Federal Graduate Student PLUS Loans
If you want to borrow a Federal Graduate Student PLUS Loan, please complete the steps below.
For more information about this loan program including interest rates, see PLUS Loans.
Graduate students who have already borrowed the maximum amounts from the Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan program may also choose to borrow additional funds from the Graduate PLUS Loan program.
Your Cost of Attendance Budget
- All your other financial aid including your other loans
= Your Maximum Annual PLUS Loan Amount.
High Debt Warning
The Federal PLUS Loan program usually offers lower borrowing costs than private student loans and includes some additional benefits. However, because the PLUS Loan credit check process only checks for a bad credit history and doesn't evaluate your ability to afford your loan payments based on your debt to income ratio, it is easy to get approved for large amounts that you can't afford to repay. To help evaluate how much you can really afford to borrow, please carefully explore this and other resources.
- Every year, you must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- You must first borrow your maximum amounts from the Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan program.
Request a PLUS Loan
- Go to studentaid.gov/plus-app.
- Log in with your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.
- Choose Request a Direct PLUS Loan and complete the application.
- Loan Amount: choose your loan amount for this whole school year (Fall and Spring). This amount will be evenly split between the fall and spring semesters. Review your estimated costs and expenses.
- Loan Period: For Fall 2023 - Spring 2024 loans, use 8/2023 to 5/2024.
- After you submit this application, you should receive a quick email reply with your credit check results.
- If you don’t receive a reply, return to studentaid.gov/plus-app to check your status.
The Master Promissory Note (MPN):
- New borrowers must immediately visit studentaid.gov/mpn/ and complete a PLUS MPN for Graduate/Professional Students.
- Repeat borrowers should confirm that their MPN is already on file by visiting the link above.
- Three to four weeks after you complete these steps and have registered for classes, your PLUS funds will appear on your TU bill as Anticipated Aid.
Viewing Your TU Bill
- Login to your Towson Online Services Student Dashboard.
- From the main Navigation Menu, choose Financials.
- Then, choose What I Owe.
Tips and Common Errors
- All borrowers need a valid MPN and an annual PLUS Request.
- Enter your full legal name.
- The loan period can never exceed one academic year.
PLUS Loan Denial Options
If the federal loan processor denied your PLUS loan because of an adverse credit history, you have the following options: appeal the denial or appeal with an endorser.
Appeal the Denial
If you feel the reason that the PLUS loan was denied is no longer valid, you may appeal the credit decision with the Federal Student Aid.
- Log into studentaid.gov/appeal-credit/ with your FSA ID.
- Under PLUS Loan Process select Document Extenuated Circumstances.
- Submit documentation showing the denial reason is no longer valid. If approved, Federal Student Aid will submit an approved PLUS loan to the financial aid office.
Appeal with an Endorser
If you are unable to successfully appeal the credit decision, you may also find an endorser to co-sign your PLUS loan application. Choose an endorser with a strong credit history.
- Your Endorser must log into studentaid.gov/endorser-addendum/ with their own FSA ID.
- Under PLUS Loan Process select Endorse a PLUS Loan.
- Enter the borrower's last name and the endorser code/award identification number the borrower received when denied the loan.
- Fill out and submit Endorser Addendum.