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Graduate Financial Aid

Student Loans

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan (commonly referred to as a Grad PLUS loan) is a fixed-interest, federally guaranteed loan available to credit-worthy graduate students. Students will not have this loan offered as a part of their financial aid package; a separate application is required. However, many graduate students will opt to borrow a Grad PLUS loan to help cover the cost of their DU education.

Eligibility Requirements:

Available to credit-worthy students who have submitted a FAFSA, regardless of financial need. To be approved, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are denied a Graduate PLUS loan because of adverse credit, you may reapply with an endorser (cosigner), or appeal the denial if there are extenuating circumstances related to your credit history that you can document.

What is considered "adverse credit"?

For purposes of qualifying for a Graduate PLUS loan, you're considered to have an adverse credit history if:

  • you have one or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent as of the date of the credit report, or that have been placed in collection or charged off (written off) during the two years preceding the date of the credit report; or
  • during the five years preceding the date of the credit report, you have been subject to a
    • default determination,
    • discharge of debts in bankruptcy,
    • foreclosure,
    • repossession,
    • tax lien,
    • wage garnishment, or
    • write-off of a federal student aid debt.

Maximum Loan Amount:

Up to your total cost of attendance, minus all other financial aid.

Interest Rate:

  • For loans borrowed during the 2017-18 academic year: 7.00%
  • For loans borrowed during the 2016-17 academic year: 6.31%
  • For loans borrowed during the 2015-16 academic year: 6.84%

These interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan.

Interest accrues while you are in school, during the grace period, and during repayment. You can pay the interest as it accrues, if you wish. If not paid, interest will be capitalized when repayment begins.

Origination Fee:

A loan origination fee is proportionately deducted at disbursement of each installment of the loan. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed.

First Disbursement Date

Loan Fee

On or after Oct. 1, 2016 and before Oct. 1, 2017


On or after Oct. 1, 2017 and before Oct. 1, 2018


Steps to Apply:

To apply for a Graduate PLUS loan:

  1. Sign into Then,
  2. Request a PLUS Loan and
  3. Complete a Master Promissory Note, or MPN.
    (Links to both of these items are on the homepage after you log in.)

A credit check will be conducted once you begin the loan application process. If you are initially denied the Graduate PLUS loan, but have since qualified by obtaining an endorser or documenting extenuating circumstances, you will also be required to complete PLUS Counseling. This can also be completed through

Once you have been approved, the Department of Education will send us a request to certify your loan. At that time, we will add it to your financial aid award and notify you when an updated award letter is available for you to view on PioneerWeb.

Requirements to Receive Loan:

You must pass a credit check, complete a Master Promissory Note online at , and remain enrolled at least half-time (4 credits or more) to receive funds. If you qualified for the Graduate PLUS loan by obtaining an endorser or documenting extenuating circumstances, you will also be required to complete PLUS Counseling through

Repayment Terms:

No payments required while in school. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. Payments are made to your Direct Loan servicer each month. The minimum payment is $50, but that amount will likely be higher depending on the total amount borrowed. 

Repayment Options:

The standard repayment period is 10 years but can be as long as 25 years depending on total borrowing and chosen repayment plan. Can be consolidated with other federal loans.

Additional Information: 

Learn more about the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan through