Graduate PLUS Loans

The Graduate PLUS Loan is available to graduate and law students with good credit history. The PLUS Loan is offered under the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Direct Loan program. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for this type of loan.

An engineering professor works with a student during class in Stoffer Science Hall.

What is a Graduate PLUS Loan?

  • Federal loan for graduate and law students
  • Used to assist with educational expenses not covered by scholarships, tuition waivers, and/or student loans
  • Non-need based
  • Requires repayment after you graduate or drop below half-time* enrollment
  • Interest accrues on this loan from the date the funds are disbursed to the school
  • Interest can be paid as it accrues but is not required while enrolled at least half-time*
  • If interest payments are not made, interest will capitalize and add to the amount borrowed

Who qualifies?

  • Graduate and law students
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Cannot have adverse credit history
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time*
  • Must be degree-seeking
  • Cannot be in default on any federal student aid
  • Cannot have discharged student loans

*Half-time enrollment is defined as:

  • Five credit hours in the fall and spring semesters for graduate and law students
  • Three credit hours in the summer semester for graduate and law students

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.

Once your FAFSA is received, Washburn University will determine if you have potential eligibility for a Graduate PLUS Loan based on your other financial aid awards. If so, an estimated Graduate PLUS Loan will be included in your financial aid awards. The estimated Graduate PLUS Loan is not guaranteed, but is meant to reflect the maximum amount you could receive in the Graduate PLUS Loan, if you apply and are approved for this loan.

After you have accepted all other available financial aid, you can apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan online through StudentLoans.gov. PLUS Loan applications become available April 1 each year. You are not required to request the full amount reflected on the award offer and can enter a smaller amount in the application process.

If you are approved for a Graduate PLUS Loan, you must complete two online loan requirements before you can receive these funds.

These loan requirements are meant to help you understand the terms and conditions of borrowing a Graduate PLUS Loan.

The MPN is valid for up to 10 years from the date of the student's first loan disbursement.

Graduate PLUS Loan Denials

If you are not approved for the Graduate PLUS Loan, you may still be eligible to receive this loan through the following options.

  • Obtain an endorser with good credit history
  • Appeal the credit decision

The estimated Graduate PLUS Loan amount provided in your financial aid award offer is determined by subtracting all other financial aid, scholarships and resources offered from your total Cost of Attendance.

The Cost of Attendance is not necessarily what you will pay to go to school, but an estimate of the direct and indirect costs you may experience for one academic year. 

Example

Cost of Attendance $24,869
Less Federal Unsubsidized Loan -20,500
Estimated Graduate PLUS Loan $4,369

Loan Disbursement

Disbursement is the process of financial aid applying toward your bill at Washburn University.

  • All loans must be disbursed in two equal installments - typically one disbursement in fall semester and one in spring, unless attending only one semester or summer
  • Graduate PLUS Loans will disburse approximately 10 days before the start of classes

Financial Aid Refunds

  • If your accepted financial aid awards exceed your bill at Washburn University, a refund will be issued to you
  • Refunds may be issued via direct deposit into your bank account or by paper check
  • Find out more about financial aid refunds

Approved Federal Direct PLUS Loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). All students have access to review their full loan history through NSLDS. Additionally, this information is made accessible to guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions that are deemed to be authorized users.

For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018, and prior to July 1, 2019, the interest rate for the PLUS loan is fixed at 7.595 percent.

For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2019, and prior to July 1, 2020, the interest rate for the PLUS loan is fixed at 7.08% percent.

The PLUS Loan is also subject to a 4.248 percent loan fee. This fee is deducted from the loan each time a disbursement is made.

Since the Graduate PLUS Loan has a higher interest rate and loan origination fee than the Unsubsidized Loan, we encourage you to utilize those loans first before determining if a Graduate PLUS Loan is needed.

Loan repayment for the Graduate PLUS Loan begins six months after you have graduated or drop below half-time enrollment.

Sample Loan Repayment Schedule

The six-month grace period can only be used one time. If you enter loan repayment and later return to school, once you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment, you will immediately go back into repayment.

Similarly, if you withdraw, use four months of your grace period and later return to school, once you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment, you will only have two months of a grace period remaining.

The summer semester does not count against your grace period, unless:

  • You enroll for summer and withdraw or drop below half-time during the semester, or
  • You are enrolled half-time for spring, do not attend summer and do not enroll half-time in the fall semester

If you borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan, once you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment, you must complete online Loan Exit Counseling. Exit Counseling is meant to help you understand the next steps for student loan repayment.

After completing Exit Counseling, you will work with your loan servicer to select your payment plan and schedule payments. It is important to know all your options. Failure to make payments on student loans can result in loan default, which can cause serious financial and legal issues, such as the following.

Avoid Loan Default

  • Immediate repayment due
  • Collection fees
  • Wage garnishment
  • Negative impact on credit score
  • Loss of future federal financial aid eligibility

Visit the Federal Student Aid website for information regarding student loan payment plans and estimated repayment schedules.

Graduate PLUS Loan are awarded by academic year. Eligibility could vary from year to year. Along with the FAFSA, a Graduate PLUS Loan application must be completed each academic year, if you choose to apply.

Additionally, you must meet the following criteria to maintain eligibility for the PLUS Loan.

  • Enroll at least half-time
  • Enroll in a degree-bound program
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Not be in default on any federal student aid

GET IN TOUCH WITH Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Ph: 785-670-1151
Fax: 785-670-1079
financialaid@washburn.edu

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