Applying for Graduate PLUS Loans

  1. Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID at 
    The FSA ID is used to electronically sign financial aid documents with the Department of Education, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Master Promissory Notes (MPN). It also is used as a login for Department of Education websites.

  2. Yearly requirements that must be completed by incoming and returning students
    • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): 
      Federal Title IV Code: 002104
      The FAFSA is the official application of the Department of Education to determine eligibility for Graduate PLUS Loans; it also is required for Pell Grants, Direct Stafford Loans, and all other federal and most state aid. The priority deadline for this form is March 1 (the form goes live October 1) for prospective (even if not yet accepted) and returning students; late submission could cause a delay of funds.
    • Accept Awards: SURFS 
      Students receive an email to their University email account (or email listed on their FAFSA for incoming students) once they are awarded aid instructing them to log on to SURFS (also known as SIMSweb) to accept their awards.
    • Direct Loan Request Form
      The Direct Loan Request Form authorizes the Financial Aid Office to process the loans on the student's behalf and contains additional information on the loans.
    • Master Promissory Note (MPN):
      The Master Promissory Note (MPN) contains the terms of the loans and is your contract with the Department of Education to repay your loans.
      Incoming students: Please complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Agreement (MPN) in addition to the Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Agreement (MPN) you completed for Direct Stafford Loans; returning students need only complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Agreement (MPN) yearly.
  3. Entrance Counseling: 
    The Department of Education requires all borrowers to complete entrance counseling when borrowing for the first time at each institution. This is an online “quiz” that provides information about how student loans work and the borrower’s rights and responsibilities. Make sure to select that you are a graduate student so that you do not have to complete this requirement twice.