The Direct PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan available to the parents of undergraduate students who have filed a FAFSA. The parent borrower may borrow up to the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, housing, and meals billed by the university, plus a standard calculation for books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses), less any other financial aid awarded.

Parents may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for any year that their student is enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate student. Under the Federal Direct Student Loan program, the federal government serves as the lender and the interest rate varies based on disbursement date but then is fixed for the life of the loan. See a chart to determine interest rates and loan origination fees. Origination fees are subtracted proportionately from each disbursement.