Barbie Papalios, Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Peggy Higgins, Associate Dean

FAQ: Graduate PLUS Loans

Who is eligible to borrow a Graduate PLUS loan?

Qualifying master's and doctoral students.

How much can I borrow with a Graduate PLUS loan?

Please note that students MUST exhaust all federal eligibility through the Stafford Direct Lending program before applying for a Graduate PLUS loan. The yearly limit on a Graduate PLUS Loan is equal to your cost of attendance (determined by school) minus any other financial aid you receive. For example, if your cost of attendance is $60,000 and you receive $40,000 in other financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, Stafford loan) you could borrow up to, but no more than $20,000.

What kind of credit do I need?

A qualified Graduate PLUS Loan borrower does not have an adverse credit history (defined in regulations as being 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, or having a credit report that shows default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Title IV debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report). Note that Graduate PLUS loans do not use any kind of a debt-to-income ratio or FICO® score, unlike private education loans.

Do I need a co-signer?

Graduate students with good credit should not need a co-signer to apply for the loan. You might need a co-signer if your credit is insufficient.  If you are denied, you can appeal the decision or you can re-apply with a co-signer.

Can I cancel the loan if I change my mind, even if I  have signed the promissory note agreeing to the loan’s terms?

Yes. You are not required to take this loan, and if you would like us to cancel it and make other arrangements for your bill, please notify Barbie Papalios at or (781)-736-3403.

What is the interest rate on Graduate PLUS Loans?

Graduate PLUS Loan rates are fixed at 6.31% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017. For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2015 and before July 1, 2016, the interest rate is 6.84%.  

Interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full.

What fees are associated with Graduate PLUS Loans?

For Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after 10/01/16 and before 10/01/16:  a 4.276% federal origination fee of the loan amount is deducted proportionally each time a loan disbursement is made. For loans first disbursed on or after 10/01/15 and before 10/01/16:  the origination fee is 4.272%.

I received notification that I qualify for both Stafford and Graduate PLUS Loans. Now what?

1. Complete Stafford Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling by logging on to the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Servicing website and click on the Complete Counseling link. After selecting Start Entrance Counseling (the first option), Add Brandeis University as a school to notify, and select the student type that reads "

2. Complete TWO Master Promissory Notes, one for your Stafford Loan and one for your Graduate PLUS Loan. You will need your FSA ID (if you have not already created an FSA ID, you should do so first) to complete this step in the process.