Graduate PLUS Loan
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are available to students in graduate and professional degree programs with good credit histories. If the student is enrolled at least half-time (3 hours) in a graduate or professional program, the student may borrow up to the total of the Estimated Cost of Attendance less Veterans Benefits and all other financial aid resources.
Applying for a Grad PLUS Loan
Online application is available. This new online application should streamline the PLUS Loan application process and offer faster student aid delivery.
- Refer to the Graduate PLUS loan amount offered in your MyCharleston account for the maximum PLUS loan amount you may apply for.
- Graduate PLUS borrower Logs into http://www.studentloans.gov/ using Graduate borrower FSA ID to complete Direct PLUS Loan Request. Click the 'Log In' button to begin the process. If the PLUS Borrower does not have a FSA ID (used to sign the FAFSA) a link is provided to apply for a FSA ID.
- Click 'Start PLUS Application Process.
- Next click the “Request a PLUS Loan” link and read the information provided.
- Then click the “Graduate PLUS” link to begin the application.
- Enter Borrower Information. Enter student and school information.
- Review Data Entered. Next verify the information that has been entered. Correct any information that was entered incorrectly.
- Credit Check. Federal Direct PLUS awards are based upon credit. To qualify for the loan, the PLUS borrower must first pass a credit check. The credit check will end in approval or denial.
- Begin the Master Promissory Note process. Read the information provided upon completion of a successful credit check. Click your student's name to begin the promissory note.
- Complete the MPN. Enter the required information then read and agree to the terms and conditions of the loan.
- Review and Sign the MPN. Review the information provided, complete the signature boxes and click 'Sign'.
To be eligible for a Grad PLUS Loan, students must:
- Be a U.S.Citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Be enrolled at least half-time (3 hours) in a graduate or professional program
- File a Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) for the intended year
- Not be in default on any type of student loan
- Not owe a repayment on a student grant
- Pass a credit check
CofC electronically transmits PLUS information to Direct Loan Origination and Applicant Services. LOAS will process the loan and run a credit check on the student borrower. The credit decision is not based on credit score, but on negative items in your credit file, such as past due accounts, charged‐off accounts, liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, etc. A Grad PLUS loan approval does not insure future Grad PLUS loan approvals, as that will be based on the information in your credit file at the time of application. If your credit is denied LOAS will notify the applicant and identify the name & phone number of the agency that reported the adverse credit status. If the credit data is inaccurate, the loan denial decision may be appealed by contacting LOAS. Please note that CofC Financial Aid is not provided any information about the reason for the denial. All loan denial appeals are handled by LOAS. LOAS may be contacted at (800) 557-7394.
If the decision was based on accurate information, the applicant may exercise the option to obtain an endorser (similar to a co-signer) on the loan. The LOAS will include an endorser promissory note with the denial letter. The endorser can be the other parent or anyone who meets the above credit criteria and is willing to endorse the PLUS loan. The student may not endorse the parent's loan. The endorser note should be returned to LOAS.
When LOAS notifies our office of the loan denial, we will set the PLUS Loan Origination Rejection Form (PLORF) as a requirement on your financial aid account. An email will be sent to the student's College of Charleston Edisto email account with instructions to check the Student Requirements in the Financial Aid section of MyCharleston. The purpose of the PLORF is to provide options and for the borrower to officially communicate to the Office of Financial Aid exactly what (s)he plans to do about the GRAD PLUS denial.
Interest and Fees
- Interest Rates: 6.31% Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
- Origination Fee:
- 4.272% Assessed for loans First Disbursed on or after 10/01/15 and before 10/01/2016
- 4.276% Assessed for loans First Disbursed on or after 10/01/16 and before 10/01/2017
Repayment and In-School Deferment
When do I begin repaying my loan? Your Direct PLUS Loan enters repayment once your loan is fully disbursed (paid out). If you are a graduate student, your loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. For more information see When do I begin to pay my PLUS loan?
If your loan is deferred, interest will accrue on the loan during the deferment. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to capitalize when the deferment period ends. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.
What types of repayment plans are available? There are several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. Learn about your repayment options.
- Direct Loan Repayment Calculator
- Visit StudentAid.gov for general information about paying for college, repaying federal student loans, and resolving disputes. Here are some helpful links within StudentAid.gov:
- Visit the National Student Loan Data System to access your federal student aid history.