Parent PLUS Loans
If a dependent student enrolled at least half-time has remaining need, parents may choose to apply for Parent PLUS loans to help cover educational expenses.
Who May Borrow?
- Must be the biological or adoptive parent of the student.
- Step-parents may apply if married to the biological or adoptive parent and the step-parent’s income and assets are included on the FAFSA.
- Student must have a FAFSA completed and on file for the appropriate aid year.
- Student must be considered dependent by FAFSA and enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree seeking program.
- Student must have remaining financial aid need.
- Both the student and parent must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
- Student must be making satisfactory academic progress per the policies of the university.
- Both the parent and student cannot be in default on federal student loans or owe a refund on any federal grant or loan.
- The parent borrower must have a sufficient credit standing for credit approval, as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Application for the Parent PLUS loan should be completed online at www.studentaid.gov beginning June 1st prior to each academic year.
- The parent must be the individual signing in with their FSA ID (used to complete the FAFSA) to apply.
- After signing in, choose 'Apply for Aid' followed by 'Apply for a PLUS Loan.' Choose 'Parent of an Undergraduate Student.'
- Continue to follow prompts to complete the online application.
- If credit is approved, first time PLUS loan borrowers must complete a Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the same website, www.studentaid.gov.
- If credit is denied and the credit decision is not appealed or an endorser is not obtained, the dependent student may apply for additional Unsubsidized loan funds based on grade level and remaining eligibility for aid. To apply for additional Unsubsidized loan funds, students should complete the Additional Unsubsidized Loan Request Due to Parent PLUS Denial form, online.
How Much Can Parents Borrow?
Parent borrowers are eligible to borrow up to the student’s cost of attendance minus other estimated financial aid. Estimated financial aid includes federal/state grants, scholarships, federal work-study, federal student loans, tuition discounts, or any other aid paid by a third-party.
|Student A||Student B||Student C||Student D|
|Cost of Attendance (budget) for fall/spring||$23,151||$23,151||$23,151||$23,151|
|- Estimated Financial Aid||$5,500||$9,000||$12,000||$23,151|
|= Max Direct PLUS Loan Eligibility||$17,651||$14,151||$11,151||$0|
Interest Rates and Fees
PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. In addition to interest, the U.S. Department of Education automatically deducts a loan fee from each loan disbursement before the money is credited to the student’s account. For current interest rate and fee information, visit the Direct Loan website or call the Direct Loan Servicing Center at (800) 848-0979 (TTY 1-800-557-7395).
When Does Repayment Begin?
Parent borrowers are generally expected to start making payments on Direct PLUS Loans once the loan is fully disbursed (paid out). However, parents may request a deferment while their child is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after their child graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. Parents don't have to make any payments while their loan is deferred. Parents may request a deferment as part of the loan request process. Parents can also contact their loan servicer to request a deferment.
During any period when a parent is not required to make payments, interest will accrue on the loan. A parent may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to their loan principal balance) when they have to start making payments. The loan servicer will notify the parent when the first payment is due.