Direct Parent Loan

PLUS Eligibility Requirements

  • the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students or PLUS Loan is available to parents of Dependent students
  • submission of the FAFSA is required to be considered for the PLUS Loan
  • the student must meet all general eligibility requirements
  • the student must be degree seeking and enrolled for at least 6 credits per semester/term
  • the student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • the parent must be the student's biological or adoptive parent or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application
  • both the student and parent must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens
  • the student and parent cannot be in default on a federal student loan or owe a refund on any federal student aid program
  • if the student officially withdraws from all classes before completing 60% of a term/semester or stops attending all classes (otherwise unofficially withdraws), this may result in required repayment of unearned Direct PLUS Loan monies to UW Colleges

Application and Program Information

The parent PLUS borrower will be subjected to a credit check conducted by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the application process. If approved, the PLUS Loan has a 4.276% origination fee that is deducted from the loan at the time of disbursement; the 4.276% origination fee is for any PLUS Loan disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017.  The PLUS disbursement will be applied to the student's UW Colleges account toward tuition, fees, and other allowable charges. Any remaining PLUS funds will be mailed to the parent borrower as a paper refund check.

PLUS Loan disbursements will be made in line with the period of the loan: one disbursement each for both fall and spring if for the academic year or one disbursement if for summer, fall, or spring only. If requesting an additional PLUS Loan for the same award year, the credit check process may not have to be repeated if the original credit approval still is active. Effective March 29, 2015, a credit check approval is valid for 180 days.

Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement and repayment of principal and interest begins within 60 days of the loan being fully disbursed for the corresponding award period.

  • However, a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student can defer repayment while enrolled in school at least half time and (for Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008) for an additional 6 months after the parent graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. 
  • A parent PLUS borrower also can defer repayment of Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 while the student for whom the parent obtained the loan is enrolled at least half time, and for an additional 6 months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment (half-time enrollment status is determined by the child's school).

The parent PLUS borrower must separately request each deferment period from the PLUS Loan servicer.

The Direct PLUS Loan interest rate for loans disbursed July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 is 6.31%. More detailed information as to the terms of the loan, fees, and repayment options will be provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

If the PLUS application is not approved for credit, the parent might still be able to receive a Direct PLUS Loan (working with the U.S. Department of Education) if it can be demonstrated that extenuating circumstances exist or if someone else who can pass the credit check agrees to endorse the loan and promises to repay it if the parent fails to do so. In both cases, the parent applicant will be required to complete PLUS counseling.  The PLUS counseling must be completed before disbursement of the PLUS loan funds and the counseling session remains valid for the duration of the associated credit check.  The U.S. Department of Education will notify parent applicants in these situations to complete the counseling at the www.studentloans.gov website.

If a parent PLUS applicant chooses not to appeal the PLUS credit denial, there is an option for the student to receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan funds. This typically allows the student to be eligible for up to an additional $4000 Unsubsidized Loan for the academic year if a freshman or sophomore and up to an additional $5000 Unsubsidized Loan if a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences student (junior or senior). The student must request the additional Unsubsidized Loan from the UW Colleges Student Financial Aid Office by attaching a copy of PLUS denial for credit to a 2017-2018 Direct Student Loan Request Form for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The maximum Direct PLUS Loan that may be awarded is equal to the student's estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) minus all other aid that the student receives:

   Student's COA
- All other aid awarded
= Maximum Direct PLUS Loan amount

2017-2018 Cost of Attendance Figures
  Fall 2017/Spring 2018 Academic Year Fall 2017 only or Spring 2018 only
Cost of Attendance Full time* = 12 credits ¾ time* = 9-11 credits Half time* = 6-8 credits Full time = 12 credits ¾ time = 9-11 credits Half time = 6-8 credits
living w/ parents $13,336 $12,270 $10,774 $6,668 $6,135 $5,387
living on own $18,956 $17,890 $16,394 $9,478 $8,945 $8,197

*Credit load is per semester, not the combined total for the Academic Year. Summer costs will vary depending on the student's summer session enrollment; please check with campus.

Parent: to apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, complete a: