Grad PLUS Loan

Eligibility

The Grad PLUS loan is available to graduate students who:

  • Are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program.
  • File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Pass a credit check.

How to apply

The Grad PLUS application is a multi-step process. If you do not complete each step, your loan will not be processed.

  1. Submit the application:
    • For the Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020 semesters: Accept the loan in StuInfo to "apply" for it and initiate a credit check. Each Grad PLUS loan that is offered to you must be accepted separately.
    • Available May 1st for the Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 semesters: Submit a Direct PLUS Loan Application for Graduate/Professional Students through the StudentAid.gov website. MSU's school code is G02290. Once you have applied, if you would like to increase your requested amount, please do not apply for a new loan. Instead, you may contact the Office of Financial Aid to request an increase.
  2. Complete the Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling process through the StudentAid.gov website. You must complete entrance counseling so that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. The online session will take about twenty minutes to complete.
  3. Sign the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Graduate/Professional Students through the StudentAid.gov website. The MPN will be valid for 10 years provided a PLUS loan is disbursed within 12 months of the MPN signing. If your previous Grad PLUS loan was approved with an endorser (co-signer), you will need to complete a new MPN.

When to apply

You should begin the application process 4 to 6 weeks before you need the funds to ensure timely processing. Depending on the time of year, it may take several weeks for the servicer to send notice of your credit approval or rejection.

Loan limits

The loan limit for each year is the annual cost of attendance (a.k.a. the "budget") minus other financial assistance. If your requested amount is too high, it will be reduced to fit within the budget.

The Office of Financial Aid must determine your Stafford (Direct) Loan eligibility before you may borrow under the Grad PLUS program. This means that many in-state graduate students, or students with graduate assistantships, will have their costs covered fully with Stafford (Direct) Loan and may not need to use the Grad PLUS.

Interest rate

Beginning July 1, 2013, the Grad PLUS interest rate varies annually with a maximum rate of 10.5%. The interest rate for PLUS loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2020 is 5.30%.

Interest begins to accumulate when the first disbursement is made. You may choose to pay the interest while in school in order to avoid "paying interest on interest" (capitalizing interest).

Loan fees

Grad PLUS loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 require a 4.236% origination fee which is paid at the time of disbursement. Thus, 95.764% of the gross loan amount will be disbursed to your student account.

Grad PLUS loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 require a 4.228% origination fee which is paid at the time of disbursement. Thus, 95.772% of the gross loan amount will be disbursed to your student account.

What occurs during Grad PLUS processing?

  1. Once the loan application has been completed, the servicer performs a credit check.
  2. The servicer notifies you about acceptance or rejection of the loan.
  3. If the loan is approved, funds are sent directly to MSU and applied against your bill.
  4. Any PLUS funds that exceed MSU charges are given as a refund by the Student Accounts division of the Controller's Office.

Disbursement

Disbursement of Grad PLUS funds depends on when the loan is approved. By law, Grad PLUS funds cannot be disbursed until 10 days prior to your first day of class in a semester or summer subterm. If that date has passed and the approval process has been completed, MSU will generally disburse the funds within 2 days of approval.

Repayment

You will receive an automatic deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time. Since Grad PLUS is not a subsidized loan, interest will accrue during this time. Repayment begins immediately upon your graduation, or if you drop below half-time enrollment. Grad PLUS disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 has a 6-month grace period. In case of hardship, you may request forbearance for up to 42 months.