Loans – Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Parents

The Federal Direct PLUS is a loan designed for parents. The maximum eligibility amount per academic year is the school’s estimated cost of attendance minus other student financial aid.

You must file the FAFSA in order to apply for a Parent PLUS loan. Please remember that that PLUS loan is credit-based and that you must have your loan approved! In order to apply, once you have filed the FAFSA please go to, sign in using your FSA ID, and click on “PLUS Loan Process” to begin the application. The borrower on the application must be the parent; please do NOT put the student name as the borrower. If the credit is approved, you will be instructed to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online and Entrance Loan Counseling for the PLUS Loan (if appealing a denial or using  an endorser). If you are denied for a Parent PLUS loan and plan to appeal, please indicate this on your electronic PLUS Loan application. If denied and you are not going to appeal, see instructions below.

A credit check will be completed as part of the application process. This credit check is good for 180 days.

Remember that this is a multi-part process and all parts must be completed (the electronic application, the Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note and PLUS Counseling if required before funds can be processed.  On the electronic application be sure to detail the exact amount you wish to borrow.  Do not indicate “maximum.”

Who qualifies: All credit-worthy parents and stepparents of undergraduate students are able to borrow. Financial need is not a requirement for the PLUS loan but completing a FAFSA is mandatory for determining eligibility for this loan.

Please note, only parents and stepparents may apply for this loan for the student.

Borrowing limits: Parents are only eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance. Apply only for the amount you absolutely need.

Interest rate:  The interest rate for 2016-2017 is 6.31%.  2017-2018 interest rates will be announced at a later date.

Fees:  There is a 4.276% origination fee deducted by the government for loans disbursed between October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017.  The net amount of your loan will be 95.72 % of the amount you originally borrowed.

Disbursement: PLUS loans proceeds are sent directly to the college in two disbursements (generally half the annual amount you borrow each semester). The funds are sent by electronic funds transfer (EFT). The Business Office will credit the loan funds to the student’s account and any excess will be refunded to you or the student, whomever you designate on the PLUS Application completed online at If you have further questions regarding refunds, please contact the Accounts Receivable Office at 828-771-2062.

Repayment: Repayment of your loan begins immediately after disbursement. You may be eligible for deferment options which you may discuss with your servicer. The maximum repayment period is 10 years. The minimum monthly payment on principal and interest is $50.

*Denied: If a parent applies for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan with the Federal Department of Education and is denied due to credit reasons, we are able to offer an additional amount of Direct Unsubsidized Loan money to the student. In addition to the denial, the student’s FAFSA results must be on file with our office in order to qualify for the additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds.

If the credit check results in a denial and the parent will not appeal the decision or acquire a co-signer, the parent will need to notify the Financial Aid Office they will not seek an appeal or a co-signer. You may forward the “denial” email to to expedite the process. Once received, the Financial Aid Office will recalculate the Financial Aid Award Letter to include the additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility. The student will be emailed that a revised award letter is available on Net Partner and the student must use the Accept Awards tab in Net Partner to accept all or any part of the additional unsubsidized loan.

In the case of a PLUS denial, we are able to offer up to an additional $4000 per year in Direct Unsubsidized to Freshmen and Sophomores and up to an additional $5000 in Direct Unsubsidized to Juniors and Seniors.

Appeal or Approved with an Endorser:  If a parent is denied a Parent PLUS loan, the parent may appeal the decision or apply with an endorser.  If approved, the parent must complete PLUS Entrance Counseling at

Begin the application process for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan We will be able to view your application electronically once it has been submitted. Please login at the website and click on “Complete the PLUS request Process.” Be sure to complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note on the same website. Once the application is submitted, the credit check will be generated.

See the College Board “Parent Loan Repayment Calculator”

See the College Board “Parent Loan Debt Calculator”