Federal Graduate PLUS Loans are federal loans available to graduate and professional level students for educational expenses. These are credit-based loans and subject to a credit check.
How to Apply:
- Complete the The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Log into
studentloans.gov apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate/Professional Students.
The application usually becomes available in late March or early April for the
upcoming academic year.
Enrollment Requirements: Students must be enrolled at least half-time in federal aid-eligible courses.
Funds cannot be disbursed to the student's account until all requirements are complete. After the student is approved for the loan, they must:
- Log into studentloans.gov with their FSA ID.
- Click on "Entrance Counseling."
- Click on the "Start" button to the right of "Entrance Counseling (Required)" and complete the counseling process.
- Once counseling is submitted, on the top right of the page click where it says
"Hi, <<your name>>" to return to your home page.
- Click on "Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note).
- Scroll down to "PLUS MPN for Graduate/Professional Students" and click on the "Start" button on the right.
- Interest rates on Federal PLUS Loans are fixed, meaning the interest rate on the amount borrowed for an academic year will remain the same for the life of the loan.
- A fee is retained by the federal government on Federal Direct Loans, so the awarded amount and disbursed amount will differ.
- A borrower has 120 days to return any portion of a federal loan to the institution without being assessed any interest or fees on the amount returned.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Who is eligible?
- What is the interest rate?
- Are there any additional fees?
- When do I have to repay the loan?
- How much can I borrow?
- What are the differences between the Graduate PLUS Loan and private loans?
- Where can I find additional information?
The Graduate PLUS is available to graduate and professional level students who are enrolled at least half-time in federal aid-eligible courses. The loan application is subject to a credit check.
Students must also be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for financial aid eligibility for the loan to disburse.
What Is the Interest Rate?
Interest rates on Federal PLUS Loans are fixed, meaning the interest rate on the amount borrowed for an academic year will remain the same for the life of the loan. Interest accrues from the date the loan funds are disbursed until the loan is repaid in full.National Student Loan Data System with their Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID).
Additional information on interest rates, fees, and calculation can be found at
Yes. There is an origination fee on all PLUS Loans. An origination fee is deducted from each disbursement and retained by the federal government.
Origination fees for the current aid year can be found at
studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates#fees. The fees vary based on
what date the loan disburses.
The first repayment begins sixty days after the final loan disbursement each aid
The student borrower may also choose to defer repayment while they are enrolled in
school at least half-time by selecting this option when they complete the PLUS application
studentloans.gov. However, the student will still be charged interest during
the deferred period.
The maximum amount eligible parents can borrow is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid.
To determine the maximum amount that can be borrowed, the student can:
- Go to star.wvu.edu
- Click on "STAR Information System Login"
- Enter login credentials (WVU username and password)
- Click on "Financial Aid"
- Click on "Award"
- Select aid year
- Click on "Award Overview Tab"
- Take the "Cost of Attendance" for the year and subtract any anticipated financial aid and outside resources.
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There are various differences between federal and private lenders such as the borrower,
the lender, interest rates, fees, and terms. The information and chart below
can help you compare options.
- Top Four Differences Between the Graduate PLUS and Private Loans
- Chart Comparison of PLUS Loans vs. Private Loans
- Lender: The lender for Graduate PLUS Loans is the federal government. Private lenders – banks or credit unions – are the lenders for private student loans.
- Borrower: With Graduate PLUS Loans, the student applies for the loan. With private loans, the student or the parent (depending on the lender) may apply for the loan. The student may need the parent as an endorser/cosigner (depending on the student’s credit history).
- Interest Rate: Graduate PLUS loans have fixed interest rates for the life of the loan. Interest rates can be found at studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates#rates. Interest rates for private loans are based on the borrower’s credit history. The lender may offer fixed or variable interest rate options to the borrower.
- Loan Terms: PLUS Loans can be deferred while a student is enrolled at least half-time at an accredited institution. This may not be true for all private loans. There may even be a limitation on the amount of time a borrower qualifies for an in-school deferment. In addition, PLUS loans generally have more flexible repayment options than a private lender may provide – especially for students borrowing a Graduate PLUS loan.
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