Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
Graduate PLUS Loans are federal loans available to graduate and professional students for educational expenses. These are credit-based loans (requiring an application and subject to a credit check).
- Who is eligible to apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan?
- How do I apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan?
- Are there additional requirements I must complete?
- How much can I borrow?
- What are differences between the Graduate PLUS Loan and private loans?
- Additional Loan FAQs
Who Is Eligible to Apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan?
The student is the borrower for the Graduate PLUS Loan. Graduate and professional level students may apply. The application is subject to a credit check.
Students must also be meeting satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid eligibility to receive the loan.
How Do I Apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan?
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Go to studentloans.gov
- Log in with your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) (the same login used for your FAFSA)
- Click "Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan"
- Scroll down to the "Direct PLUS Loan Application for Graduate/Professional Students," and click the "Start" button to the right.
The application usually becomes available in late March or early April for the upcoming academic year.Tips:
- Make sure you select the correct aid year at the top of the application (example: fall 2019 and spring 2020 are the 2019-2020 aid year)
- Carefully read the options about in-school and post-enrollment deferment
- Make sure the loan is sent to West Virginia University (not WV State, the hospitals, or Parkersburg)
- Choose the right loan period (example: fall 2019 and spring 2020 would be August 2019 through May 2020)
Are There Additional Requirements I Must Complete?
Funds cannot be disbursed to your student account until all requirements are complete. First-time borrowers must complete both Entrance Counseling and a Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note) for their loan. After you are approved for the loan, you must:
- Log into studentloans.gov with your FSA ID
- Click on "Complete Loan Counseling (Entrance, Financial Awareness, Exit"
- 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 to begin
How Much Can I Borrow?
The maximum amount that can be borrowed in PLUS loans is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid and resources.
To determine the maximum amount that can be borrowed, you can:
- Log into portal.wvu.edu with your WVU login
- Click on "Financial Aid Information"
- 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
Please note if a student chooses the “maximum loan amount” while completing the PLUS application, the cost of attendance will be increased to accommodate the processing fee. As such, the borrowed amount may be more than anticipated.
If you only want to borrow enough to cover your bill, use your bill to determine amounts or use the Planner to estimate if bills are not yet available. Do not forget to factor in the processing fee (percentage of the loan that the federal government will keep) to ensure you estimate for an accurate disbursed amount.
What are differences between the Graduate PLUS Loan and private loans?See the Comparing PLUS and Private Loans page for comparison charts.
Additional Loan FAQs
See the Additional Loan FAQs page for information on enrollment requirements, interest rates and fees, and repayment.