Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

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The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available to parents of dependent students to help pay the educational expenses for their undergraduate student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester. This loan is not based on financial need.  The parents pay the costs for this loan and interest charges and repayment begin upon disbursement.  The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is borrowed from the U.S. Department of Education. SIU Carbondale is responsible for determining student and parent eligibility, awarding the loan, ensuring a Master Promissory Note is completed by the borrower, and disbursing federal funds to the borrower. The U.S. Department of Education contracts a servicer to handle credit checks, loan approval and collection.

A parent may borrow up to the total of the Estimated Cost of Attendance less resources and all other financial aid received by the student.  A FAFSA must be filed to receive a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan.  

The interest rate is a fixed interest rate of 7.54% and is charged on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until it is paid in full.  An origination fee of 4.228% of the loan amount is deducted from the Federal Direct PLUS Loan proceeds for the federal government. Parents are notified of this fee at the time of the loan approval and loan disbursement amounts reflect the deduction of this loan fee.  If the borrower fails to make 12 consecutive on-time payments, they will be billed an additional 1.5% fee.


The parent borrower and their student must meet the following criteria to receive a Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

The student and parent borrower must:

  • Be U.S. Citizens or other eligible status (permanent resident).
  • Not owe a defaulted student loan or a federal grant repayment.
  • Meet other requirements as applicable.

The student must:

  • Be in compliance with the SIU Carbondale Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time. (Audited courses are not eligible to determine enrollment status.)
  • Have filed a FAFSA and listed SIU Carbondale as a school choice.

The parent borrower must:

  • Not have an adverse credit history.


Federal Direct PLUS Loan applications and all required documentation must be received at the Financial Aid Office by the following dates for loans to be processed:

Loan Period and Deadline Date

To Apply for a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

  • Completion of the FAFSA is required for a parent to receive a PLUS Loan.
  • Parent must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Request by signing into studentaid.gov website, (parent signs in as the borrower) clicking on the “Request a Direct PLUS” link, and then click on the “Parent PLUS Loan “link. 
  • Parent must complete a Federal Direct PLUS electronic Master Promissory Note (PLUS MPN) by signing into studentaid.gov website, click on the “Complete Master Promissory” link, and then click on the “Parent PLUS” link. 
  • The Federal Direct PLUS Electronic Master Promissory Note (PLUS MPN) signed by the parent is valid for 10 years one a PLUS loan is taken out (unless the parent applies and was approved with an endorser); however, a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request must be made each academic year and each summer award period to be considered. 

SIU Carbondale disburses an approved PLUS loan in semester installments. Federal Direct PLUS Loans are credited to the student's University account to pay all charges first. If the credit exceeds charges, a refund check is processed and mailed to either the student or parent as indicated on the Application for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan.  Parents have the right to cancel all or a portion of their PLUS loans by contacting the Financial Aid Office within 90 days after disbursement.     

If Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is Denied

If a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application is denied, the borrower may obtain a qualified endorser or it may be possible for a student to borrow an additional amount of unsubsidized loan.  In that case, the dependent student annual maximum allowable loan limit will be replaced by the independent student maximum allowable loan limit at the same class level.  If the application is denied, the student should access their Financial Aid Award Letter, select "Request Changes" and ask to be re-packaged for additional unsubsidized loan if the box was not checked on the PLUS Application form.

Repayment of Federal PLUS Loans

Repayment begins within 60 days of the final loan disbursement during the academic year. Principal and interest payments may be deferred if the borrower meets deferment requirements. In-school deferments may be requested by parent borrowers provided the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program.

To learn more about available deferments and how to apply for deferment status, please contact the U.S. Department of Education’s processing center at 800-848-0979.