Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Students
Direct PLUS loans for graduate and professional degree students can be considered only after accepting the maximum eligibility for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The Graduate PLUS loan can be borrowed if there is a gap between the amount of these loans and the student’s cost of education; as with all loan programs, we urge you to borrow conservatively.
- Must have a valid FAFSA on file www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- Accepted as a regular student working toward a master’s degree
- Attending at least half-time (6 credit hours of required coursework)
- Maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree per the policies of the college
- Cannot be in default on any other federal loans
- Cannot owe a refund on a federal student grant or loan
- Must be credit approved
- Credit approval will be given to anyone who does not have adverse credit. A PLUS loan is not based on low income, the amount of loan requested, the amount of debt that a student has, or a FICO score. A graduate student will generally be approved for a PLUS loan as long as they do not have adverse credit according to the following conditions:
- Not currently 90 days or more delinquent on any debt
- In the last 5 years, not subject to default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write off of Title IV debt
Master Promissory Note
- If a graduate student receives credit approval, they will also need to complete a Direct Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.
- Graduate and professional degree students borrowing a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan for the first time also need to complete an Entrance Counseling session for graduate students. This is also an online process at www.studentloans.gov. Generally, the MPN and the Entrance Counseling Interview would only need to be completed the first time the student borrows this loan.
- Once your loan has been originated by our office, the Department of Education will assign your loan to a federal student aid loan servicerThe servicer assigned to your loan(s) will send you correspondence including disclosure statements that contain loan amounts, interest rates and disbursement dates, repayment information and options regarding loan consolidation. Always notify your loan servicer with any changes to your personal information such as name, address, or phone number and feel free to contact them with any questions regarding your loan(s). Contact information for your federal loan servicer can be found by reviewing your loan(s) at www.nslds.ed.gov.
- Students who borrow a Graduate PLUS loan are eligible for an in-school deferment as long as they are enrolled at least half-time or a minimum of six credit hours in required coursework. If a student drops below half-time, they will be contacted by their federal loan servicer regarding the first payment. Helpful information including repayment plans and calculators, public service loan forgiveness, and postponing repayment can be found on the following link:
- The current interest rate is fixed at 7.9% and begins to accrue as soon as the loan is disbursed. If possible, it is wise to make interest only payments during the in-school deferment period to keep the interest from being capitalized and added onto the principal balance of the loan.
- Information on other topics related to Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans including loand consolidation, repayment plans, loan forgiveness and/or cancellation may be found online at the following websites: