The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan program is designed to help graduate and professional students pay for their educational expenses. You must be enrolled in at least half-time status in order to be eligible for the PLUS loan program.
The interest rate for PLUS loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2016, and on or before June 30, 2017, is 6.31 percent. Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and on or before June 30, 2018, will have an interest rate of 7.00 percent. A 4.276 percent origination fee will be deducted by the U.S. Department of Education from the total of your loan before it is disbursed to your student account.
How to Apply
If you are interested in borrowing a Grad PLUS loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Then, the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan application must be completed through studentloans.gov. You will need to sign in using your FSA ID, which is the same account used to complete your FAFSA. You can create or manage your FSA ID through at the Federal Student Aid website.
After you have completed the online application, the Department of Education will process the application and credit approval. UMGC typically receives this information within two business days.
You must borrow your full eligibility for an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan to be eligible to receive a Grad PLUS loan.
Through the application process, the U.S. Department of Education will determine if you are a credit-eligible borrower. Once a determination of your eligibility is made, you will be informed if you have been approved or denied for a PLUS loan. If approved, you will receive a notification via e-mail when the PLUS loan has been awarded, and you must accept or decline the loan by logging into MyUMGC.
The loan will be originated within one to two business days after you have accepted the Grad PLUS loan. First-time Grad PLUS borrowers will be required to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling. Once your loan origination is accepted by the Department of Education, UMGC will be notified of your completed MPN and Entrance Counseling, and the checklists on your To Do List in MyUMGC will be completed.
Applicants with adverse credit history may be eligible for a Grad PLUS loan if they have extenuating circumstances or are able to obtain an endorser for the loan. These applicants will be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling. This counseling is separate from the PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling that is required for all first-time Grad PLUS Loan borrowers. University of Maryland University College cannot disburse loan monies to a student with this requirement until we receive confirmation of its completion.
The maximum amount you can borrow through the Grad PLUS program equals your cost of attendance (COA) minus all other financial aid awarded for the current academic year. If you are approved for a Grad PLUS loan, UMGC will offer a loan in the amount of $10,000 or the difference between your COA and any financial aid that has been awarded, whichever is lower.
Note: You do not have to borrow the full amount of the Grad PLUS Loan offered. If you would like to decrease the amount of the loan, you can do so through MyUMGC.
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
First-time Grad PLUS borrowers are required to complete a Grad PLUS MPN. You will only need to complete this once, unless your loan is approved with an endorser. Endorsed loan borrowers must complete a new MPN for each new endorsed loan. Complete your MPN.
Although your PLUS loan payments will remain deferred while you are enrolled in at least half-time status at UMGC, you are welcome to begin repayment at any time. If you drop below half-time status or withdraw from the university, your loan may go into repayment immediately.
For more information about repayment, please visit the Department of Education’s website regarding repayment.
Additional Information on Borrowing
If you need additional information about the terms and conditions of borrowing a PLUS loan, please visit the Department of Education's website. You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FEDAID (1-800-433-3243).