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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?

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.

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How Do I Apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan?

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Go to the Federal Student Aid website
  3. Log in with your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) (the same login used for your FAFSA)
  4. Accept terms and conditions if prompted, then you should be in your Dashboard
  5. In the CHECKLISTS section of your Dashboard page, click on "I'M IN SCHOOL"
  6. Under "I'M IN SCHOOL" click on "Apply for a PLUS Loan for Graduate School"
  7. Scroll down to the "I am a Graduate or Professional Student" section, and click the "Learn More" button
  8. Once you are on the Apply for a Graduate/Professional Student PLUS Loan page, scroll down and click on the "Start" button

The application usually becomes available in late March or early April for the upcoming academic year.

Tips on Applying:

  • Make sure you select the correct Award Year at the top of the application (example: Fall 2020 and Spring and Summer 2021 would be the 2020-2021 year, Fall 2021 and Spring and Summer 2022 would be the 2021-2022 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:
    • To apply for both Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, it would be August 2021 through May 2022
    • For Fall 2021 only, it would be August 2021 through December 2021
    • For Spring 2022 only, it would be January 2022 through May 2022
    • For Summer 2022, it would be May 2022 through August 2022

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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 an MPN (Master Promissory Note, Loan Agreement) for their loan After you are approved for the loan, you must:

  1. Log into the Federal Student Aid website with your FSA ID
  2. Accept terms and conditions if prompted, then you should be in your Dashboard
  3. In the CHECKLISTS section of your Dashboard page, click on "I'M IN SCHOOL"
  4. Under "I'M IN SCHOOL" click on "Complete Entrance Counseling"
  5. Scroll down to the "I am a Graduate or Professional Student" section, and click the "Start" button
  6. Complete and submit your Entrance Counseling, and make sure you list West Virginia University as a school that you want notified that it has been completed (School Code G03827)
  7. To return to your Dashboard, click on your name in the top righthand side of the screen, and choose Dashboard from the options
  8. In the CHECKLISTS section of your Dashboard page, click on "I'M IN SCHOOL"
  9. Under "I'M IN SCHOOL" click on "Complete MPN (i.e., Loan Agreement)
  10. Scroll down to the "I am a Graduate or Professional Student" section, and click the "Select MPN Type" button
  11. Scroll down to the "MPN for Direct PLUS Loans" section, and click the "Start" button
  12. Complete and submit the MPN

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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:

  1. Log in to your WVU Portal with your WVU username and password
  2. Click on "Financial Aid Information"
  3. Click on "Award"
  4. Select aid year
  5. Click on "Award Overview Tab"
  6. 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 Cost & Resource Planner to estimate if bills are not yet available. Do not forget to factor in the origination fee (percentage of the loan that the federal government will keep) to ensure you estimate for an accurate disbursed amount.

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What are differences between the Graduate PLUS Loan and private loans?

See the Comparing PLUS and Private Loans page for comparison charts.

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Additional Loan FAQs

See the Additional Loan FAQs page for information on enrollment requirements, interest rates and fees, and repayment.

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