Scholarship & Aid

Federal Graduate PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to graduate or professional students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

Students whom enroll in a degree granting graduate program are eligible.

The student must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or eligible noncitizen,
  2. Not be in default as a borrower or cosigner on any educational loan, and not owe a refund on an educational grant and
  3. Be creditworthy as determined by direct loans.

The student whom is borrowing must:

  1. Have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
  2. Be registered for, or accepted for, a minimum of 6.0 credit hours at CCS each semester,
  3. Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree.

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 students wishing to utilize the PLUS loan apply and confirm their approval before the school year begins in September.

This amount varies by financial aid package. Students can request an amount up to the Cost of Attendance (COA) minus all financial aid awards. Please refer back to your financial aid award package for detailed figures for calculation.

The Graduate Plus Loan interest rate is a fixed rate of 6.08% (for loans disbursed July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020).

A 4.236% (for loans disbursed October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020) origination fee is deducted from PLUS loans before disbursement.

Repayment begins 6 months after graduation, leave school or drop below half time enrollment (< 6 credits). During any period when you’re not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized when you have to start making payments. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.

To apply for the Graduate Plus Loan, students should follow these steps:

  1. Go to StudentLoans.gov to apply. Don't forget to consider the 4.276% loan fee that is deducted when determining the loan amount you want to apply for.
  2. If the loan is approved by the Department of Education, you will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note. This is a federal requirement and can be completed online at StudentLoans.gov. Before your loan disbursements are released to the school and applied to your account balance, this requirement needs to be completed and submitted.

A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a grad PLUS loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the grad PLUS loan if you do not repay it.
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

Graduate Plus loan funds are disbursed directly to CCS, generally through an electronic funds transfer. Total award will be split equally between the Fall and Winter semesters.

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 valid educational expenses, such as books & supplies, rent, food and transportation.

If you are having difficulty making loan payments, please contact your loan servicer. You can view this information online through the National Student Loan Data System website