Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Office of Financial Aid

Students may have a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan included in their Hamline University financial aid offer Students will be able to borrow the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan in addition to the Federal Direct Stafford Loans. Borrowers must apply for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program before applying for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. 

The Graduate PLUS Loan is interchangeable with a private Alternative loan. For more information on Alternative loans please visit the Hamline student loans page.

How to apply

1. Request loan amount

To apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan, complete the Federal Online Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Request (studentaid.gov). You, as the student, will need to log in with your FSA ID username and password. You will need to fill out the Loan Amount Requested and Loan Period. Please be prepared to enter the amount of the loan you desire to borrow. If you select either the Maximum or Unknown Amount options, we will contact you to confirm in writing with us the amount you intend to borrow. This may substantially delay the processing of the loan. The Loan Period is the Start and End dates of the academic period for which the loan is intended.

2. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

First time Hamline Federal Direct Graduate PLUS borrowers and borrowers that require an endorser must complete a Master Promissory Note at StudentAid.gov. Please pay attention to the different loan MPNs. For questions about Federal Direct Graduate PLUS MPN or approval status, contact the Loan Origination Center at 800-557-7394. You will need your FSA ID to sign in and complete the MPN.

3. Entrance counseling

First time Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers must complete the Federal Direct Graduate Loan Entrance Counseling online at StudentAid.gov. (This is not required if you completed the Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling during Step 1 when applying for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, and selected that you are a Graduate student as this is a combined Stafford/Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling session.) The average Hamline Graduate student Stafford and Graduate PLUS loan debt is $31,518. You may use the Loan Simulator on studentaid.gov to determine your estimated loan payments.  

4. OPTIONAL: Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (studentaid.gov) is for student and parent borrowers who are accepting Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, PLUS Loans for Parents, or PLUS Loans for Graduate/Professional Students. It will take around 10 minutes to complete the Acknowledgement. It is a good idea for all students to complete. Within the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement, borrowers are able to view how much they currently owe in loans, their progress towards aggregate loan and grant limits (if applicable), and have access to content surrounding smart borrowing, interest rates, and payments. In order to fill out the Acknowledgement, you will need your Verified FSA ID.

If this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan. You will also need to know the School Name, the Degree Name, and the Field of Academic Program.

If you already have existing federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much more you can borrow.

Loan details

Please note that a credit check is required to obtain a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

Effective October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2025, the loan fee for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is 4.228% which is taken off the amount requested at each disbursement. 

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans disbursed from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024 have a fixed interest rate of 7.54%, while loans disbursed from July 1, 2024 through July 1, 2025 have a fixed interest rate of 9.083%.

Repayment information

Repayment begins within 60 days after the full amount borrowed for a school year has been disbursed, though you may request that repayment be deferred while you are in school at least half-time.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan borrowers have up to ten years to repay their Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan(s). The minimum monthly payment for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan on a standard repayment plan is $50 per month. With recent passing of legislation, interest paid on Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans may be tax deductible. Consult with your tax advisor for more details. Information regarding repayment may be found online on studentaid.gov and all repayment questions should be directed to your loan servicer. A letter identifying the loan servicer is mailed from Direct Loans upon the first disbursement. Loan servicer information is also available within seven to 10 days from the first disbursement on studentaid.gov using the student borrower’s information and FSA ID and Password.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan are eligible for Federal Loan Consolidation.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan are canceled in the event of your death or permanent and total disability.

If you are denied

If your credit is denied, you will receive notification from the direct loan servicer. You can:

  • Seek a credit status override. Contact the Direct Loan Origination Center at 800-557-7394 and Equifax (their credit bureau) at 800-685-5000.
  • Request a review. If you have extenuating circumstances, provide documentation to the Direct Loan Origination Center.
  • Have a third-party endorser co-sign the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan application. Contact the Direct Loan Origination Center at 800-557-7394.
  • Choose not to pursue the denied Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 651-523-3000 to discuss alternative options.

Some borrowers may need to complete online PLUS counseling. This is different than Entrance Counseling and, if required, must be completed in order for the loan to disburse. Direct Loans will notify you if you are required to complete the counseling.

Debt management resources

Studentaid.gov is the US Department of Education's central database for student aid. This site can help you keep track of all the federal financial aid you have received in your lifetime.

The loan calculator on finaid.org can quickly help you figure out what your monthly payments will look like. Keep in mind that federal loans default to a 10-year repayment plan. You can use StudentAid.gov to help you find your loan totals and interest rates.

Enrollment status

Note: Only courses required for your program count in the financial aid enrollment status.

Undergraduate, Post-Baccalaureate, Online Bachelor's Degree Completion, and Teaching Licensure

Enrollment status Credit requirement
Half-time* At least 6 credits per semester
Full-time At least 12 credits per semester
State Grant At least 15 credits per semester

Master, graduate certificates, and doctorate programs

Enrollment status Credit requirement
Half-time* At least 4 credits per semester
Full-time At least 8 credits per semester

*Half-time status is a requirement for all federal and some alternative student loans.