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Federal Parent PLUS Direct Loans

General Information

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are unsubsidized federal loans for the parents of dependent students.  These loans allow parents to fill the gap between the overall cost of attendance and existing student financial aid.

Terms and Repayment:

  • Maximum eligibility is Cost of Attendance minus student financial aid. (Example: In-State Cost of Attendance equals $26,170; student receives $5,500 in Stafford loans; PLUS eligibility is $26,170 - $5,500, or $20,670)
  • The loan rate is fixed, currently set at 7.21%.  
  • Repayment of the loan generally begins sixty days after the final loan disbursement for each academic year.
  • Parent may request a deferment, either during the application process or after the loan is approved. 
  • Interest accrues on the Parent PLUS loan during deferments. 

More information on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan can be found at the Federal Student Aid website.

Eligibility

  • The parent borrower must be the student's biological or adoptive parent (step parent if listed on the FAFSA)
  • The student must be a dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program (parents may not borrow on behalf of independent undergraduate students or graduate students)
  • The student must have a completed FAFSA on file with Virginia Tech
  • The student must meet all other Title IV Federal Financial Aid program requirements (i.e. quality assurance requirements and academic progress)
  • If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent may still receive a loan if someone  agrees to endorse the loan (endorsement process completed at www.studentloans.gov)
  • The student and parent must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens and must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant
  • Parent must re-apply for the PLUS loan each academic year
  • A Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be signed online by the parent who applied for the PLUS loan using the Parent FAFSA PIN

Application Process

In order to fill out the online Parent PLUS loan application and sign the master promissory note, the parent must have a Department of Education PIN.  If the parent does not have a PIN number, one must be obtained at www.pin.ed.gov before completing the online application.

The Department of Education's PLUS Application site combines the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application and Master Promissory Note under one process. Please apply at least 30 days before the bill due date to ensure timely processing of the loan.

Step 1: Click on www.studentloans.gov to launch the Department of Education's Federal Direct Parent PLUS application.

  • It is very important that the parent, not the student, log in using the parent PIN. 

Step 2: Click 'Start PLUS Application Process

  • Click the “Request a PLUS Loan” link and read the information provided,  
  • Click the “Parent PLUS” link to begin the application.

Step 3: Enter Parent and Student Information

  • Page 1: demographic information for the parent applicant. 
  • Page 2: student and school information.  

Step 4: Review Data Entered

  • Verify and correct information as needed

Step 5: Credit Check

  • The parent borrower must first pass an online credit check.  
  • The parent borrower must agree to the terms provided and click submit.  
  • If approved, parent borrower should proceed to Step 6: Complete the required Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  • If denied, proceed to What to do if your Parent PLUS Loan is denied.

Step 6: Complete the Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN)

  • The MPN must be completed in order for the loan to be processed.
  • Click your student's name to begin the promissory note.

Certification and Disbursement

After the PLUS Loan is approved by Direct Loans, Virginia Tech takes additional steps to certify the loan amount, and to disburse it toward the student's tuition, fees, on-campus housing and on-campus meal plan.  Excess funds will be refunded, either to the parent or student as designated.

Certification

  • The Department of Education will notify Virginia Tech of approved PLUS applications. (Parents typically do not need to send notice or proof of loan approval.)
  • USFA will mark the application as "R" (received) on Hokie SPA.
  • VT will certify the loan, awarding the loan total as follows::
    • the amount requested, if less than remaining eligibility (COA minus student aid)
    • the amount of remaining eligibility, if the requested amount exceeds it
    • If amount is left blank on the PLUS application, the award will default to remaining eligibility.
  • USFA will notify the student of an updated aid award, and will update the student’s HokieSPA.
  • Direct Loans will send a separate loan disclosure statement directly to the parent borrower.

Disbursement

  • If the parent borrower chooses to have excess funds refunded to the student, the student will have the option of direct deposit or having a refund check sent to the permanent home address.
  • If the parent borrower chooses to have excess funds refunded to the parent, direct deposit is not an option; a check will be mailed to the parent borrower's address used on the application. 
  • Disbursement may be delayed if the student is not enrolled for 12 credits, or the PLUS Master Promissory Note is unsigned.
  • Direct Loans will subtract the loan fee before the funds are released.

Requesting Changes

Parent borrowers may make changes to the PLUS Loan during the school year, and after the loan has disbursed.  Please submit the Parent PLUS Loan Change Form to increase, reduce or cancel the Parent PLUS Loan.