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Grad PLUS Loan

The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan for graduate and pharmacy students. The program 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)

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 the steps listed above for the Summer & Fall semesters has passed, but they may still be completed.

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:

Semester(s) Attending Loan Period
Fall and Spring 9/2014-5/2015
Summer, Fall, and Spring 5/2014-5/2015
Fall only 9/2014-12/2014
Spring only 1/2015-5/2015

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

Loan Cancellation Policy

 For 2014–15:

 New Students: The steps should be completed by the priority deadline, if possible. Loans will be cancelled one month after the semester has begun if the steps have not been completed. If the student is awarded later, the loans will be canceled within one month of awarding.

 Current Students: If the steps listed above have not been completed by the priority deadlinethe loans will be cancelled. If the student is awarded late, the loans will be canceled within one month of awarding.

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


Effective July 1, 2014 the interest rate is fixed at 7.21 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. First disbursements on or after October 1, 2014 will have a fee of 4.292%.

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