Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan for graduate/professional students. PLUS Loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. The application process includes a credit approval requirement and interest is charged during all periods, including eligible periods of deferment.

Effective for the 2020–2021 award year, all Direct Loan borrowers (subsidized, unsubsidized, graduate PLUS, and parent PLUS) will be required to complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment (ASLA) before receiving the first disbursement on the first Direct Loan that the student or parent borrows for each new award year. The ASLA is intended to better assist borrowers in understanding the financial responsibility of funding their education and provide current information on a borrower’s cumulative loan balance. As part of the Master Promissory Note (MPN) confirmation process, the ASLA, (previously known as the Informed Borrower Tool (IBT)), requires student and parent borrowers to view how much they currently owe in federal student loans, and to acknowledge that they have seen these amounts, before borrowing new loans each award year. If the Direct Loan is for the 2020–2021 award year, the ASLA is required before the first disbursement of the first loan, even if that first disbursement occurs before July 1, such as a 2020–2021 loan containing a summer 2020 crossover payment period. The ASLA requirement is in addition to entrance counseling.

Creditworthy borrowers may borrow up to the full cost of attendance minus any other aid received. Repayment begins six months after the last disbursement is made and can be deferred by contacting your loan servicer to request a deferment. Direct PLUS Loans can be deferred while the graduate student is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after the graduate student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time (a minimum of six graduate-level credits).

In-school deferment can be requested at the time the PLUS application is completed online at studentaid.gov. In most cases, the Direct Loan Servicing Center will automatically grant an in-school deferment on your Direct PLUS Loan based on information reported by NYIT Office of the Registrar to the U.S. Department of Education showing that you are enrolled at least half-time. The first payment on a Direct PLUS Loan will be due within 45 days after the deferment end date. The Direct Loan Servicing Center (DLSC) will notify students 60 days before the deferment ends. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify you of the deferment and of your option to cancel the deferment and begin making payments on your loan. If you are unable to make payments on your Direct PLUS Loan after you leave school and your in-school deferment ends, you may request a forbearance that will allow you to temporarily postpone payments. You will have to explain why you are unable to make payments. To request a forbearance, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 800-848-0979.

If the Direct PLUS Loan is deferred, interest will accrue on the loan during the deferment. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to capitalize when the deferment period ends. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due. Information about the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program can be found at studentaid.gov.

Previous Graduate PLUS loan borrowing will be governed by rate rules in effect at the time of borrowing. There is an origination fee that will be deducted from the principal amount borrowed. When denied, applicants may appeal the credit decision with the Department of Education or reapply with a creditworthy endorser.

The table below describes annual and aggregate maximum eligibility for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and Graduate PLUS Loan Program.

Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and Graduate PLUS Loan Programs

Graduate Annual Limit

Aggregate Limit
Including Undergraduate and Graduate Amounts

Unsubsidized Stafford*

$20,500*

$138,500

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

Cost of Attendance, Minus Other Aid

Cost of Attendance, Minus Other Aid

* Ineligible for Subsidized Stafford Loans