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Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS Loan funding is available to assist students and parents with meeting their educational expenses beyond the demonstrated need.

The Direct PLUS Loans require applicants and endorsers to have a citizenship status of either U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be enrolled at least half-time for funds to disburse to the student's account. For undergraduates, this means enrolling in at least six (6) credit hours. Graduate students must enroll in a minimum of four and one-half (4.5) credit hours. All loans are disbursed into two equal parts, unless you specifically request one semester only. The lender for these loans is the U.S Department of Education. On July 1st, borrowers will be able to view interest rates for the new academic year. Please visit the U.S Department of Education for additional detailed information.

For the Impact of Sequestration on Rice Financial Aid Programs, please click here.

The Direct PLUS Loan Program includes:

  • The Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students - a credit-based, fixed rate loan that enables graduate or professional students to borrow funds to meet their educational expenses.  Students may apply with an endorser.
  • The Direct PLUS Loan for Parents - a credit-based, fixed rate loan that parents of undergraduate students can borrow on the student’s behalf to meet educational expenses.  Parents may apply with an endorser.

To apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students:

  • Apply for the Direct PLUS online - If your application was denied and are seeking an endorser, please notify our office once the endorser has been approved. This will expedite the processing of your approved PLUS Loan.
  • Complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) in order to complete the loan process.  All signed MPNs will receive a confirmation e-mail following the signature.
  • The Office of Financial Aid will receive your request electronically and process it within three to five business days. You will need to log into your ESTHER account to accept your loan offer. You must accept, reduce, or decline the loan amount in order for the acceptance process to be completed.

You have the option to reduce or cancel your loan prior to disbursement or within 14 days after the funds have disbursed. As of March 29, 2015, the Department of Education will require loan counseling for any PLUS applicant who has been denied the loan and wishes to be reconsidered by adding a cosigner or by submitting documentation of extenuating circumstances.

To apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for Parents:

  • Apply for the Direct PLUS online - The Office of Financial Aid will receive your request electronically and process it within three to five business days. The Direct PLUS Loan for Parents can be viewed under the student’s Esther account once it has been processed. If your loan is denied, the student may be eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan to aid in educational expenses.
  • Sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) in order to complete the loan process.  All signed MPNs will receive a confirmation e-mail following signature. If you have more than one child attending the same institution, you must complete a separate MPN for each student.

You have the option to reduce or cancel your loan prior to disbursement or within 14 days after the funds have disbursed. As of March 29, 2015, the Department of Education will require loan counseling for any PLUS applicant who has been denied the loan and wishes to be reconsidered by adding a cosigner or by submitting documentation of extenuating circumstances.