Students sitting on the third floor of the Student Center studying and having conversations.

Federal Parent Loans (PLUS)

Parents of dependent undergraduate students based on the FAFSA application may apply for loans to supplement their child’s financial aid. The parent may borrow funds to cover up to the full cost of attendance. Parent PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the students. Also, it should be noted that students who are selected for verification must complete the verification process before any aid, including the PLUS loan, can be applied to their account.

Parents may apply for a PLUS loan if:

  • They are United States citizens or eligible non-citizens.
  • They are not in default on a federal student loan.
  • They do not owe a refund on a federal education grant.


Eligibility for a Direct PLUS loan is determined by a credit review. Parents determined to have adverse credit will not be approved. Parents who are denied a PLUS loan may apply with a qualified endorser. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the loan if you do not repay it.

Only one parent needs to apply for a PLUS loan. If a parent is denied a PLUS loan, a student will be eligible to receive the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that an independent student would be eligible for.

Either the custodial parent or noncustodial parent or both are eligible to borrow from the PLUS loan program, provided the combined amounts borrowed do not exceed the cost of attendance.

Legal guardians that are not parents or step-parents, siblings, aunts/uncles and grandparents are not eligible to borrow from the PLUS loan program.

Interest Rates

Parent PLUS loans have an origination fee of 4.2228% and a fixed interest rate of 8.05% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2023.


Repayment begins 60 days after disbursement. Parent PLUS loan borrowers may choose to have repayment deferred (postponed) while their student (for whom the parent borrowed) is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower. Unless requested, there is no six-month grace period. Payments can be deferred if the parent is in school themselves. Please note, since the interest rate is not subsidized, it will continue to accrue and capitalize when the loan enters repayment. The repayment term is up to 10 years.


The student must complete a FAFSA application to be considered for Federal aid including the Parent Direct PLUS Loan.

Please note, the student must be enrolled in school at least half-time (minimum six credits a semester) to be eligible for the PLUS loan.

REMEMBER: The loan has a 4.2228% origination fee; if you want to cover the exact balance of the tuition bill, please make sure to apply for additional funds to cover the origination fee or you will be short by this percentage.

The PLUS loan process:

  1. Visit the Student Loan website and the Parent must sign in with their FSA ID.
  2. Select “Login To Start.”
  3. Make sure the Parent is the borrower and the Student is in the student section.
  4. If the Parent is approved, that parent must complete a master promissory note as well.
  5. Select “Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note).“
  6. Select “Login to Start” in the appropriate box.
  7. Make sure the parent’s information is in the borrower section.
    •  If the Student is the borrower on the PLUS application, the application is invalid and nothing will happen with the application. 
    • We recommend that a PLUS loan application be submitted after July 1 because the PLUS loan credit check expires 180 days after the approval date. This can delay the loan process.
    • In order for the approved loan to be certified by our office, the approved PLUS application and signed MPN completed before the end of the semester to which the PLUS loan applies.
    • PLUS loans will not be posted to NEST until after fall bills are generated with final tuition and fee charges.

Refund Checks:

If you have received a refund after all your loans have been disbursed, the following options are available:

  1. You may keep the refund and use it for your student’s winter or summer classes and/or spring books.
  2. You may cash the check and then repay the lender or servicer in the same amount or a lesser amount (if you need some of the funds for educational expenses).
  3. You can request a reduction of the loan for the upcoming semester.

More Questions?

If you need more information about the Direct PLUS Loan program, please visit these sites:

Parent Sites from the Federal Government: