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PLUS Loan Information for Parents and Graduate Students

Photo of students having a conversation outside

A Direct PLUS Loan is a federal loan that parents of dependent undergraduate students and graduate students can use to help pay education expenses.

  • The Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS interest rates are as follows:
  • 2017-2018 year: 7%
  • Get more detailed information about loan terms, fees, applying, and repayment.

To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you must:


  • be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time (6 + credits)
  • OR be a graduate or professional degree student enrolled at least half-time (5+ credits) in an eligible program leading to a degree or certificate
  • meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. If you are borrowing on behalf of your child, your child must also meet these requirements

The application process:


  • The PLUS Loan Application must be submitted at www.studentloans.gov.
  • The application opens on June 1 prior to the academic year. For Fall 2017, applications open May 1, 2017.
  • Requires loan applicants to sign-on using their FSA ID. Parents applying for a PLUS loan should use their own FSA ID tied to their personal information.
  • Select “Apply for a PLUS Loan” from the welcome screen.
    • Be sure to select the correct PLUS Loan type: Parent or Graduate
    • Follow prompts and complete the application.
    • A credit check is required as part of the process and you will know immediately if you’ve been approved or denied.
  • Drop-down boxes will allow you to select the semester you wish to receive the loan. Please select according to the dates below. Summer is always processed independently from fall and spring semesters.

Semester or TermStarting and Ending Period
Fall 2017 & Spring 2018August 2017 - May 2018
Fall 2017 OnlyAugust 2017 - December 2017
Spring 2018 OnlyJanuary 2018 - May 2018
Summer 2017 OnlyMay 2017 - August 2017
Summer 2018 OnlyMay 2018 - August 2018

After your application:


  • The results of your application are sent to the schools you select – be sure to add Boise State University.
  • The Financial Aid office will communicate about next steps via the student’s BroncoMail. Details will include:
  • Approximate date of when approved Direct PLUS Loans will post to your account
  • Available options if the Parent PLUS loan is denied
  • You should frequently monitor your Student Center and BroncoMail for updates and to-do items.
  • For first-time PLUS borrowers, you are required to complete a Master Promissory Note.
  • Some borrowers may be notified of a loan counseling requirement at www.studentloans.gov.

Options available if the Parent PLUS Loan is denied


  1. Parents may seek an endorser.
  2. Parents may appeal the credit decision.
  3. Students may request additional unsubsidized loan in the student’s name:
    • $4,000 per academic year for first-year or sophomores
    • $5,000 per academic year for juniors or seniors

How much should I borrow?


  • On the PLUS application, you may request a specific loan amount (e.g. $5,000).
  • OR, you may borrow the maximum amount the student is eligible for.

    This amount is determined by your Cost of Attendance. Boise State provides an estimated cost to attend for the term (based on enrollment, residency, living expenses). After subtracting your existing aid, the remaining gap can be filled with a PLUS loan, if approved.
  • We recommend using the Bottom Line Estimator to determine what funding you may need to bridge the gap between your expenses and other student aid.
  • In some cases, after tuition and charges are paid on an account, there may be a refund from a Parent PLUS loan. On the PLUS application, a parent can determine where the refund is issued (student or parent).