Federal PLUS loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education to parents of dependent undergraduate students or to graduate/professional students to help pay for college.
Parents of Undergraduate Students
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are offered by the federal government to help parents of dependent undergraduate students finance their education. Parents may borrow up to the full annual cost of education less any other financial aid for each dependent undergraduate student.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate Students are offered by the federal government to help with any remaining educational costs. Graduate and Professional students may borrow up to the full annual cost of attendance less any other financial aid.
Interest Rates and Fees
The interest rates and fees for Direct PLUS Loans are the same regardless if you are applying for a Parent PLUS Loan or a Graduate Student PLUS Loan.
Interest is additional money that you pay to a lender as a cost of borrowing money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount that you borrowed.
An origination fee is a percentage of your loan amount charged by the lender for the processing of your loan. For PLUS loans, an origination fee is subtracted by the Department of Education from the borrowed amount prior to disbursement. Therefore, the amount you receive as a disbursement will be slightly lower than the amount you accept.
You can calculate the origination fee and determine how much to request if you would like the fee included in the loan. Learn more
Calculate How Much to Borrow
Origination Fees for PLUS Loans
If you wish to cover the origination fee in your loan amount, you may use our PLUS Loan Origination Fee Calculator. The calculator will assist you in determining the amount of the origination fee and how much to request if you would like the origination fee included in the loan.
To apply for a federal PLUS loan, students must first complete the FAFSA. If you are a graduate student, you will not need to include parental information on the FAFSA, but if you are a married individual, you will need to include your spouse’s income and tax information.
Next, complete the PLUS Loan Application. If the borrower has an adverse credit history, an eligible co-signer will be required.
It is recommended to apply for the entire academic year while attending classes rather than per semester to avoid potential delays with a new loan application.
There is an origination fee for PLUS loans. Our Plus Loan Origination Fee Calculator will assist borrowers in determining the amount of the origination fee and how much to request if they would like the origination fee included in the loan.
To receive PLUS Loan(s), students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits (half-time) of required coursework for their program of study. For more information, please refer to terms and conditions of financial aid.
When to Apply
It is important to allow sufficient time for the application process so the loan will credit the student's bill and disburse on time.
Determine the timeframe the loan is required (loan period) and apply by the recommended date:
Summer and Fall
Summer, Fall, and Spring
Fall and Spring
Tip: it is recommended to file for the entire academic year while attending classes rather than per semester to avoid potential delays with a new loan application.
If you are a parent borrower, you may request a six-month deferment after your student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment, before you are required to begin loan repayment. Contact your loan servicer for more information.
If you are a graduate student, after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin loan repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date.
Parents and graduate students can view their federal loan history by logging into studentaid.gov. The profile dashboard will provide personalized information like federal PLUS loan balance, disbursement dates, and servicer contact information.
If you have questions at any point in the process, we’re here to help.
For general questions about the financial aid process, we recommend our live chat.
For general questions about your specific situation, we recommend that you email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For detailed questions about your specific situation, we recommend that you call 585-475-2186.
Contacting our office by phone or email allows us to answer specific questions related to a student as long as we are able to affirm the student and the individual requesting information to protect privacy and confidentiality. Live chat is reserved only for general non-student specific information.
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Bausch and Lomb Center
56 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY 14623-5604