Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

A Federal Direct Grad PLUS 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.

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

  • Graduate students must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • Graduate students 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)
  • Graduate students must have a current year FAFSA application on file
    • If the FAFSA application is selected for verification, all required documents must be submitted and reviewed before the Grad PLUS loan can be processed
  • Graduate students should apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan before applying for a Grad PLUS Loan

Application Priority Processing Dates

Your loan application must be on file with our office by these dates in order for your 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 May 1, 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

Apply for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

Click here to be linked to studentloans.gov to begin the application process.

Grad PLUS Loan 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 the student borrower's eligibility. The credit decision will be displayed immediately after the Grad PLUS Application is completed. The lender will notify UMBC regarding the credit decision. The borrower will be contacted by the lender with additional loan requirements if the Grad PLUS cannot be approved with the information on the original application.

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.