If you require more aid than what has been provided by your grants, scholarships and Stafford loans, you may want to consider a PLUS or alternative loan to cover your remaining tuition costs and/or for your books & supplies or living expenses.
Students should NOT apply for their PLUS or alternative loans until they receive their financial aid package each year. Your financial aid award letter provides important information regarding your remaining balance and maximum eligible loan amount. CCS strongly recommends you budget carefully before determining your loan amount and take only what you will need.
- What is the PLUS Loan?
- Who is Eligible?
- Are Plus Loans Guaranteed Like Stafford Loans?
- How Much May I Borrow Yearly?
- What is the Interest Rate?
- Are There Any Fees Associated With These Loans?
- When Does Repayment Begin?
- I'd Like to Apply for a PLUS Loan. What Do I Do Now?
- What Should I Do if I'm Denied?
- How is the Loan Disbursed?
- What Should I Do if I'm Having Difficulty Making Payments?
What is the PLUS Loan?
The federal Parent PLUS loan is intended to assist parents in paying for their children's education or, more often, to supplement the financial aid received by their student.
Who is Eligible?
Parents of dependent students
The parent must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or eligible noncitizen,
- not be in default as a borrower or cosigner on any educational loan, and not owe a refund on an educational grant and
- be creditworthy as determined by direct loans.
The student for whom the parent is borrowing must:
- Have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
- be dependent as defined by the U.S. department of education (see FAFSA) and certified by the school,
- be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or eligible non-citizen.
- Be registered for, or accepted for, a minimum of 6.0 credit hours at CCS each semester,
- be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree and
- not be in default as a borrower on any educational loan or owe a refund on an educational grant.
Are Plus Loans Guaranteed Like Stafford Loans?
No – PLUS loans are not guaranteed. Borrowers must pass a credit check in order to be approved for the PLUS loan. Therefore, it is very important that parents wishing to utilize the PLUS loan apply and confirm their approval before the school year begins in September.
How Much May I Borrow Yearly?
Cost of attendance minus other financial aid awarded. Check your financial aid notification letter for your maximum yearly eligibility. CCS strongly encourages you to create a budget and borrow only what you need. PLUS loan funds may be used to pay for the student’s related expenses in addition to tuition and fee costs. Related educational expenses include books & supplies, rent/housing, food, transportation and personal expenses (toiletries, laundry, etc.) and make sure to borrow what you need for the entire academic year (in most cases September – May), not one semester at a time. Multiple applications can have a negative effect on your credit history. You should also remember to consider the loan fees that will be deducted at disbursement when determining your loan amount.
What is the Interest Rate?
Fixed rate of 6.31% (for loans disbursed 7/1/16 - 6/30/17)
Are There Any Fees Associated With These Loans?
A 4.276% (for loans disbursed 10/1/16 - 9/30/17) origination fee is deducted from PLUS loans before disbursement.
When Does Repayment begin?
Repayment generally begins 60 days after the final disbursement. For most families, this means March of the academic year. However once your loan has been disbursed you may request that repayment be deferred during periods while your student is enrolled at least half-time (6.0 credits). Visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/repaying.
I’d Like to Apply for a PLUS Loan. What Do I Do Now?
- Visit www.studentloans.gov and complete the Parent Plus Application. Don't forget to consider the 4.276% loan fee that is deducted when determining the loan amount you want to apply for.
- Visit www.studentloans.gov and complete the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Parent PLUS loans. The MPN details the terms of the loan and the responsibilities of the borrower. It is a contract with the federal government and signing it is a pledge to repay all the loans disbursed to you during your student’s education. You will be notified as soon as possible if your loan is denied.
- Once your loan is disbursed, visit www.nsids.ed.gov for detailed account summaries and information on paying for and managing your loans.
- In most cases, the initial application is the only time you will need to complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note for CCS. Parent Plus Loan Application for Parents of Dependent Students will need to be completed each academic year you wish to apply for PLUS loan funds.
If you do not have Web access, contact the CCS Financial Aid Office for assistance.
What Should I Do if I’m Denied?
To appeal credit denials or add an endorser, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800.557.7394 or visit www.studentloans.gov.
Dependent students whose parents are denied for the PLUS loan are eligible to borrow an additional $4,000 to $5,000 in unsubsidized Stafford loan funds. Though this amount is often less than is required, it can be helpful in reducing the overall costs.
Having your student apply for an alternative loan with a cosigner may also be a possibility to consider. If you are unable to secure a necessary loan to supplement your student’s financial aid package, please contact our office to discuss other alternatives. CCS strongly encourages students and families to have all funding in place before the enrollment period begins and charges apply.
How is the Loan Disbursed?
Unless special arrangements are made with the Financial Aid Office, the loan will be disbursed electronically to CCS in two equal payments, one for each semester.
Loan funds must first be used toward the balance owed at CCS. If funds remain after the balance is paid, a refund check will be issued for the excess by the CCS Business Services Office. These funds should be used only for the student’s valid educational expenses, such as books & supplies, rent, food and transportation.
When a PLUS loan has been taken, refund checks are processed in the parent’s name unless specified in writing by the borrower.
First time borrowers must wait 30 days from the beginning of the semester before their loans may be applied to their accounts. Therefore, for the first semester, refund checks are not available until roughly five weeks into the semester. First-time students will need to make other arrangements to cover their expenses until their funds arrive.
What Should I Do if I’m Having Difficulty Making Payments?
Contact your loan servicer. If you're not sure who your loan servicer is, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov and login to My Federal Student Aid to get contact information.