Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

What is a Graduate PLUS Loan?


A Graduate PLUS Loan allows for a student seeking their Graduate Degree to help pay for their education through a fixed rate federal loan. PLUS Loans can help cover educational expenses not covered by other financial aid resources. The loan is in the student's name; and in order to be approved, the borrower must not have adverse credit. The US Department of Education is the lender for the loan and the student is responsible to re-pay any amounts borrowed. In order to have a PLUS Loan awarded on the student's account, the student must have a FAFSA application on file and be enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester.

As a family, you should weigh the options between a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (graduate, degree-seeking students only), Private/Alternative Parent Loans (any credit-worthy person who is not the student and wishes to gift the cost of education on their behalf) and a Private/Alternative Student Loan (student & credit-worthy co-signer).

To view a side-by-side comparison of Graduate Plus Loans vs. Private Parent Loans vs. Private Student Loans, please click here.  




On this page(click to jump to section)

Quick facts about Graduate PLUS Loans

Am I eligible?

When should I apply?

How much can I borrow?

What Loan Period should I select?

How do I apply?

I was approved for a Graduate PLUS Loan, what are my next steps?

I was denied for a Graduate PLUS Loan, what are my next steps?

Additional Important Information

Federal Direct Loan Disclaimer


Quick facts about Graduate PLUS Loans


Quick Facts:

    • Only applicable for Graduate students; Post-baccalaureate Certification students do not qualify for this loan
    • Has a fixed interest rate of 7.00% for loans disbursed between July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018
    • Borrower is charged an origination fee
      • 4.276% for loans first disbursed between October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2017
    • During the application process the student can choose to defer payments while student is enrolled in school; and/or 6 months post enrollment
    • Interest accrues from the date the loan disburses
    • To be approved, the student must pass credit check/not have adverse credit history
    • If denied, the student is not eligible to receive additional unsubsidized loan money; however, they can choose to appeal the decision or add an endorser
    • It is recommended that a student borrows the maximum under the Federal Direct Loan program first. The Federal Direct Loan maximum for one academic year is up to $20,500.

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Am I eligible?


To receive a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must:

    • Have a completed FAFSA application on file.
    • Not have adverse credit history
      • An adverse credit history is defined as being more than 90 days late on any debt or having any Title IV debt within the past five years subjected to default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off.
    • The student must meet all other general eligibility requirements for federal aid.
    • Student must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
    • The student must be enrolled in at least 6 credits (half-time).
    • The student must be a degree-seeking student.
    • This loan is for graduate students only (must be seeking a graduate degree - i.e. Master's Degree)
    • Students seeking a Post-baccalaureate Certification (teacher certification), and Undergradutate students do NOT qualify for this loan.
    • Students must complete Direct Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before the Graduate PLUS Loan can be disbursed (See the section below: "What additional steps must I take to receive my loan?").

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When should I apply?



Returning Students:

    • We request that you do not apply for the PLUS loan until after May 1; prior to the year the student will attend (i.e. May 1, 2017 for the 2017-2018 Academic Year).

Incoming Freshman:

    • We normally request that you apply for the PLUS loan between April 1 and June 15; prior to the year you plan to attend (i.e. May 1, 2017 for the 2017-2018 Academic Year). 
    • This will allow sufficient time for processing of the loans prior to billing for the fall semester. 

NOTE: Applications for each upcoming academic year are not available until April 1st.

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How much can I borrow?


The maximum amount you can borrow in the Graduate PLUS Loan is the Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid awarded.

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What Loan Period should I select?


NOTE: Please be advised that if you do not indicate a loan period on your loan application, the loan term will default to the academic year (Fall/Spring). It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to indicate correct loan term dates to ensure the correct processing of your PLUS loan.

