Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (Grad Plus) Loan
Students who need to borrow funds to bridge the gap between the financial aid awarded and their cost of attendance can choose the Federal Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loan.
The following are other options for you to consider
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loans - Criteria
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loans. Matriculated graduate students may be eligible to borrow funds from the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Program. The Grad PLUS loan has a variable interest rate determined every year starting with the Summer 2 semester and all of the federal student loan benefits of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program during the life of the loan. Unlike the Direct Loan, the Grad PLUS loan requires a credit approval and charges an approximate 4% origination fee. This loan is available for students who meet the following criteria:
- Student is a matriculated student at the Graduate School,
- Student is at least half-time in attendance, and
- Student has a financial aid package/award that does not meet the full cost of attendance for the semester(s) for which the student is/will be enrolled.
The Grad PLUS loan may be borrowed in lieu of the Alternative/Private loans.
Federal Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loans - Process
The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan (Grad PLUS) has a fixed interest rate of 7.21% for loans with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2014, an origination fee of 4.292% (which is deducted from the loan at the time of disbursement), and no annual or aggregate borrowing limits (other than cost of attendance less other financial aid received).
While credit checks are required to be eligible for the Grad PLUS, the credit criteria are less strict than those associated with alternative/private educational loans. Furthermore, if you do not meet the credit requirements for the Grad PLUS, you may still obtain the loan with an endorser who does meet the credit requirements.
Repayment begins 60 days after the date the loan is fully disbursed.
A Grad PLUS borrower may receive a deferment while enrolled at least half time by applying for an in-school deferment and submitting the In-School Deferment Request to the Direct Loan Servicing Center. Upon dropping to less than half-time enrollment status, the borrower is not entitled to a grace period and enters repayment.
To begin the process for the Grad PLUS Loan:
- As with the Direct Loans, you must first file the FAFSA.
- Complete the Grad PLUS Loan Request Application, available in the Office of Financial Aid (Room 639).
- Complete the Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). Please note that the MPN for the Grad PLUS is separate from the MPN for the Direct Loan (Unsubsidized).
- Complete Entrance Counseling for the Direct Loan Program for Graduate Students (Unsubsidized/Grad PLUS).
Once a student has met with a student financial aid administrator for a Grad PLUS appointment, the Office of Financial Aid will send out the loan origination record to the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education will then perform a credit check to determine your eligibility for the Grad PLUS loan (as a reminder, your credit report must show the absence of adverse credit in order for your loan to be approved).