Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Processing

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan program offers a federal loan for graduate students. Approval for this loan is contingent upon your credit rating. Graduate students who would like to apply for Grad PLUS Loan funds must complete the following steps:

Step1: Complete the FAFSA for the school year in which you plan to attend

You can find additional FAFSA information on the File the FAFSA page.

Step 2: Review your Financial Aid Notification and utilize any Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan first

The Graduate Financial Aid Office is not able to process a Grad PLUS Loan for you until you have accepted the full amount of any available Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan first. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan allows a student to borrow without a cosigner, offers a lower fixed interest rate, and flexible repayment options. You can find additional information on the Loans page.

Step 3: Submit a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan application

To receive a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, a student borrower must reapply each year, which will include a new credit check. The credit check for a Grad PLUS Loan applicant is valid for 180 days from the date of application. A loan applicant may be denied based on adverse credit history. If the Grad PLUS Loan is denied, the student borrower has additional options to pursue in order to be reconsidered for approval. These options include obtaining an endorser or filing an appeal. The Federal Student Aid website provides detailed information on these denial options.

Students who are approved for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan after obtaining an eligible endorser (cosigner) or appealing because of extenuating circumstances will be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling. This loan counseling is in addition to Entrance Counseling.

Step 4: Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling

Borrowers must complete and sign a MPN and Entrance Counseling in order to receive federal loan funds. When completing these steps, The University of Chicago must be selected as the school to receive the completion information.

These requirements are an important part of understanding any federal student loans that you choose to borrow. The MPN is an agreement to repay your Federal Direct Loans along with accrued interest and fees. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. Entrance Counseling is required to help borrowers understand their responsibilities in taking out a federal loan. It offers information about the loan process, managing education expenses, suggests other resources, and shares rights and responsibilities.