans.
* You must complete a Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note.

* You must complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling.
...
If you are no longer interested in these student loans, please let me know and I will update your account.

Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.

If I'm no longer interested?? Just as I feared - this e-mail assumed: a) I knew what was going on, b) that someone had said something/anything more to me than "welp, you can take gov't loans."

A few e-mails later, I knew that "my financial aid package was in the mail but hadn't reached me yet." Okay.

I know I'm the king of, "I'll just learn about this via Google." But student loans is one of those search terms that is inundated with lots of links that look shady - it's hard to know what's good info or not. Plus, getting specific numbers info is obviously impossible - but that's the only info that feels like it'd help.