Community & Visitors Parents & Families Future Students Current Students Alumni & Friends Faculty & Staff
Office of Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid

Loan Programs

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependent students are able to apply for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to supplement the student's award package. PLUS Loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student.

If you are considering applying for a PLUS Loan...
General Eligibility Requirements
Award Amounts
Interest Rates and Loan Fees
Summary of PLUS Loan Process
Crediting of Parent PLUS Loan Funds
Repayment of Parent PLUS Loan Funds
Postponing Payments
Continuing Student Eligibility

If you are considering applying for a PLUS Loan, there are several things you need to know:

back to top

General Eligibility Requirements

Student on whose behalf the parent is borrowing must file online a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Borrower is a natural or adoptive parent of a dependent student who has been accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student; enrolled at least half-time; is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen; and is making satisfactory academic progress.

Borrower does not have adverse credit history.

Neither parent borrower nor student has property subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the United States.

Parent borrower is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen.

To continue to receive PLUS Loans, you must reapply each academic year.

back to top

Award Amounts

The maximum award amount of a PLUS Loan that can be certified is determined by subtracting the student's total award package from the student's estimated cost of attendance for the loan period.  However, a PLUS Loan will not be certified for more than the amount requested on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application.

The Office of Financial Aid can adjust the amount of your loan if changes occur to the student's hours of enrollment or if your student receives additional financial aid from any source not reflected in the original award.

back to top

Interest Rates and Loan Fees

The interest rate on a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is fixed at 7.21%.  The interest rate will apply for the life of the loan.  As a result, if you borrow loans each year, it is likely that each loan will have a different fixed interest rate.

The U. S. Department of Education charges a loan fee on the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan.  For loans disbursing after 9/30/14, the loan fee is 4.292%.  This fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of the loan.  For example, a $5,000 PLUS loan would have a $215 fee deducted from the proceeds ($5,000 x 4.292%).  The net proceeds would be $4,785 ($5,000 minus $215).

back to top

Summary of PLUS Loan Process

Once the parent and student have determined to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, file the FAFSA and complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application.  Once the FAFSA, Request Form and all documents required to complete the student's award package have been received and processed, the PLUS Loan request will be submitted to the Direct Loan Servicing Center for approval.

The Direct Loan Servicing Center approves the loan and notifies the parent borrower to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN), if no MPN is already on file.  Should the parent borrower be declined a PLUS Loan, the student will be offered an additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan based on his/her grade level (freshman/sophomore offer of $4,000 and junior/senior offer of $5,000). 

Please note that Winthrop University's Office of Financial Aid is not authorized to approve or deny requests for Parent PLUS Loans.

back to top

Crediting of Parent PLUS Loan Funds

PLUS Loan funds are credited directly to the student's account and will be applied to outstanding charges, such as tuition, fees, room and board.  Unless indicated on the Federal Direct Loan Parent PLUS application, that the credit balance be issued to the student, any credit balance will be issued to the parent borrower via paper check, which will be mailed to the address provided on the Request Form.

back to top

Repayment of Parent PLUS Loan Funds

You will receive repayment information from your loan servicer after they have received information from Winthrop University notifying them that we have credited your loan funds to your student's account. You are responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if you do not receive this information. The servicer will oversee your loan account until your loans are repaid in full.

The first repayment installment must be made within 60 days of the full disbursement of the loan. The second disbursement of a PLUS Loan usually occurs in January, so payment usually begins in March.

You select the repayment plan that fits your financial circumstances and you may switch repayment plans at any time without penalty by contacting the Direct Loan Borrower Services Department. You may create a sample loan repayment schedule and review loan repayment options online. To view data on the federal PLUS Loans you have received, visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). 

back to top

Postponing Payments

Under certain conditions, you can receive a deferment or forbearance on the loan as long as the loan is not in default.  Contact Federal Student Aid online or by calling 1-800-848-0979 for more information.

back to top

Continuing Student Eligibility

PLUS Loans cannot be automatically renewed each year.  Returning students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and meet the PLUS Loan awarding requirements each academic year.

back to top