Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

A Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is a credit based loan that graduate students may borrow to help pay their educational expenses. The interest rate is established annually and is determined by federal law. Interest begins to accrue when the loan funds are sent to the university and continue to accrue until the loan is paid in full. An origination fee will be deducted before the loan proceeds are sent to the school. The origination fee is a processing fee assessed by the Department of Education.

Please visit the Grad Cost Calculator to assist with determining the amount to borrow and the loan period for the Grad PLUS loan. The loan period defines the semester(s) that the loan will cover. For example, if enrollment is for both fall and spring, choose the fall/spring loan period and request a loan amount that will cover the estimated out-of-pocket expenses for both semesters. Please contact our office for additional assistance.

Grad PLUS Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be working toward a financial aid eligible graduate degree or approved certificate at UMBC
  • You must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • You must be enrolled for at least six credits by the add/drop deadline each semester (Graduate Assistant course credits are not eligible for financial aid)
  • You must have a current year FAFSA on file
    • If the FAFSA is selected for verification, all required documents must be submitted and reviewed before the Grad PLUS loan can be processed
  • You should apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan before applying for a Grad PLUS Loan

Loan Application Deadlines

Application Priority Processing Dates

Your loan application must be on file with our office by these dates in order for the loan funds to be available for the first billing due date.

Priority Processing
Summer 15 Fall 15 Only Fall 15/ Spring 16 Spring 16 Only Summer 16
MPN and Grad PLUS Loan Application received by the following dates: April 12, 2015 June 26, 2015 June 26, 2015 Dec. 11, 2015 April 15, 2016

Final Application Deadline Dates

Loan applications submitted after the priority deadline dates will be processed throughout the semester; however, MPNs and Grad PLUS Loan Applications received after the following deadline dates cannot be processed:

Final Deadlines
Summer 15 Fall 15 Only Fall 15/ Spring 16 Spring 16 Only Summer 16
Last day to submit a MPN and Grad PLUS Loan Application: June 26, 2015 Dec. 11, 2015 May 1, 2016 May 1, 2016 June 24, 2016

Application Priority Processing Dates

Your loan application should be received in our office by these dates in order for the loan funds to be available for the first billing due date.

Priority Processing
Summer 14 Fall 14 Only Fall 14/ Spring 15 Spring 15 Only Summer 15
MPN and Grad PLUS Loan Application received by the following dates: April 18, 2014 June 27, 2014 June 27, 2014 Dec. 12, 2014 April 12, 2015

Final Application Deadline Dates

Loan applications submitted after the priority deadline dates will be processed throughout the semester; however, MPNs and Grad PLUS Loan Applications received after the following deadline dates cannot be processed:

Final Deadlines
Summer 14 Fall 14 Only Fall 14/ Spring 15 Spring 15 Only Summer 15
Last day to submit a MPN and Grad PLUS Loan Application: June 27, 2014 Dec. 12, 2014 May 1, 2015 May 1, 2015 June 26, 2015

Grad PLUS Loan Application Process

Complete each step(s) in the Grad PLUS process to apply for the loan; funds cannot be disbursed if any step is incomplete.

Credit Decision

The Department of Education will perform a credit check to determine your eligibility. The credit decision will be displayed immediately after the Grad PLUS Application is completed. The lender will notify UMBC regarding the credit decision. You will be contacted by the lender with additional loan requirements if the Grad PLUS cannot be approved with the information on the original application. Please be advised that credit checks are only good for 180 days. Applying more than 180 days before the start of the term may require you to complete a subsequent credit check.

If Approved –

Repayment of Federal Grad PLUS Loans

Repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement is sent to the institution. If a loan was borrowed for the fall/spring terms - repayment would begin after the spring disbursement is sent (approximately mid - March). There are a number of circumstances when a borrower can defer repayment of a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan. Please contact Direct Loans for more information.

Reduce or Cancel a Federal Grad PLUS Loan

You must complete a Loan Decrease/Cancel Request Form to reduce or cancel a PLUS Loan. Please submit the form to our office for processing well before the funds are set to disburse to your billing account in order to avoid complications with the return of these funds. If the loan has already disbursed,you must submit the form no later than 14 days after you receive the disbursement notification.