Direct PLUS Loans
A Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan from the U.S. Department of Education that helps either parents of dependent students or independent graduate or professional students meet the cost of education expenses for the academic year. Under the PLUS loan program, borrowers may request up to the full cost of education minus other financial aid received. Interest is charged for all semesters of attendance and credit checks are required.
A Direct PLUS Loan is commonly referred to as a Parent PLUS Loan when made to a parent borrower.
The school will first apply Parent PLUS Loan funds to the student’s school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board charges, and other required costs. If any loan funds remain, the school will give them to the parent borrower to help pay other education expenses for the student. Alternatively, with parental authorization, the school can refund the remaining loan funds direct to the student to manage.
Before you apply for a Parent PLUS Loan, your student must first submit the FAFSA. Meanwhile, parents should learn about their eligibility for Parent PLUS funds, interest rates, fees, limits, and instructions concerning adverse credit history.
Parents eligible for Parent PLUS funds must apply for this loan online at StudentAid.gov.
If you are eligible to receive a Parent PLUS loan, you will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), which is a contract demonstrating you agree to the terms of the loan.
If you have adverse credit history and you are approved for the loan, you will be expected to complete credit counseling.
A Direct PLUS Loan is commonly referred to as a Grad PLUS Loan when made to a graduate or professional student borrower.
The school will first apply Grad PLUS Loan funds to the student’s school account to pay for tuition, fees, any campus-based room and board charges, and other required costs. If any loan funds remain, the school will give them to the student borrower to help pay other variable education costs for the student, such as rent, food, books, and transportation.
Graduate and professional students who expect to live off of their Grad PLUS Loans should visit the Refunds page to plan their residential decisions accordingly. Students will not receive funds for living expenses until after the academic year has begun.
Before you apply for a Grad PLUS Loan, you must first submit your FAFSA to receive approval for Grad PLUS funding. You can learn more information about eligibility, interest rates, fees, limits, and instructions concerning adverse credit history from StudentAid.gov.
Graduate and professional students approved for Grad PLUS funds must submit a Grad PLUS Loan Request and Credit Check to their respective school's financial aid office. Check with your school's website or consult their financial aid office to find the necessary form.
If you are eligible for and apply for a Grad PLUS loan, you will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), which is a contract demonstrating you agree to the terms of the loan.
Loan funds are disbursed to the student's tuition account. Federal funds may only be applied toward allowable charges: tuition, mandatory fees, room and board if they are contracted through the university, and prior year charges up to but not exceeding $200. When there is an excess of federal funds greater than the total of the allowable charges, the student is entitled to a refund of that excess amount.
Students who receive graduate refunds for living expenses will get their refunds after their direct costs have been paid off by the loan.
If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount that you borrowed. If you don’t pay off interest, it can capitalize, meaning it is added to the principal balance of your loan.
The information in your financial aid file may be disclosed to third parties as authorized under routine uses in the Privacy Act notices called "Title IV Program Files" (originally published on April 12, 2004, Federal Register, Vol 59 p. 17351) and "National Student Loan Data System" (originally published on December 20, 1994, Federal Register, Vol 59 p. 65532). Thus, this information may be disclosed to federal and state agencies, private parties such as relatives, present and former employers and creditors, and contractors of the Department of Education for purposes of administration of the student financial assistance program, for enforcement purposes, for litigation where such disclosure is compatible with the purposes for which the records were collected, for use by federal, state, local, or foreign agencies in connection with employment matters or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit, for use in any employee grievance or discipline proceeding in which the Federal Government is a party, for use in connection with audits or other investigations, for research purposes, for purposes of determining where particular records are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, and to a Member of Congress in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at your written request.