Student Financial Aid

PLUS Loans

 

What are PLUS loans?

This federal loan is for parents of dependent undergraduate students or graduate students and is not based on financial need. This loan can help the student cover any educational expenses not covered by other financial assistance. Students must be in a degree-seeking program. This loan can help you (the parent or the student) meet the costs of a college education. The decision to approve or deny the loan is based on the results of a credit check that is conducted by the US Department of Education.

Undergraduate Federal Parent PLUS Loans

Who Is Eligible?

Parents, adoptive parents, and stepparents of dependent undergraduate students attending college at least half time (6 credit hours) in a degree-seeking program are eligible for PLUS loans. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Loan approval is subject to credit criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. A credit report will be obtained by your lender from a national credit bureau once you apply.

Borrowing Limits

The parent of an UMSL student may borrow up to the total annual cost of education, including educational fees, books, living and travel expenses, less any financial aid for which the student is eligible. The Student Financial Aid Office will determine your amount of loan eligibility.

Application Process

For more information regarding Parent PLUS, visit the U.S. Department of Education web site.

Graduate Federal PLUS Loans

Who Is Eligible?

Graduate students are eligible for this loan if they meet the following conditions:

  1. Qualify for federal financial aid;
  2. Are enrolled at least half-time (5 credit hours);
  3. Have educational expenses not covered by other financial assistance, such as the Stafford Loan;
  4. Pass a credit check, which is conducted by the US Department of Education.

Borrowing Limits

A student may borrow up to the difference between the total annual cost of education, including educational fees, books, living and travel expenses, and any financial aid for which the student is eligible. The student must receive his or her maximum Stafford eligibility for the year before taking advantage of the Graduate PLUS Loan. Some students may find that they do not qualify for Graduate PLUS because their total cost of attendance does not exceed the Stafford loan maximum. Please contact our office if you have questions about the amount for which you might qualify.

Graduate PLUS loan or Alternative Loan?

Unlike alternative loans, Graduate PLUS can be consolidated with the student's Stafford Loans after graduation, which would allow the student to keep all loans with one holder. This has the potential of greatly reducing the student's monthly loan payment. Because various alternative loan programs have different interest rates and loan terms, it's good to compare those terms when choosing a loan. Some things to consider are the length of the repayment period, the interest rate formula and frequency of interest capitalization (does interest get added to principal quarterly, annually, at start of repayment?), origination fees, and eligibility for forbearances and deferments. For more information about comparing different loan products, please visit our Alternative Loan page. The List of Lenders at the bottom of the page offers additional information about how to compare student loan products.

Application Process

For more information regarding Graduate PLUS, please visit the U.S. Department of Education web site.