Financial Aid & Scholarships

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Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents of dependent students (as determined by the FAFSA) may borrow up to the financial aid cost of attendance less any other financial aid received. Only biological parents, legally adoptive parents, or stepparents may borrow this loan on behalf of their student.


The parent borrower must meet the following conditions:

  • Their child must have a completed FAFSA with parent information for the appropriate school in which the loan will be originated
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen, or
  • U.S National, or
  • A citizen of the Freely Associated States: The Federated State of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Island, or
  • An eligible noncitizen

Students must be enrolled at least half time to be considered for this loan. However, the loan is in the parent's name only. The Department of Education's Direct Loan Servicing Center is the holder of this loan when a parent enters into repayment.

Estimate how much you should borrow

Use the Parent Debt Calculator to get an estimate of how much you should borrow for your student's education based on your current income and debt load.

Interest, Repayment and Loan Origination Fee

While the student is attending school, the interest accumulates on this loan. The parent must either pay the interest on this loan quarterly to the Direct Loan Servicing Center or you let the interest accumulate and capitalize. Capitalized interest makes the loan payback more expensive over time.

No payment on the principal balance of the loan is necessary so long as the student remains half time (six credit hours undergraduate and five credit hours graduate). A deferment form can be found on the Direct Loan Servicing website.

Your student can get official verification of their enrollment to attach to the in-school deferment form by clicking here.

The interest rate is fixed at 7.21 percent. Yearly loan amounts the parent may borrow depend on the student's credit hours enrolled per semester.

There is a 4.2% loan origination fee associated with this loan. The fee will be proportionally deducted from each loan disbursement.

To Apply

The Parent PLUS Loan is offered to students when they apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This does not mean the student/parent automatically qualifies for the loan.

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan requires a positive parent credit check with the U.S. Department of Education before the loan can be approved. To apply and determine if the parent is eligible to receive this loan, the parent must complete the following steps:

  1. Beginning July 1, go to the Student Loans site. The parent borrower will use the same four-digit PIN he or she used in signing the online FAFSA application to login to this website.
  2. Sign in and request a Direct PLUS loan.
  3. Select the Parent PLUS loan option and follow the online instructional prompts. The results of the parent credit check will be determined once the parent submits the parent PLUS loan application.
  4. Assuming the Parent PLUS Loan is approved; the parent borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note online at the Student Loans site.

    The master promissory note is a one-time requirement and is the legal document where the parent affirms to pay back the loan in the future. The parent will use the same four-digit PIN he or she used in signing the online FAFSA application for the master promissory note. No Entrance Loan Counseling Session is necessary for parents. If you lose or forget your PIN, you may obtain another one at the Federal Student Aid site.

  5. If the parent borrower is denied the parent PLUS loan, the credit check decision can be appealed during the online application process.
  6. If the parent borrower does not wish to appeal the credit check decision, the student can submit the Parent PLUS Loan Substitution Form to the UNLV Financial Aid Office to be considered for additional unsubsidized loan eligibility.


Once a parent signs and completes a master promissory note online with the U.S. Department of Education, you do not need to complete another MPN as long as your student attends UNLV. However, if the parent loan is approved using an endorser, a new master promissory note is required for each endorser approved loan.

Payment of Cashiering Account

If the PLUS loan is large enough to pay the balance in the student's UNLV Cashiering account, the parent has two options:

  1. A refund check or direct deposit is produced to the parent for the student's educational expenses.
  2. The parent can allow UNLV to produce a refund check or direct deposit to the student. Your preference can be indicated in the online Parent PLUS Loan application process.

An example to determine how much a parent may borrow in a Parent PLUS loan, if necessary:

Cost of Attendance (COA):
Expense Cost
Tuition & Fees $5,300
Books $1,200
Room & Board $10,000
Transportation $600
Personal/Miscellaneous $2,800
Total $19,900
Amount COA
- $3,500 subsidized loan offered to student
- $2,000 unsubsidized loan offered to student
- $1,000 scholarship offered to student
= $13,400 up to potential PLUS loan borrowing by the parent