The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a government-insured, credit-based loan made to either a graduate (masters/doctoral) student OR to the parent of a dependent undergraduate student. The PLUS Loan is not based on income or financial need. Parents may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance (COA) minus any financial aid received by the student. Approval is based on the credit-worthiness of the borrower. Borrowers must also be U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens.
A student’s award will notify them or their parent of the maximum amount they may borrow minus any other aid offered.
To apply for a PLUS Loan, the student must complete a FAFSA, and the parent may apply using the electronic PLUS Loan application directly on the Department of Education website.
A parent may submit a change request via a PLUS Change Form directly to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships if there are changes requested (i.e. decreasing loan amount, address change, etc.).
Parent PLUS Loans
The Federal Parent PLUS Loan is available to parents (including adoptive or stepparents) of dependent undergraduate students.
If the parent borrower is credit-denied, they may choose to reapply with a credit worthy co-signer/endorser OR the dependent student may be eligible to borrow additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan funds.
Graduate PLUS Loans
The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is only available to graduate students (master’s and doctoral students). The Graduate PLUS loan is meant to supplement the funding from the Direct Unsubsidized Loan program, and should only be requested if you have exhausted your Direct Loan eligibility for the year and still have remaining expenses and room in your Cost of Attendance budget.
A graduate student may apply using the electronic Graduate PLUS Loan application directly on the Department of Education site.
The Federal Parent PLUS Loan and the Graduate PLUS Loan, both require the borrower and endorser to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), also known as a Loan Agreement, prior to disbursement of funds. Additionally, all first time Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers must complete an Entrance Counseling and select the graduate/professional student option.
Interest Rates and Origination Fee
The interest rates are fixed for the life of a loan. The Interest Rate Chart reflects the interest rates based on loan period for which the loan was borrowed. Borrowers will pay an origination fee, deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement.
Any amount borrowed in excess of university charges through the Parent PLUS Loan will be issued on an academic term basis as a refund to the student or parent, depending on who the parent designates at time of application.
Funds issued directly to parents are mailed to the parent’s permanent address listed on the PLUS application.
Repayment of the Federal PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed and repayment periods can range from 10 to 25 years depending on repayment plan.
Repayment of the principal amount may be deferred if the student maintains a minimum of half-time enrollment. Interest will accrue and must be paid monthly. The initial deferment request may be made at time of application or by contacting the loan servicer at a later date. Federal PLUS Loans are not transferable to the students.
There is no grace period for the Graduate PLUS Loan; however, repayment of principal is deferred while the student borrower is enrolled at least half-time. Interest will accrue and may be paid monthly.