Types of Financial Aid

Loan Programs

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students

Graduate students can borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to help cover educational expenses. The maximum PLUS Loan amount you can borrow is your cost of attendance less Federal Direct Stafford Loans and other estimated financial assistance. Loans have to be repaid, so you are encouraged to only borrow the amount of loan that you actually need to cover your educational expenses.

The PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 8.05% for the 2023-2024 academic year. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. 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, deducted proportionately each disbursement of the loan. For loans disbursing after 09/30/20, the loan fee is 4.228%.

To apply for the PLUS Loan, please complete the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), be enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program, and not have an adverse credit history. The completed PLUS Loan request will be submitted to the Direct Loan Servicing Center for approval. Please note that the Office of Financial Aid is not authorized to approve or deny requests for PLUS Loans.

First-time PLUS Loan borrowers will need to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at the Direct Loan Servicing Center. Winthrop University will receive electronic notification when these requirements have been completed.

You must be enrolled at least half-time (4.5 credit hours) to receive a PLUS Loan disbursement. Once all award requirements have been met, your financial aid will be credited to your student account. For more information, please visit Applying for Aid.

Returning students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and submit a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form to be considered for a PLUS Loan in future academic years.

Repayment: The first payment is due within 60 days after the final PLUS Loan disbursement. However, you may defer repayment while you are enrolled at least half-time. If your PLUS Loan was first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 you may also defer repayment for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. You should receive repayment information from your loan servicer and be notified of when your first payment is due. However, you are responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if you do not receive this information. You may create a sample loan repayment schedule and review loan repayment options online.

Students must complete exit counseling whenever his/her enrollment drops below half-time. Winthrop University will receive electronic notification when exit counseling has been completed.

To view data on the federal student loans and grants you have received, visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.