Graduate students may borrow a Direct PLUS Loan for any year that they are enrolled at least half-time. 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. View a chart to determine interest rates and loan origination fees.

The Direct PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan which allows you to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid already awarded. Cost of attendance includes the total cost of tuition, fees, and room and board billed by the university, plus a standard calculation for books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.

How to Apply

Applications for the Direct PLUS Loan are processed online through the U.S. Department of Education student loan website

  1. Visit
  2. Hover over APPLY FOR AID then click on Apply for Grad PLUS Loan
  3. Click the Log In button to begin your application process
  4. Enter your Federal Student Aid ID, Email or Mobile Phone and Password
  5. Select Request a Direct PLUS Loan
  6. Select the loan type Graduate PLUS
  7. Complete the four-step application process
    1. School & Loan Info
    2. Borrower Info
    3. Review Request
    4. Credit Check & Submit
  8. First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)


Graduate students are automatically granted a deferral on monthly PLUS Loan payments. Payments are deferred until six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half time, although interest continues to accrue. Graduate PLUS borrowers have the option to begin repayment 60 days after the PLUS Loan is fully disbursed. The standard repayment period is 10 years.

You can expect to hear from your lender/lenders about 30-45 days before the first payment is due. If you don't hear from your lender, it is your responsibility to contact them.