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Grad PLUS Loan

The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan for graduate and pharmacy students. The program, effective July 1, 2006, allows a graduate student to borrow on his/her own behalf up to the Cost of Attendance, minus any other financial aid received. Loan funds come directly from the U.S. government. 

Borrower Eligibility

  • You must be a Graduate or Pharmacy student enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program
  • You must complete the FAFSA
  • You must first apply for your maximum loan eligibility in Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans before the Graduate PLUS can be awarded
  • Parents of graduate students will not be eligible to borrow the loan. The student will be the borrower.
  • Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers are subject to a basic credit check.

Application Process (must be completed annually)

Beginning May 1, 2014 for the 2014-2015 school year:

Students who wish to apply for the Graduate PLUS loan MUST go to studentloans.gov and log in using their FAFSA pin number, then:

             Step 1: Choose option: Request a Direct PLUS Loan (this process will indicate whether you are approved or denied).
                           You will also choose the amount and loan period.*
             Step 2: If approved, you will need to choose option Complete Master Promissory Note (only for first time PLUS
                           borrowers at Notre Dame and borrowers who require a cosigner).
The priority deadline to complete these steps is June 6, 2014.

For help with www.studentloans.gov, you may call 800-557-7394.

*Use the financial aid calculator to determine how much you need to borrow. You may wish to include other, non-billed costs, such as living expenses, in the amount you request. Also, note the loan fees below and request more to account for this. For the loan period, choose based on enrollment plans. Typically, the loan period is fall/spring (August through May), but it may include summer if you will be attending at least half-time during the summer.

You will receive an email when the Office of Financial Aid processes the loan for you and another email when the funds disburse.

Annual Loan Limit

A student may borrow the difference between the Cost of Attendance for the program and all other aid the student will receive.

Repayment Terms

Repayment begins within 60 days after the final disbursement of each loan during the academic year. The standard repayment period is 10 years, and the minimum monthly payment is $50. Principal and interest payments may be deferred if you meet deferment requirements. Your Federal Direct Grad PLUS will be automatically deferred if you're enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program. You may be eligible to defer payments if you are unemployed, experiencing economic hardship or otherwise unable to make any scheduled payment. Contact the Direct Loan Servicer for repayment and forbearance options.

Interest Rate

The interest rate is currently fixed at 6.41 percent.

Loan Fees

Direct Graduate PLUS Loans have a 4.288 %origination fee charged by the U.S. Department of Education. For example, a $10,000 loan will have a 4.288 percent  origination fee ($428.80) that would be deducted from the loan before disbursement. $9,571 would disburse to the school. The student borrows $10,000 and will need to repay $10,000. 

For more information about Federal PLUS Loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.