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 two-step process. If you do not complete both steps, the loan will not be processed.

  1. If Grad PLUS is already part of your financial aid package, you must accept the loan in StuInfo via the "Financial Aid (check your aid)" tool. Each Grad PLUS loan must be accepted separately. See the video below for more details.
  2. Sign your Grad PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at the StudentLoans.gov website. The Grad PLUS MPN will be valid for 10 years provided a PLUS loan is disbursed within 12 months of the MPN signing. If your former Grad PLUS loan was approved with an endorser (co-signer), you will need to complete a new MPN.

A video overview

Please take a moment to watch this video which covers a number of topics related to the Grad PLUS loan.

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, 2017 is 7%.

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, 2016 require a 4.276% origination fee which is paid at the time of disbursement. Thus, 95.724% of the gross loan amount will be disbursed to your student account.

What occurs during Grad PLUS processing?

  1. After MSU confirms your eligibility for a Grad PLUS loan, we transmit the application to the PLUS loan servicer. For each new year, this process typically begins in May.
  2. The servicer performs a credit check.
  3. The servicer notifies you about acceptance or rejection of the loan.
  4. If the loan is approved, funds are sent directly to MSU and applied against your bill.

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.