Tips for Completing the Parent PLUS Loan Application
We are providing the following information to help you make informed decisions when you complete the online Parent PLUS Loan application. Please note that on this page, "you" and "your" always refer to you, the parent borrower.Who Is Eligible to Borrow a Parent PLUS Loan?
Initiating the Parent PLUS Loan Application Process
Selecting a Loan Amount
Selecting the Correct Aid Year and Loan Period
Authorizing a Refund Payment
Options If Credit Is Denied
Completing the Process
For More Information
Who Is Eligible to Borrow a Parent PLUS Loan?To borrow a PLUS Loan, you need to:
- Be the biological or adoptive parent of the student. Step-parents are eligible only if their income information is reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Guardians are not eligible.
- Be a citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen of the United States.
- Be creditworthy or secure a creditworthy co-signer (endorser).
- Have a federal personal identification number (PIN) (register for this at www.pin.ed.gov).
Ineligible BorrowersStudents whose parents are ineligible to borrow a PLUS Loan may receive additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan. You are not eligible to apply for a PLUS Loan if:
- You are not a citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen of the United States.
- You are in default on a federal loan and have not made satisfactory repayment arrangements.
- You owe money for an overpayment on a federal grant.
If you are not eligible for one of the reasons above, the online PLUS application will not allow you to complete the application process. In order for your student to receive the additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan, you need to complete the Ineligible PLUS Borrower Form. Once we receive the completed form, with all required supporting documentation, we will verify your ineligible status and offer your student the additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan. Your student can accept the additional loan on his or her MyFinAid account.
DeadlinesIn order to receive your PLUS Loan, you need to complete the application and Master Promissory Note by the following deadlines:
If your student is attending fall-only: October 30
If your student is attending fall/spring, or spring-only: March 30
If your student is attending summer: 4 weeks before the end of the Summer Session in which your student is enrolled
Initiating the Parent PLUS Loan Application ProcessYour student needs to have a Parent PLUS Loan award in his or her financial aid package in order for you to initiate the PLUS Loan application process. You can confirm that your student has a Parent PLUS award on the Award Details page of your student's MyFinAid account.
The parent who is borrowing the loan needs to complete both the PLUS Application and a PLUS Master Promissory Note online at studentloans.gov. You will need your own federal personal identification number (PIN) to sign in and begin the process. If you don't already have a PIN, you can get one at www.pin.ed.gov. Note: If both parents want to borrow a portion of the loan, each of you will need to apply for your own PIN and complete your own PLUS Application and PLUS Master Promissory Note.
Once you have signed in to the studentloans.gov website, you will select "Request Direct PLUS Loan" to begin the application, or "Complete MPN" to complete the Master Promissory Note.
Selecting a Loan AmountWhen completing the application, you will be given the following three options to indicate how much PLUS Loan you wish to borrow:
- I want to borrow the maximum Direct PLUS Loan amount for which I am eligible, as determined by the school. (We do not recommend this option.)
By choosing "maximum," you are authorizing the University to process the maximum amount of PLUS Loan in your student's financial aid package. This means that if your loan eligibility increases anytime within the aid year, the increase will automatically be processed and become part of your PLUS Loan obligation. Award increases may occur when changes are made that affect your student's aid package. For example, if your student submits a Budget Appeal for additional money to purchase a computer, this could increase the amount of PLUS Loan in his or her aid package.
- I would like to specify a loan amount. (We recommend this option.)
By entering a specific dollar amount, your loan will be limited to the amount you enter or to the total Parent PLUS Loan amount offered, whichever is lower. Any future increases in your PLUS eligibility that exceeds your requested amount will not increase your loan obligation. If you initially choose to accept less than the full amount that is available, you can return to the online PLUS Application at a later time and increase the amount you wish to borrow, up to your maximum eligibility.
- I do not know the amount I want to borrow. I will contact the school.
Selecting this option will put a hold on your loan, and no funds will be disbursed. A loan amount must be entered on your application before you can receive any loan funds. If you select this option, you must return to the online PLUS application and indicate the amount you wish to borrow before your loan will disburse. You do not need to contact the school. If you are unsure of how much to borrow, your maximum eligibility is listed on your student's MyFinAid Award Details page. You are not required to apply for your maximum eligibility. If you plan to use funds from your current income or savings to make payments for your student's education, you may want to subtract the amount you plan to pay with your own resources from the maximum eligibility listed on your student's MyFinAid Award Details page and borrow only what you need. If you do not plan to use any funds from your own resources, then you may want to borrow the maximum eligibility listed.
Please Note: Credit approvals are good for 90 days. If the credit approval has expired, increases in loan eligibility will be subject to a new credit approval.
Selecting the Correct Aid Year and Loan PeriodWhen completing a PLUS Application, be sure to select the correct aid year and loan period.
May - August 2013
Academic Year 2013-14
(Fall 2013 / Spring 2014)
August 2013 - May 2014
May - August 2014
You will be able to complete PLUS Applications for the upcoming academic year beginning on May 15 each year.
You need to complete a new PLUS Application for summer PLUS Loans, even if you completed one for the academic year; be sure to choose the May – August loan period for your summer loan. You will be able to complete PLUS Applications for the upcoming summer term beginning on March 30 each year.
Authorizing a Refund PaymentUpon disbursement, your PLUS Loan will automatically pay any current-year charges on your student's Campus Accounts Receivable System (CARS) account. If there are PLUS funds remaining after the charges are paid, the balance will be issued as a refund. As the parent borrower, it is up to you to decide who will receive the refund. When completing the online PLUS application, you will be asked the following question:
"If there is a credit balance after your Direct PLUS Loan has been applied to the student's school account, to whom do you want the school to pay the credit balance?"You will have two options:
- Me (parent borrower).
If you choose to have the refund issued to you (the parent borrower), the refund process takes approximately 3 weeks. If you already chose this option on the application, but you need your refund sooner, you can request that we issue the refund to your student. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your name, your student's name and student ID number, and make sure that you send the email from the same email account that is recorded on your PLUS application.
- The student.
If you choose to have the refund issued to your student, the refund will be processed within 7 to 10 business days from the date of disbursement of the loan.
Options If Credit Is DeniedThe final step of the online PLUS Application is the credit check. If your credit is not approved, you will know immediately upon completing the application. You will be asked what you intend to do:
- Appeal the decision.
Do this if you know there is an error on your credit record.
- Get an endorser.
If you are pursuing an endorser, the endorser must go to studentloans.gov website and complete the "Endorse Direct PLUS Loan" section. The endorser must have his or her own PIN. If your endorser chooses to complete a paper Endorser application, please note that any cross-outs or corrections invalidate the application. For this reason, we suggest that your endorser complete the online Endorser application.
- Not pursue an endorser.
If you are denied and you indicate on the application that you do not intend to pursue an endorser, we will automatically offer your student an Unsubsidized Direct Loan as a replacement.
If you say "Undecided," your student will not be offered the additional loan unless you inform us that you will not be pursuing an endorser. You can notify us of your decision by sending an email to email@example.com. Provide your name, your student's name and student ID number, and make sure that you send the email from the same email account that is recorded on your PLUS application.
Completing the ProcessOnce your PLUS application and Master Promissory Note are completed, the information will be transmitted to us and will be posted in our system within about 3 business days. If you are an eligible borrower, your credit was approved, and you completed the PLUS Master Promissory Note, you do not need to take any further action. If we need any additional information, we will contact you. If you have any questions about the PLUS Loan application process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information
For more information, please see the Parent PLUS Loan Frequently Asked Questions page in the Undergraduates section of this website.