The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (often referred to as Parent PLUS) is a credit-based loan offered by the U.S. Department of Education. The loan is available to parents of dependent students who need help paying for education related expenses.
The PLUS loan is in the name of the parent and cannot be transferred to the student (regardless of personal payment arrangements between the parent and student). Repayment begins 60 days after the last disbursement. Parents may request a deferment if the student is still enrolled at least half time (6 credits) or up to six months after the student is less than half time or is done attending school.
- The parent must meet the Direct PLUS loan eligibility requirements.
- The parent must be the biological, adoptive or, in some cases, stepparent of a Madison College student enrolled in an eligible program .
- The parent must not have an adverse credit history. (Some exceptions may apply.)
- The student must be dependent.
- The student must be awarded financial aid.
How do parents apply?
- Go to www.studentloans.gov and, under the Parent Borrowers tab, select Apply for a PLUS Loan to access the application and conduct the credit check. If the decision is denied, the parent has the option to reapply using an endorser (co-signer). A PLUS Credit Counseling requirement applies when there is an endorser.
- Complete the Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) upon an approved credit decision.
- Submit the PLUS Loan Request to Madison College's Financial Aid Office for awarding purposes.
The PLUS loan can be awarded up to the cost of attendance after other estimated financial aid is considered. Interest starts accruing on the loan at disbursement. Interest rates are subject to change every year on July 1 for every new disbursed loan.
Loans are disbursed through the student’s account at Madison College to pay off any tuition and fees owed (in addition to any funds for which permission had been granted). Any funding left over after paying off the balance owed will be refunded directly to the parent in the form of a check.
Private or alternative student loans or private parent loans are offered through a variety of lending institutions. They are not considered federal loans. These loans can be taken out by a student, parent, family member, or sponsor (any creditworthy individual). These loans should only be considered when all other aid options (grants, work study, and other loans)have been exhausted. Loan amounts may not exceed the student’s remaining financial need up to the cost of attendance.
- You must meet the eligibility requirements for financial aid and have received an Award Notification in your student email.
- You must have a credit score high enough to qualify for the loan or a cosigner with an eligible credit score.
- Each lender may have additional requirements. Follow the application procedure below to find out what loans you may be eligible for and the eligibility requirements.
Be sure to pay attention to interest rates, repayment obligations and repayment plan options before applying for a private or alternative loan. If you have questions regarding the loan, contact the loan provider.
Preferred Lender List
The Financial Aid department utilizes FASTChoice, a loan comparison tool offered by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation that allows students to compare up to three different loans side-by-side.
You can also visit FASTChoice to see our preferred lender list.
Preferred Lender List Disclosures
In an effort to provide better counseling services to our students, Madison College has entered into a preferred lender arrangement (PLA). Federal and state law mandates that we must provide the following disclosures in association with this process:
Method and Criteria for Lender Selection
Madison College evaluates and selects lenders based on requested information from lenders. Factors considered include competitive interest rates and origination fees, borrower benefits, electronic application and processing, co-signer release options, deferment and repayment terms as well as the most widely used lenders by current and former students, and high quality of servicing the loans.
After reviewing the information submitted by each lender, we felt the lenders represented on our list best fit the criteria we set forth. Each year we review our list of preferred lenders.
This list does not contain affiliated lenders.
Making the Decision
You may borrow from any lender you choose and are not required to use a lender on Madison College’s preferred lender list. Madison College will process loans from any eligible lender you select.
Preferred Lender Arrangements are required to be reviewed annually to ensure that competitive products that are in the best interest of the borrower are being offered. Please provide us with feedback regarding any positive and/or negative aspects that may have been experienced when working with a particular lender. Feedback can be sent to FinancialAid@madisoncollege.edu(link sends e-mail).
How to Apply
You may apply for a private or alternative loan at the financial institution of your choice, but doing so will significantly delay the time frame in which you receive those funds. We recommend you follow the steps below to apply for the most common loans taken out by Madison College students.
- Go to FASTChoice and select "Student - Private Loan Options" (for students) OR select "Parent - Private Loan Options" (for parents, family members, or sponsors)
- (Student's only) Complete Borrowing Essentials to learn about borrowing money.
- Select Continue.
- Read and understand the Loan Product Disclosures.
- Use the filter option to select undergraduate and select filter Loans.
- Compare the different student loan options that are provided.
- Once you find a loan you are interested in, select Apply.
- Provide the lender with all required information and submit your application.
- The lender will receive your application and review it to determine if you qualify. They will contact you regarding the outcome of the loan application. If your loan is approved, the lender also notifies the Financial Aid Office at Madison College.
- The Financial Aid Office will review your account, and if you meet the eligibility requirements, your loan will be certified.
- It will then take at least 14 business days for the loan monies to come to Madison College pursuant to Section 155 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (HEA) and to satisfy the requirements of Section 128(e)(3) of the Truth in Lending Act .
- See our disbursement page for information about what happens after the money is received.