Office of Student Financial Aid

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FALL 2017 - SPRING 2018

William D. Ford Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program
for Graduate Students


What is a Graduate PLUS Loan?

The Graduate PLUS Loan is a federally funded loan from the U.S. Department of Education for graduate students who must be accepted and enrolled in a master's degree program. Students will apply for Graduate PLUS Loan directly through the U.S. Department of Education. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (4 graduate units) to pursue the Graduate PLUS Loan.


What will my interest rate and origination fee be?

Repayment is a fixed interest rate of 7.00% on all Graduate PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2017. Interest accrues on the unpaid balance of the loan from the date of disbursement by the school until the entire principal balance is paid in full. Failure to make monthly or quarterly interest payments results in the interest being capitalized (added to the principal of the loan). Currently, a 4.276% origination fee is deducted upfront of each disbursement.


How much money am I eligible to borrow?

Unlike other types of financial aid, the Graduate PLUS Loan is not need based. The maximum eligibility amount is determined by the Student's Cost of Attendance minus any financial aid that the student has been awarded and accepted. The Graduate PLUS Loan can replace all or a portion of the expected resources. If the student will not be receiving financial aid of any kind, the student can borrow the full cost of attendance. Students do not have to apply for the entire amount. Students should calculate the amount they need. Please refer to your Financial Aid award offer on the SF State Gateway for the amount of Graduate PLUS Loan that you are eligible to borrow.


How do I apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan?

Step 1 -

  • Go to www.studentloans.gov and log in with the borrower (student) FSA User ID & Password
  • Once logged in, click on "Apply for a Direct Plus Loan"
  • For type of Direct PLUS Loan Application, select "START" under Direct PLUS Loan Application for Graduate/Professional Students


Award Year: 2017- 2018

School Name: SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY

Loan Period: Fall 17 to Spring 18 (08/2017 - 05/2018)
Fall 17 only (08/2017 - 12/2017)
Spring 18 only (01/2018 - 05/2018)

After submitting the application successfully, the credit decision is displayed immediately on the next screen, if the credit is approved, this indicates you are eligible to borrow the Graduate PLUS Loan.


Step 2 -

After the credit is approved, first-time Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers must also complete an online loan agreement known as a Master Promissory Note. If you completed a Master Promissory Note for a previous San Francisco State University Graduate PLUS Loan, you may not need to complete this step.


  • Go to www.studentloans.gov and log in with your student FSA User ID & Password
  • Once logged, click on "Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)"
  • For type of Direct Loan MPN, select "START" under Direct PLUS Loan Application for Graduate/Professional Students


Step 3 -

First-time Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers must also complete loan counseling known as Loan Entrance Counseling. If you completed Loan Entrance Counseling for a previous San Francisco State University Graduate PLUS Loan, you may not need to complete this step.

  • Go to www.studentloans.gov and log in with your student FSA User ID & Password
  • Once logged, click on "Complete Loan Counseling"
  • For type of Loan Counseling, select "START" under Entrance Counseling
  • For type of Loan Student, select "I am completing entrance counseling to receive Direct Loans as a graduate or professional student.

      • * Note - After you have completed all the steps successfully please allow up to 3 weeks for processing and Graduate PLUS loan checklist items to be updated from your To Do List.


      What happens if my Graduate PLUS Loan application is denied?

      Option 1 - Appeal:

      • Appeal the decision by calling Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1 (800) 557-7394
      • If the appeal is approved, you must complete an additional loan counseling known as PLUS Credit Counseling. PLUS Credit Counseling is a requirement if you had an adverse credit history but were able to document extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education.
      • Go to www.studentloans.gov and log in with your student FSA User ID & Password
      • Once logged in, click on "Complete PLUS Credit Counseling"


      Option 2 - Endorser:

      • Secure an endorser willing to cosign the Graduate PLUS Loan
      • The endorser will create an FSA User ID & Password
      • The endorser will use the FSA User ID & Password to login at www.studentloans.gov and click on "Complete an Endorser Addendum"
      • If the endorser is approved, you (borrower) must complete an additional loan counseling known as PLUS Credit Counseling. PLUS Credit Counseling is a requirement if you had an adverse credit history but were able to obtain an endorser.


      What if I change my mind about the Graduate PLUS Loan after applying?

      Approval of a Graduate PLUS Loan application does not commit you to accepting the loan. If approved, you must contact Office of Student Financial Aid should you want to cancel or reduce the accepted Graduate PLUS Loan amount.


      How will I receive my Graduate PLUS Loan funds?

      The Graduate PLUS Loan is disbursed to the student. If the loan is a full year loan, the loan will be disbursed half in the Fall and half in the Spring. If the loan is for one semester, the loan will be disbursed in one disbursement. If the student owes money to San Francisco State University, the university deducts all financial obligations and forwards the balance check to the student or initiates a direct deposit. We encourage students to sign up for direct deposit at Student Center Click on Enroll In Direct Deposit .


      When will I have to begin repaying the Graduate PLUS Loan?

      Repayment and interest will apply to funds after the loan has been disbursed. The first payment of interest and principal are due within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. The student can defer payment while enrolled at least half time (4 graduate units). Interest that accrues will be capitalized if not paid by the student.


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