Graduate PLUS Loans
If the Federal Direct Stafford Loan is not enough to cover your expenses, there is additional funding for which a graduate student can apply. It is the Graduate PLUS Loan.
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a fixed interest loan program that enables graduate students to borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help pay for their educational expenses. The Program is administered by the Financial Aid Office, which works with the U.S. Department of Education to offer this loan. This loan is only available to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents.
With a Grad PLUS Loan you may borrow up to the full cost of attendance less other financial aid. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. There is a 4% loan origination fee deducted from the loan by the U.S. Department of Education. The Grad PLUS Loan is credit based and requires credit approval. Credit approval is valid for 90 days. Your credit is evaluated every time you request a new loan unless you have had a credit decision within the preceding 90 days.
This loan has many benefits such as a fixed interest rate, high credit approval rate and streamlined application process. Loan payments can be deferred while in school at least half time and the loan has flexible repayment options. As part of the Federal Direct Loan Program, this loan would also conveniently become part of your loan account that contains your Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan(s), thus reducing your number of lenders.
To apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan, students must have a complete FAFSA on file. Next, they should submit an application at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action. After the application is submitted, the student will receive an immediate response as to whether or not they have been approved. If approved, the student will need to complete a Master Promissory Note for the Graduate PLUS loan. It is important to complete all three of these required steps, or the loan will not process. Normal processing timeframes for PLUS loans is approximately 2-3 weeks.