Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
The Federal Graduate PLUS Program is a low-interest loan made to law students enrolled in school at least half-time. Law students must be U.S. citizens or registered permanent residents to apply for the PLUS. Eligibility for the PLUS is not based on demonstrated financial need. Students with adverse credit history or who have filed bankruptcy in the past may be denied the PLUS.
Eligible law students may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any financial assistance. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9 percent with a 4.0 percent net origination fee. Repayment begins within 60 days after the full disbursement of the loan, but students may request deferment of payments while enrolled in school at least half-time.
Law students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), www.fafsa.ed.gov and have exhausted their Direct Loan annual eligibility in order to qualify for a Graduate PLUS loan.
Plus Promissory Note and Plus Loan Application
All Law graduate student borrowers will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Current regulations allow a graduate student to complete one promissory note (Master Promissory Note) that will be used for future PLUS loans borrowed. The PLUS MPN does not show loan amounts because it can serve as a graduate student’s promissory note for future years. The amount of the Graduate PLUS loan eligibility will be included in the most recent financial aid award notification. In addition to the Master Promissory Note (MPN), students must also complete a Graduate PLUS loan application. Please note that every application for the PLUS loan will result in a credit history inquiry.
Graduate borrowers will receive their PLUS Disclosure Statement for each new loan borrowed. The disclosure statements provide information about the amount of money borrowed, the loan period and the anticipated disbursement dates. Graduate students should maintain the statements for their records.
Graduate students may decline or reduce the amount of their loan(s). To avoid incurring interest charges and loan fees, funds must be returned within 120 days of disbursement. The loan fee will be reduced or eliminated in proportion to the amount of the disbursement returned.
The Graduate PLUS is normally payable in two disbursements, one-half of the total in each semester. Loan funds cannot be credited to the student’s account until approved by the Department of Education and the student has enrolled in sufficient credit hours.
The financial aid award indicates the total loan amount of the Graduate PLUS awarded. The actual amount disbursed will be less due to origination fees.
In the case of an over-award, one or both of the loan disbursements may be reduced or canceled. Similarly, if tuition charges are reduced because of a change in enrollment, departmental or non-university awards, one or both of the disbursements may need to be adjusted or canceled.
Under the Graduate PLUS program, repayment must begin within 60 days after full disbursement of the loan. There is no grace period for the Graduate PLUS loan. Deferments may be available from the Department of Education.