Graduate Plus Loan Programs

What is a Graduate PLUS Loan?
The Graduate PLUS Loan is for graduate and professional students who need assistance financing an education that is not covered by other forms of financial aid. It's an affordable alternative to using savings, income, or private loans for educational costs. Graduate PLUS Loans are available to credit worthy, U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. To process a loan you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and initially apply for a Stafford loan. The amount you will be eligible to borrow will be determined by the total cost of your educational program less the amount you receive from the Stafford loan and other financial aid.

When you apply for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, the U. S. Department of Education will check your credit history. To be eligible for a Grad PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a Grad PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct Grad PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Grad PLUS Loan if you document to our satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

As of July 1, 2010 the federal government has eliminated the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program. All student and parent loans will be originated through the federal government's Federal Direct Loan program. Students who have previously borrowed through a lender under the FFEL program will need to sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN)with the federal government in the Direct Loan program for all loans disbursed after July 1, 2010.

The Federal Direct Grad Plus Loan Program requires a 4.292% origination fee. The U.S. Department of Education deducts the fees before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.

To find out more information on interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 800-557-7394.

There are 4 steps to applying for the Graduate PLUS Loan:
If you are applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan for the first time at Sacred Heart University, you will need to complete all 3 steps.
Before you begin: The FSA ID has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN as the credential with which students, parents, and borrowers authenticate their identity to access their federal student aid information online and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to the FAFSA.

Repeat Direct PLUS loan borrowers who have already completed a Federal Direct Master Promissory Note for previous years need to complete step 1 and 3. No PLUS Loan will be processed until a valid credit approval has been received by the Dept. of Education. After the initial application, steps 1 and 3 will need to be completed for each additional PLUS Loan request.

*Attention MAC users, you must use "Internet Explorer" or "Firefox" as your browser in order to complete your Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Interview. "Safari" is not compatible with the Dept. of Education's website.*
STEP 1: Complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Application
Please note that this step in the process is NOT the Promissory Note, it is an application where you provide information for the Credit Check to be done by the Dept. of Education. Click on the link above and once there, sign in with your FSA ID and other information, then click on "Request a PLUS Loan".
STEP 2: Electronically sign your Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Per Federal Regulations, all PLUS borrowers must complete Grad PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling before the loan can be certified.
‌To finalize the loan process you must complete and return the loan certification to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. You may download and print this document using the link above.
**Attention Graduate Students**
Per Federal regulations, You MUST be enrolled/registered for at least 3 credits per term/semester in order for your Federal Stafford Loan or your Federal Grad Plus loan to disburse. Please remember that when you complete your Confidential Information form you will be indicating which terms/semesters you will be taking courses. Your loan disbursements will be divided by the terms you state on the form. Each of the terms/semesters you will be taking courses, you must maintain at least Half Time enrollment or at least 3 credits in order for your loan disbursements to be in compliance with Federal Regulations. This includes the Late Spring/Summer semesters. If you fail to maintain at least half time enrollment your loan disbursements will be canceled.