Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

Direct Grad PLUS Loans are unsubsidized loans for graduate/professional students. Grad PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Grad PLUS Application Process

First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you have received an award notification and decided that a Grad PLUS loan is the best fit for you, apply through the U.S. Department of Education by completing the following steps:

  • Go to studentloans.gov
  • You will be asked to sign in with FSA ID.
  • Select Start PLUS Application Process.
  • Choose the Grad PLUS loan type. Go through the application process (which includes a credit check) to confirm approval or denial of the loan.
  • Choose a loan period. You should apply for the academic year, not one semester/quarter. You will have to repeat the application process (and possibly the credit check) if you apply for the fall only and later wish to apply for another semester/quarter.
  • Specify a loan amount. If "maximum amount" is selected, we will process the loan for the maximum amount available (cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received.) We encourage you to review your expenses carefully and apply only for the amount necessary.
  • If approved,first-time borrowers only must continue by choosing Complete Master Promissory Note. Repeat borrowers have completed the process.
  • If denied, you will be presented with several options.
  • The Department of Education will send a confirmation or denial to the Baylor Student Financial Aid Office and to you.
Amount Available to Borrow

The limit on a Grad PLUS Loan is the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. You apply for the academic year (fall/spring semesters or fall/winter/spring quarters). You apply for summer separately. The total origination fee is currently 4.264% of the amount borrowed. The interest rate on the loan is 7% for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2017, and before July 1, 2018. Origination fees and interest rates are reviewed and announced by the Department of Education each year.  Go to Loan Disclosure Statement to view a sample. You will receive a statement specific to your loan before your loan is disbursed.

Credit Eligibility

Federal regulations define credit eligibility for a Grad PLUS Loan as having no "adverse credit." This term normally means that the applicant has no debt repayment account that is 90 days or more delinquent, has not had any debt discharged in bankruptcy in the last 5 years, and has not been in default on any debt (no foreclosure, tax lien, repossession, wage garnishment, or write-off) in the last 5 years. An applicant will be determined to have an adverse credit history if the total combined outstanding balance of the debts, including debts in collection or charged off during the two years preceding the date of the credit report, is greater than $2,085.

Timing of Application

The credit check for a Grad PLUS loan is valid for 180 days. Disbursement for Fall 2018 is scheduled for August 20, 2018 (the earliest date permissible by federal regulation.) You can apply for a PLUS or Grad PLUS loan for the 2018-2019 academic year no earlier than April 15, 2018. The studentloans.gov website will accept applications for the 2018-2019 academic year beginning April 15, 2018.

Next Steps for Approved Loans

All first-time borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Grad PLUS borrowers must also complete entrance counseling at studentloans.gov. If the Department of Education approves your loan, the Department of Education will notify Baylor and will send the loan funds to the school shortly before the semester/quarter begins. The funds will first be applied to tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, they will be disbursed based on your authorization on the application form. Grad PLUS Loans require the student be enrolled in at least half-time hours.

Next Steps for Denied Grad PLUS Borrowers

If you are denied a Grad PLUS, you have the option to either appeal the decision, add an endorser, or pursue a private alternative loan. You appeal the decision directly to the Department of Education and might qualify for a loan without passing the credit check if you can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist. And endorser is a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check and agrees to endorse the loan. An endorser promises to repay the loan if you fail to do so.

Right to Decline
You have the right to decline any financial aid that you are offered. You have a number of rights and responsibilities pertaining to borrowing student loans. Click here for a list of important rights and responsibilites of which you should be aware.

Entrance Counseling

Regular entrance counseling is required for all first-time Grad PLUS (graduate student) borrowers. Go to  www.studentloans.gov and log in with your FSA ID to complete entrance counseling. Credit entrance counseling is required for certain PLUS (parent) borrowers. Parents who are approved for PLUS with an endorser or have an approved appealed credit decision will be required to complete credit entrance counseling. These borrowers will be notified if credit entrance counseling is required.

Exit Counseling

Exit counseling is required for student borrowers (Grad PLUS) but is not required for PLUS (parent) borrowers. Exit counseling is required when you drop below half-time hours, withdraw, graduate, or stop attending. You are required to complete exit counseling by logging in with your FSA ID at  www.studentloans.gov.

Repayment

There is no grace period for a Direct Grad PLUS Loan. You must separately request each deferment period. Generally, you will have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. The loan servicer will notify you of the date your first payment is due. If you do not choose a repayment plan, you will be placed on the standard plan, with fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. You can change repayment plans at any time by contacting your loan servicer. More detailed information about all repayment plans is available at studentloans.gov.