Graduate Plus Loan

A Graduate PLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow up to the financial aid cost of attendance less any other financial aid received.


To qualify you must be one of the following:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A U.S. national
  • A U.S. permanent resident
  • A citizen of the Freely Associated States: the Federated State of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands
  • An eligible noncitizen

Students must be enrolled at least half time to be considered for this loan. The Department of Education's Direct Loan Servicing Center is the holder of this loan when a student goes into repayment.

Interest, Repayment, and Loan Origination Fee

While the student is attending school, the interest accumulates on this loan. The student 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 at least half-time status (five or more hours for graduate students).

The interest rate is fixed at 6.31% for Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2016, and before July 1, 2017. Yearly loan amounts the student may borrow depend on the student's program and credit hours enrolled per semester.

There is a 4.6% loan origination fee associated with this loan. The fee will be proportionally deducted from each loan disbursement.

To Apply

The Graduate 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 automatically qualifies for the loan.

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

  1. Beginning July 1, go to the Student Loans site. The student borrower will use their FSA ID (new beginning May 10, 2015) to login to this website. Even if the student already has a PIN, beginning May 10, 2015 the FSA ID will be required to log in at the Student Loans site.
  2. Sign in and request a Direct PLUS loan.
  3. Select the Graduate PLUS loan option and follow the online instructional prompts. The results of the credit check will be determined once the student submits the Graduate PLUS loan application.
  4. Assuming the Graduate PLUS Loan is approved; the student must complete a Master Promissory Note online at the Student Loans site. This promissory note is in addition to the Master Promissory Note you may have already signed to receive Federal Direct student loans.

    The master promissory note is a one-time requirement and is the legal document where the student affirms to pay back the loan in the future. The student uses the same four-digit PIN he or she used in signing the online FAFSA application for the master promissory note. It is also required that you complete Entrance Loan Counseling (at the Student Loans site) in order to receive Graduate Plus loan funds. If you lose or forget your PIN, you may obtain another one at the Federal Student Aid site.

  5. If you are denied the Graduate PLUS loan, the credit check decision can be appealed during the online application process. A creditworthy co-signer may also be used to potentially increase the likelihood of loan approval.
  6. If the PLUS borrower is approved due to an appeal for extenuating circumstances or due to an endorser, the PLUS borrower must complete PLUS Counseling.  

  7. If you do not wish to appeal the credit check decision, there are no additional borrowing options available to you in the federal student loan programs, though a private student loan may be a viable option for you. For more information about private student loans visit the Financial Aid Loans page.

How To Complete PLUS Counseling If Required

  1. Log in to using your FSA ID.
    • Select "Complete Counseling" on the left hand navigation bar
    • Select "PLUS Counseling" under "Choose Counseling Type"


  1. Select "Getting Loans" from the top navigation bar on the home page and then "Counseling Demo." Select "PLUS Counseling" under "Choose Counseling Type."
    • You must log in to officially complete the counseling session. (option 1 above)

Once logged in, you will be able to:

  1. Complete PLUS Counseling
  2. See your federal student loan information available in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  3. View proof of counseling completion 


Once you sign and complete a master promissory note (MPN) online with the U.S. Department of Education,you do not need to complete another MPN as long as you attend UNLV.

A student may use any creditworthy co-signer if he or she believes the likelihood of loan approval may increase. Unlike the undergraduate Parent PLUS loan, if the graduate student's PLUS loan is declined by the Department of Education, the graduate student may not borrow additional unsubsidized loan funds in his or her name.

To Get Credit

Before the proceeds of this loan will credit to your cashiering account, you must complete the following:

  • An Entrance Loan Counseling session
    The entrance loan counseling session has mandated consumer rights and responsibilities information from the U.S. Department of Education about your loan.
  • The Master Promissory Note
    The master promissory note is a legal document where you affirm to pay back your loan in the future. The student will use the same four-digit PIN he or she used in signing the online FAFSA application for both processes.

Once you complete these steps, you do not need to complete these processes again each year.

An example to determine how much a graduate student may borrow in a graduate PLUS loan if necessary:

Cost of Attendance (COA)
Expense Cost
Tuition & fees $6,052
Nonresident fee $13,910
Books $1,298
Room & board $10,000
Transportation $3,738
Miscellaneous $2,932
Total $37,950
Amount COA
$37,950 (COA)
- $20,500 unsubsidized loan
= $17,450 up to potential PLUS loan borrowing by the graduate student

Interest Rates

Interest Rates
Loan Type Fixed Interest Rate
Undergraduate Subsidized 3.76%
Undergraduate Unsubsidized 3.76%
Graduate Unsubsidized 5.31%
Parent PLUS 6.31%
Graduate PLUS 6.31%

Does Interest Accumulate On My Loan While I Remain at Least Half-Time Enrollment Status?

Interest Accumulation
Loan Type Interest Accumulates?
Subsidized No
Unsubsidized Yes
Parent PLUS Yes
Graduate PLUS Yes