More information regarding PLUS loans

The Direct PLUS Loan is unsubsidized, meaning that interest accrues while the student is enrolled at least half-time and during deferment periods. Eligibility is not based on financial need but on credit. Parents of undergraduates and graduate students may borrow up to the amount of the student’s Cost of Attendance minus any other financial assistance a student receives.

The Direct PLUS Loan may be of particular interest to students and parents who:

  • are not eligible for other types of financial aid,
  • have unusual costs above the standard student expense budgets,
  • have remaining financial need after other forms of financial aid have been awarded, or
  • wish to borrow all or part of their Expected Family Contribution.

Students (or their parents) must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when applying for a PLUS or Grad PLUS Loan. Parents and graduate students can complete the Direct PLUS Loan application in spring at the website.

The approved PLUS Loan will be evenly distributed among terms that the student is expected to enroll and be eligible to receive federal aid. If you’ve applied for a PLUS Loan for the upcoming year it may already appear on your student's award notification. This award is predetermined based on tuition, housing, meals and books, minus student aid. You have the option to change this amount to meet your specific needs. For assistance in determining the amount to borrow, visit our budget planning guide. All disbursements are reduced by the current loan fee assessed by the Department of Education. Repayment begins after the last disbursement of the loan but may be deferred while the student remains enrolled in school at least half-time.

You will be notified by the Department of Education when a decision is made on your loan application. If your loan is denied, the award will be canceled and an additional unsubsidized direct loan may be awarded to your student (amounts vary).

Complete terms and conditions of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan are found on the application and master promissory note, located at By signing the note you agree to the terms and conditions of the loan.

PLUS Loan Counseling is required if the U.S. Department of Education has informed you that you have an adverse credit history and you have either obtained an endorser for your loan or documented to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history. PLUS Counseling can be completed online via

If you have questions about your PLUS loan, contact Direct Loan Applicant Services at 800.557.7394. You can inquire about disputing your credit report, clearing up adverse credit, or obtain paperwork for an endorser. If your PLUS loan is subsequently approved, it will be processed and the additional unsubsidized loan will be removed from your student's award.