Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

This loan program is a credit-based loan for student's working on a master's or doctorate program. Students must have applied and utilized their federal loan eligibility first before applying for additional funds. For more information about the Federal Graduate PLUS loan review these frequently asked questions.

Who may borrow?

Federal Graduate PLUS loan is available to graduate students who:

  • Are enrolled at least half time (4.5 credits minimum) in a degree-granting program
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Pass a credit check

How much may I borrow?

The loan limit for each year is the annual cost of attendance (the "budget") minus other financial assistance.

What is the interest rate?

The interest rate for the Federal Graduate PLUS loan is a fixed 7.00% rate. As with unsubsidized direct loan program and private loans, interest begins to accrue at the time the first disbursement is made.

How do I apply?

  • Contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to request the loan
  • We will then offer the loan to you on your myBanner account.  Once you accept the loan on myBanner, we will submit a credit check to the Department of Education on your behalf. Note: Your acceptance of the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan on myBanner authorizes the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to submit a credit application on your behalf.
  • If your credit is approved, your loan will remain in an accepted status on myBanner.  If your credit is denied, your loan will be cancelled on myBanner.
  • Complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Federal Graduate PLUS loan at www.studentloans.gov

What can I do if my credit check is denied?

A credit check will be performed once you accept the Federal Grad PLUS loan on myBanner. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Federal Grad PLUS Loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay it. 
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

You can read more about both options, and take the next steps at www.studentloans.gov.  With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for PLUS loan borrowers at www.studentloans.gov

What is the difference between a Federal Direct Loan and the Federal Graduate PLUS loan?

  • The Federal Graduate PLUS interest rate is fixed at 7.00%. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is fixed at 6.00%.
  • The Federal Graduate PLUS requires a credit check that the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan does not.
  • The Federal Graduate PLUS loan is limited to a student's cost of attendance, while the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is limited to $20,500 for the academic year.
  • The Federal Graduate PLUS loan does not have a lifetime borrowing limit, while the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is limited to $138,500 for Graduate level students.

How is the Federal Graduate PLUS repaid?

You will need to contact your lender to request an "in-school deferment". As long as you are enrolled at least half-time your loan can be deferred. Once you drop below half-time or graduate you will begin repayment on principal and interest within 45 days.

Page last modified November 5, 2018