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Federal Parent PLUS Loans

A Federal Parent PLUS Loan is a Federal Direct Loan for parents that can be used to help pay for the college education of a dependent undergraduate student.


  1. The parent of a dependent student is eligible to borrow in the Direct PLUS program as long as the student is enrolled at least half time, meets satisfactory academic progress requirements, and the parent does not have an adverse credit history.

  2. The parent applicant will be ineligible if the credit history indicates "he or she is 90 days or more delinquent on any debt or has been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report."

  3. The borrower must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States.

  4. Financial need is not a requirement to obtain a PLUS Loan.

  5. The PLUS borrower is responsible for interest that accrues on a PLUS Loan.

  6. PLUS Loan limits are determined by the estimated cost of attendance less any other aid.

NOTE:  A parent is defined as a biological parent or custodial step-parent. 

Interest Rates and Fees | Effective July 1, 2012

  • For PLUS Loans the interest rate is fixed at 7.9%.

  • The effective up front loan origination fee will be 4% of the loan.

  • For example, for every $1,000 of PLUS Loans borrowed, the origination fees will be $40.


Loan Deadline

Federal Parent PLUS Loans may be processed if applied for online at www.studentloans.gov by the last Monday of the enrolled term.


Steps to Apply for a Federal PLUS Loan

    1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit all documents requested by the Financial Aid Office; students can check for required documents via the online Financial Aid Self Service system through Central Pipeline for Students.

    2. Financial Aid will send the student an Award Notice that indicates the loan period, the type of eligibility, and the amount of eligibility; the parent borrower should use this information to determine how much they want to borrow.

    3. The parent PLUS Loan borrower (not the student) should go to the www.studentloans.gov website sign in under Manage My Direct Loan using their Department of Education PIN number and select "Start PLUS Application Process" to complete a PLUS Loan application for CCSU.

    4. In the application, the borrower will have several options to select regarding the amount of the loan, who should receive any excess funds as a refund (if applicable), and whether to defer the loan or not.

Notes about the loan application options:
  • The borrower may either request the maximum amount offered or a specific amount. Requests for the maximum amount will only be processed for the academic year.

  • Only a specific requested amount may be processed as a loan for one semester.

  • The parent borrower may direct the excess funds of the Parent PLUS Loan (if applicable) to be refunded to the student or the borrower. 

  • A Parent PLUS Loan is not automatically deferred like the student Stafford Loans are. If the deferment is selected in the application, interest will accrue while the student is in school, but no payments are required until after the student graduates. If deferment is not selected, repayment will begin 60 days after disbursement of the funds. For example, if the student is attending for the fall and spring semester, repayment would begin 60 days after the spring disbursement. If the student is only attending the fall semester, repayment would begin 60 days after that disbursement.

  • A Parent PLUS Loan may be used to pay for tuition and fees or room and board if billed through the university. At this time, CCSU is not able to support paying other incidental expenses with Parent PLUS Loan proceeds.

  1. The Direct Loan servicer will pull credit and approve the loan after the borrower completes the PLUS application and PLUS Master Promissory Note (if not already on file). If the loan is credit-denied, see the borrowing alternatives in the next section.

  2. The Financial Aid Office will then certify borrower eligibility with the Direct Loan servicer. This certification process begins around July 1 each year. Note that the PLUS loan status in Central Pipeline for Students will continue to display an offered status until Financial Aid begins the PLUS loan certification process.

  3. PLUS Loan funds are processed electronically through CCSU's Bursar's Office once the student has registered for classes, been invoiced. The Bursar applies PLUS funds to fees first, then to any housing costs (if the Bursar bills for housing). Any remaining PLUS funds are sent to the borrower via a paper check no earlier than 10 days before the start of classes.


Options if the PLUS Loan is Denied

If the Parent PLUS Loan application was denied due to adverse credit as determined by the Federal Direct Loan Center, three borrowing alternatives are in place to help compensate for the denial.  

  • The student can receive an additional Unsubsidized Stafford LoanUnless you indicated on your application that you are planning to pursue the endorser option, your student will automatically be reviewed for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.  If eligible, an offer for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan of $4,000-5,000 (dependent upon grade level) will appear on their Central Pipeline for Students account within 7-10 days. If your student wants this loan, they must accept it online.

  • The parent can appeal the credit decision with the Federal Direct Loan Center.  If you appeal the credit decision with the Federal Direct Loan Center and are granted a credit override, please email finaid@ccsu.edu and include the loan application number, any reference number given to your case by the Direct Loan servicer, and your student’s CCSU ID. 

  • The parent can apply with an endorser.  Currently, CCSU only receives notifications of approved endorsed loans if the endorser application was completed electronically.  Endorsed loans require manual intervention, so if you have completed a paper endorser application you must email finaid@ccsu.edu and include the loan application number, any reference number given to your case by the Direct Loan servicer, and your student’s CCSU ID.  Providing us the above information may speed up processing if you submitted your endorser application electronically. 

As noted above, if you indicated on your application that you will pursue an endorser, we will wait 7-10 days before reviewing your student’s eligibility for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. 

Master Promissory Note

The PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note is a multi-year or serial loan feature of the PLUS program. It allows borrowers to receive future Federal PLUS Loans without completing and signing additional promissory notes as long as the borrower remains eligible for Federal PLUS Loan and completes appropriate loan request processes. By signing only one promissory note, the delivery of PLUS loan funds will occur even faster because it eliminates the time it takes for a promissory note to be mailed, completed, and returned to the loan service provider. Borrowers will use their FAFSA PIN to sign their promissory note at www.studentloans.gov.

Repayment Information
Loan repayment may be deferred in the PLUS program if the student remains enrolled at least half time (but interest accrues). For information regarding in-school deferments and payment plans please contact the Direct Loan Servicer at www.studentloans.gov or 1-800-557-7394. See more information about repayment in our Direct Loan Fact Sheet.

See repayment examples here assuming a 7.9% fixed interest rate and 10 year repayment term. Borrowers can calculate payments at www.studentloans.gov.


Amount Borrowed










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