Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Graduate)

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan provides a borrowing option in excess of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for Graduate/Professional Students. Based upon your credit history, you may borrow through this federally guaranteed, non-need-based loan program. We encourage students to exhaust their Federal Direct Student Unsubsidized Loan eligibility prior to borrowing from the Federal PLUS Loan program, as the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan has more favorable terms.  Additional terms, subject to revision by federal regulation, include:

  • 6.28% fixed interest rate during repayment for loans first disbursed from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022
  • 7.54% fixed interest rate during repayment for loans first disbursed from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023
  • 4.228% origination fee for PLUS loans with a first disbursement date from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2022
  • Repayment on both principal and interest begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis, generally extending over a 10-year period
  • Graduate/professional student’s ability to apply for up to the full cost of education minus other packaged student aid


Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and receive a determination of Federal Direct Loan eligibility by the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying for a PLUS Loan.

For more information, please visit https://studentaid.gov.

NOTE: Information about your loans will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  Information in NSLDS is accessible to schools and loan servicers for specific purposes as authorized by the department.

How to Apply

Borrowers who wish to utilize the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program, should complete the steps below as soon as possible to ensure Notre Dame can begin processing your loan. 

STEP 1. Apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Visit studentaid.gov.

“Log In” using student's FSA ID (Federal Student Aid username and password).

Select "Apply for a Grad PLUS Loan."

Complete the loan application through the Department of Education. Applications will automatically be sent to the school within a few business days. 

STEP 2. Complete Entrance Counseling (First-time Borrowers)

Select “Complete Entrance Counseling.”

The interactive entrance counseling session helps you to understand your loan responsibilities and provides tools to develop a budget for managing educational expenses. Entrance counseling takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and requires your FSA ID (used to complete your FAFSA). 

STEP 3. Complete Master Promissory Note (First-time Borrowers)

Complete/Submit "Master Promissory Note."

Select "MPN for Graduate/Professional Students."

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. The MPN also offers details on the terms and conditions of the loan. Completion of the MPN takes up to 30 minutes and requires the following:

  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of two references
  • Your driver’s license number (if applicable)