The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
The Parent PLUS Loan is a federal student loan available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students. The Parent PLUS Loan offers a fixed 5.30% interest rate for the 2020-2021 school year and 6.28% for the 2021-22 school year with flexible loan limits. To be eligible, a parent can't have an adverse credit history.
Learn how to apply for the Parent PLUS loan
Applications currently available:
- Summer 2021
- Fall 2021
- Fall/Spring 2021-22
View the Tutorial on YouTube:
Need additional help to figure out how much to borrow? Use our Interactive PLUS Loan Worksheet.
Read the PLUS Tutorial Script:
This video explains how to apply for the Parent PLUS Loan. Parents will need to apply for the Parent PLUS Loan on studentaid.gov. Like the FAFSA, Parent PLUS Loans must be requested each academic year. Eligible parents of dependent students who have submitted a current year FAFSA can apply for the Parent PLUS Loan. By eligible parent, we mean adoptive or biological parent. Stepparents who are on the FAFSA are also eligible to apply.
Parents must log on to the studentaid.gov website with their own FSA ID. If you are not the parent on the FAFSA and do not have an FSA ID, you will need to create one before applying for the Parent PLUS Loan. Next, parents will need to select the "Apply for PLUS Loan" option before selecting "Complete PLUS Request for Parents." You will be prompted to enter additional information, such as the academic year for which you are selecting the loan, student information, deferment options, and allocations. You can request deferment while the student is enrolled in school. You can also request 6-month post enrollment deferment.
You must authorize Penn State to use loan funds to satisfy other charges such as tuition, fees, and room and board. Penn State cannot change your selection once you have submitted your application. You will have to cancel your application with Penn State and re-apply. Finally, you will send your loan request to Penn State by entering our school name or school code (003329) on the request form. Please ensure you are sending your application to the Pennsylvania State University, not The University of Pennsylvania.
You will need to decide in advance how much money you wish to borrow. You most likely will not need to borrow the maximum allowable amount. Please note, Penn State can decrease the amount of a PLUS Loan before the loan disburses upon request by the borrower.
If you find you have not borrowed enough to cover the cost of your student’s education, you must submit a new PLUS request form for the additional amount needed. Remember to account for the origination fee when calculating the amount of your loan.
Next, you must select a loan term period. The Full Academic Year option will split the requested amount between the fall and the spring semesters. However, you can choose to have the loan directed to only the fall, or only the spring semester. Summer-only loans are also available.
The student’s information will be requested on the first page of the form. Next, you must enter your borrower information. As a reminder, the borrower information form is asking for the parent’s information, not the student’s information. Please ensure that you enter your personal information correctly, as incorrect information will prevent the loan from disbursing.
Finally, you will choose the option to submit your loan for a credit check. You will receive your credit decision a few moments after submitting. If your loan is approved, you will be asked to sign a Master Promissory Note (or MPN). Please note, unlike for the Federal Direct Loans, this MPN must be completed by the parent requesting the loan and not by the student.
If the loan is denied, you will be given the options to select Obtain an endorser, otherwise known as a creditworthy cosigner, Document extenuating circumstances, or you can select No Action – Process extended unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. When a parent’s PLUS Loan application is denied, and the parent does not wish to obtain an endorser or provide extenuating circumstances, the student will become eligible for additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan money. The amount of the additional unsubsidized award depends on the number of credit the student has already completed. These funds will ultimately need to be repaid by the student. The additional unsubsidized loan will not be in the parent’s name. Failure to select an answer will flag your application as “undecided”, and we will not automatically process your extended unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Applicants cannot be approved for the PLUS loan and receive the extended unsubsidized loan at the same time. You will need to contact the Office of Student Aid if you want the extended unsubsidized loan.
If your loan is approved and the MPN is signed, the loan amount will appear as a credit on your student’s semester bill. Late fees will be assessed if the loan process is not finalized by the semester bill due date. It typically takes between 7 to 10 business days for the PLUS Loan to appear as a credit on the student’s account after the above steps are complete. Please contact the Office of Student Aid if you wish to decrease or cancel your loan after it has been finalized.