The Graduate PLUS Loan
- Lower interest rate than most private education loans.
- Fixed Interest rate: 6.41% percent for 2013-2014.
- Possible program incentives to lower the rate.
- Interest rates are "variable-fixed". For more information, please go here.
- Eligibility based on review of "adverse credit" rather than "credit scoring".
- Lack of credit history or insufficient credit history is not considered.
- Amount of eligibility determined using the same formula as private loans.
- Cost of Attendance (COA) - All Other Aid = PLUS Loan Eligibility
- Can be consolidated with other federal loans upon graduation.
Applying for the Loan
Students may be eligible for the Graduate PLUS loan; however it is not offered automatically. Those interested must complete the Graduate PLUS Budget Worksheet. This requirement exists to further assist students in properly estimating their financial need and encourage them to avoid excessive student loan debt. Students must speak with their financial aid counselor to request this form.
Once the Graduate PLUS loan is offered to you, log in to Genisys and accept it. You can accept the full loan offer or a partial amount, depending on what you need. Please remember, accepting your loan is not a guarantee you will receive it. The Graduate PLUS loan is "credit-based" which means that adverse credit may result in the denial of your Graduate PLUS Loan (or a request for an endorser). See "What is Adverse Credit" below for more details.
If the credit review is approved and the lender receives both the student's application and the school's certification for the loan, applicants must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The simplest and quickest way to submit the MPN for the Graduate PLUS loan is to complete it online at StudentLoans.gov. Applicants have the option of completing a paper version of the MPN; however, this may cause unnecessary delays as processing time is increased for paper, mailed copies.
Once applicants complete all steps, funds will be disbursed to the school at the appropriate time. The loan will be disbursed in equal installments by the lender to Regent University according to a student's Aid Period. An Aid Period represents the semesters in which a student is expected to enroll (Fall & Spring, Fall, Spring, & Summer, Fall only, etc.). If the Graduate PLUS loan disbursement results in a credit balance, a refund of that credit balance will be issued according to the normal university refund procedure. For continued Graduate PLUS loan eligibility, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Important Information About Origination
Please know that Regent University will be working diligently to ensure your Graduate PLUS Loan is originated in a timely manner. While not expected, should any delays occur, we will do our best to notify applicants and offer possible alternatives.
What About Repayment?
As with your Federal Stafford Loan, new Graduate PLUS Loans that were disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 will have a six month grace period upon a change in your enrollment to less than half-time. Graduate PLUS Loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2008 will continue to go into repayment immediately upon enrollment change to less than half-time.
In order to qualify to receive a student loan (federal or private), a student must be enrolled and attend classes/submit assignments on at least a half-time basis, regardless of stage of his/her program. Half-time is defined as follows:
Minimum number of credits for loans:
If a student plans on dropping below these levels, he/she should contact Central Financial Aid before making any final decision or submitting paperwork. Your counselor will review with you the effects of dropping below half-time status on your loan eligibility.
The total loan amount a student is eligible for is based on the following formula:
Cost of Attendance (COA) - Aid (scholarships, etc.) = Total Loan Eligibility
The following formula determines a student's eligibility for a Graduate PLUS Loan:
COA - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - Aid - Stafford Loans = Graduate PLUS Loan Eligibility.
APPLYING FOR AID
Students are encouraged to begin the financial aid application process in conjunction with their admissions application. Although a financial aid award cannot be made until a student is accepted, all necessary paperwork will be on file to expedite the awarding process upon acceptance. Students interested in borrowing a Graduate PLUS Loan should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1st as possible or when previous years taxes are completed. Central Financial Aid suggests submitting the FAFSA by March 15th to ensure timely processing and arrival of funds for the fall semester.
The FAFSA may be submitted one of two ways. The student may fill out the paper application or complete the FAFSA-on-the-Web. The location of FAFSA-on-the-Web is www.fafsa.ed.gov . Submitting the FAFSA online greatly reduces the processing time of the application and requires the submission of a signature page.
Early submission of applications helps to ensure the arrival of funds by the final payment deadline. It also allows for necessary information to be available when Central Financial Aid begins the awarding process.
Where can I Find More Information?
General information can be found on finaid.org or on our recommended lenders websites.
What is Adverse Credit?
Unlike private alternative loans, Graduate PLUS Loans are not based on your credit score. This difference should make the loan more easily obtainable for those with little or no credit history.
Adverse credit is defined to mean as of the date of the credit report, the applicant:
- Is 90 or more days delinquent on any debt (including unpaid collection accounts with a balance greater than $0 and charge-offs); or
- Has been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.