The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan for Graduate Students (PLUS) is designed to assist graduate students enrolled at least half-time in meeting educational expenses. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a non-need-based program and the lender is the U.S. Department of Education. However, the borrower must pass a credit check. A completed current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be on file for the student before a Graduate PLUS loan can be processed. A graduate student may borrow up to the full cost of attendance for educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and living allowance, less any other financial aid the student receives.
Graduate PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.21% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2014 but before July 1, 2015. A new loan interest rate will be set each July 1 based on the 10-year Treasury Note Index and be tied more closely to the current market interest rates. The new interest rate will never exceed 10.50%. Interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full. Accruing interest can either be paid monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly. Graduate PLUS borrowers will receive a deferment while enrolled at least half-time. Upon graduation or dropping to less than half-time enrollment status, the borrower is not entitled to a grace period on PLUS loans and repayment will begin within 45 days.
The Federal PLUS Loan has a 4.292% origination fee. This fee reduces the amount that disburses to the student's account, so the student needs to take that into consideration when determining the amount to borrow.
Graduate PLUS Loan Instructions
Students must complete the Graduate PLUS Request Form each time they borrow through the PLUS program. The completed form is returned to the Office of Financial Aid
PLUS borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). To complete the MPN:
- Go to www.studentloans.gov.
- Click the green “Log In” button on the top right. Enter your FSA ID Username and Password (if you do not have an FSA ID, follow the click here icon to create one).
- Click “Complete a Master Promissory Note” at the center OR left of the page.
- Select Graduate PLUS for the type of loan you would like to receive.
- Follow the instructions and read the information carefully to sign your MPN.
If you have any questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 502.272.7300.