Graduate students who have filed a FAFSA for the academic year may be eligible to borrow up to the amount of their total cost of education, as certified by the Student Financial Services Office, less any financial aid they have been awarded.
For 2013-14, the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a non-need-based loan which has a fixed interest rate of 6.41%. A 4.204% origination fee is deducted from the awarded amount before the loan is disbursed to the student borrower's student account.
Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed for the academic year. For an academic year loan for three quarters (fall, winter and spring), for example, repayment begins 60 days after the spring quarter disbursement in March. In-school deferment is available by calling the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979.
To apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, students must complete a FAFSA which will determine initial eligibility for the PLUS Loan and also for Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Direct Loan funding.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of their annual Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Direct Loan eligibility before applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan because the terms and conditions of the Stafford Loan are better than those for the Graduate PLUS Loan.
To apply for a Graduate PLUS loan, student borrowers go online to www.studentloans.gov.
After submitting the online PLUS request, the student borrower receives the results of the credit check for the loan. If the credit check is approved, first-time borrowers are required to go online to www.studentloans.gov to complete a loan entrance counseling session and sign the Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), StudentLoans.gov notifies the Student Financial Services Office that the loan has been approved and that office then processes the loan.
Once disbursed, the Federal Department of Education assigns students' Graduate PLUS Loans to one of their loan servicers. Those loan servicers are responsible for answering loan account questions, processing deferments and forbearances and sending out bills and processing loan payments. Students with more than one loan may have more than one loan servicer.
Students can go to www.nslds.ed.gov and click on ‘Financial Aid Review’ to see which loan servicer(s) is responsible for their loan(s). They can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 for this information.
Student borrowers are responsible for ensuring that their loan servicer(s) always has their current billing address and phone number.