Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Federal Graduate PLUS Loans are available to students pursuing a graduate or professional degree to assist with educational expenses. The maximum annual amount is determined by subtracting all financial assistance from the Estimated Cost of Attendance.

  • The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS application process requires an approved credit check.
  • Graduate students should maximize borrowing through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan program prior to applying for this loan; the interest rate is lower. However, they are encouraged to consider this loan in lieu of the Private Alternative Loan options.
  • Interest is charged from the date of the first disbursement and is accumulating during all periods.
  • Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Graduate PLUS borrowers are automatically placed into an in-school deferment status as long as they are enrolled at least half-time.
  • A FAFSA must be submitted before a Graduate PLUS loan can be certified.
  • A Graduate PLUS borrower must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, be enrolled at least half-time in a graduate-level program (four or more credits), and not be in default on any federal loan.
  • First time Grad PLUS borrowers are required to complete Graduate PLUS Entrance Counseling.
  • Effective Fall 2021, an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement must be completed once each academic year by any borrower requesting Federal Direct PLUS Loan funds.
  • A Grad PLUS Loan will be certified after receipt of both an approved credit decision AND a valid PLUS MPN.
  • If a Grad PLUS application is denied, the borrower has the option to include an endorser/co-signer on the application or appeal the credit decision with the Department of Education.
    • The endorser must complete an Endorser Addendum which requires that the endorser undergo a credit review.
    • The Department of Education will require PLUS Loan counseling for any PLUS applicant who qualifies for a PLUS Loan through an appeal process or by obtaining an endorser for the loan. PLUS Loan counseling is separate from Graduate PLUS Loan counseling that all first-time graduate and professional student PLUS borrowers must complete.
  • Our office will be notified if you are approved for the Graduate PLUS loan. It can take two to three weeks to see the loan reflected on your PAWS account. This timeframe can vary depending on the time of the year.
    •  Graduate PLUS applications for the upcoming fall/spring school year become available May 1st of each year.

    • A Graduate PLUS Loan cannot be used to cover an outstanding account balance from a prior school year.

  • Not sure which is for you? Compare PLUS and Private Loans side by side.

Find additional information on Federal Direct Loans at the U.S. Department of Education website.

Interest Rates and Origination Fees

Interest rates depend on the loan type and the first disbursement date of the loan. Origination fees of approximately 4% are deducted from each disbursement. Please click here for the most recent information on interest rates and origination fees.