The Federal Direct PLUS loan is an optional federal loan for parent(s) who wish to access additional resources beyond what a student is eligible to receive.
- The PLUS loan is solely in the name of a Parent(s), not the student, and is not transferable.
- Approval or denial for the PLUS loan is based on the parents’ credit history.
- There is an origination fee applied to the amount requested for a PLUS loan, this impacts the actual amount paid on the student’s bill. Fees and rates are fixed for an individual loan, however, they can change each academic year based on federal mandate. For the most current origination fee and interest rate on the PLUS loan please visit studentaid.gov.
- Only a parent can apply for a PLUS loan.
- A parent is defined as the student’s biological or adoptive mother or father, regardless of whether they are the “custodial” parent on the FAFSA.
- A step-parent is eligible to borrow a PLUS loan IF he or she is reported on the FAFSA along with the custodial parent.
- A legal guardian is not considered a parent for federal student aid purposes.
- More than one parent can apply for a PLUS loan for a dependent student as long as the total financial aid package does not exceed the Cost of Attendance.
- The maximum amount that a parent can borrow in the PLUS loan is the Cost of Attendance minus any financial aid received by the student.
- If your student intends to either reduce or decline the Federal Work Study award to increase the parent’s eligibility for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, please submit a request at least a day prior to applying for the loan.
To Apply for the Federal Direct PLUS loan:
- In order to receive a PLUS loan, the student must have completed a FAFSA which can be done at fafsa.gov.
- If the parent(s) does not already have an FSA ID or have lost this information, please visit the Federal Student Aid ID website.
- The parent applying logs in to studentloans.gov with their FSA ID and Password.
- Select “Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan.”
- Select “Start” next to “Direct PLUS Loan Application for Parents.”
- Read and complete all the steps required for this application.
Please note: As part of the application, you will be required to choose the time period for which you are applying. Please use the following dates:
Full Year: September through May
Summer: May through August
Fall: September through December
Spring: February through May
Winter/Spring: January through May
What Happens After the Parent Applies:
- The parent will receive an immediate credit decision (approved or denied) as soon as the application is completed.
- The PSU Financial Aid Team will receive notification of the PLUS application decision within 2 to 4 business days.
- If APPROVED – the maximum allowed will be added to the student’s financial aid award.
- If DENIED:
- PSU will automatically increase the student’s Unsubsidized Federal Direct loan eligibility as allowed within the cost of attendance. Students who have earned up to 47 credits may be eligible for up to $4,000 additionally on an annual basis. Students who have earned 48 credits or more may be eligible for up to $5,000 additionally on an annual basis.
- If the PLUS is subsequently approved through the appeal process, or by adding an endorser, the additional unsubsidized loan given to the student will be adjusted accordingly.
- The parent will be given the option at the end of the PLUS application to add an Endorser to their loan to try for approval. The steps required for this will be listed if they select this option.
- The parent will be given the option at the end of the PLUS application to appeal the decision based on extenuating circumstances. The steps required for this process will be listed if they select this option.
The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans. Please do not hesitate to contact them should you feel they can be of assistance.