2017-2018 Loan Period Dates available:

(you can begin applying for summer loans after April 1, 2017, and begin applying for loans for fall/spring after May 1, 2017)

    • Summer Only: 05/15/17 - 08/18/17 
    • Summer/Fall/Spring: 05/15/17 - 05/12/18 
        • If you choose the option Summer/Fall/Spring, and apply for a specific amount, it will be processed and split into thirds.
        • If you apply and choose the option "wish to receive up to maximum cos of attendance", your loan will be processed based on the maximum budget for each semester.
    • Fall/Spring: 08/28/17 - 05/12/18
    • Fall Only: 08/28/17 - 12/17/17
    • Spring Only: 01/22/17 - 05/12/18 

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How do I apply?


To apply for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must:

    • Go to: www.studentloans.gov and log in using your information. To log in, you will need:
        • FSA User ID and Password - this is the same ID and password used to sign the FAFSA
        • To create an FSA User ID click here.
            • If you have forgotten your username or password, click here.
        • Once logged into your account, click on the link in the center of the page that says, "Apply for a PLUS Loan"; then click on the link that says "PLUS Application for Graduate/Professional Students".
        • Follow directions carefully and complete each section entering student information, loan term requests and period (see above), school information, the amount to request and then confirm submission of credit check.
        • Once the application has been submitted, you will receive an approval or denial.
        • If approved, follow the directions below on how to complete the Master Promissory Note.
        • If denied, click here.

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I was approved for a Graduate PLUS Loan, what are my next steps?


If you have been approved the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, and choose to borrow the funds, you MUST complete the following:

Master Promissory Note (MPN):

      • Log into your account at studentloans.gov using your FSA user ID and password
      • Click on the link in the center of the page that says "Complete Loan Agreement (MPN)".
      • On the next screen, make sure to click the option that pertains to you "PLUS MPN for Graduate/Professional Students"
      • Enter personal information and Select Millersville from the list of PA schools
      • Provide two personal references. These references are in no way responsible for your loan repayment.
      • Continue clicking through each step until you have signed and completed the form.
      • You will receive a confirmation once your Master Promissory Note has been completely submitted
NOTE: It is Federal Regulation that this step must be done so that the terms of your loan and repayment are understood and agreed upon. Until you complete this steps, you will not receive any Federal Loans awarded to you.

NOTE: If you have an endorser (co-signer) on your loan, you will need to complete a new MPN each year, and ensure that the endorser has completed the Endorser Addendum.

If you were originally denied but have now been approved for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan due to appealing the decision or added an endorser, you ALSO must complete the following:

Plus Loan Credit Counseling:

      1. Once you have logged into your account, you will find the link for Plus Credit Counseling.
      2. Click on the link that says: Complete PLUS Credit Counseling and click start.
      3. Select the option: Graduate Professional Student
      4. Complete each page and submit
      5. You will receive a confirmation once your Plus Counseling has been completely submitted.

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NOTE: It is Federal Regulation that this step must be done so that the terms of your loan and repayment are understood and agreed upon. Until you complete this steps, you will not receive any Federal Loans awarded to you.

I was denied for a Graduate PLUS Loan, what are my next steps?


Graduate students who are denied a Graduate PLUS loan have two options. They can try to appeal the decision with the Department of Education, or add an endorser (co-signer) on the loan.

Please click here to see additional information on your Graduate PLUS Denial Options and how to complete them.

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Additional Important Information


  • The school can refuse to certify a student's loan application OR certify the loan for an amount less than the student would otherwise be eligible. The school must document the reason for its action and explain the reason to the student in writing. The decision of the school is final and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education.
  • During the repayment period, under certain circumstances, the USDE may grant deferments, forbearances, or cancellations. The student must contact USDE.
  • Yearly limit is equal to the student's Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid received by the student.
  • You may cancel all or a portion of the loan within 14 days after the date the school has sent notification that the loan funds have been credited to the student's account. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to cancel the loan.
  • Interest is charged from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full.
  • You have up to 10 years to repay loan depending on the size of your debt.

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Federal Direct Loan Disclaimer


In accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations (HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec.485B), Millersville University and the Office of Financial Aid acknowledges to students and parents that when the student enters into an agreement regarding a Title IV (HEA) loan, i.e.: Direct Student Loan and Direct Parent  and Graduate PLUS Loans that the loan will be submitted to NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System) and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.

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