Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
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Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

Enrollment Requirements:
  • Graduate level students must be enrolled at least half-time in graduate level courses to receive graduate level federal financial aid.
  • Graduate level students cannot be enrolled in a combination of undergraduate and graduate units to meet the half-time status for aid disbursement.
  • Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for federal student loan funds.
Consent For Credit Check:

By accepting the Graduate PLUS Loan you are giving your consent for a credit check to be completed by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

Loan Type Priority:

It is recommended that you request the entire Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan prior to requesting any Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan funds.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan vs. Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

The following example illustrates the difference in payments between a Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan and a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.

 $10,000 Loan Amount

Monthly Payments

Total Repayments

Federal Direct Unsubsidized (6.00%)



Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (7.00%)



Steps to Accept Loan

1. Complete your Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note - MPN)

Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN)

If you completed a Federal Direct Grad Plus MPN with UA as the school since 2010, you do not need a new MPN.

You will need to complete a new MPN if:

  • A Graduate PLUS MPN with UA as the school has never been completed. (This is a different MPN than the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans)
  • No actual loan funds were borrowed within 12 months of signing a prior MPN.
  • Current MPN has expired and is no longer valid. (MPN is only valid for ten years)
  • If you directed the lender to terminate an MPN and stop any new loans being borrowed under the MPN.
  • You were previously required to have an endorser due to adverse credit. An MPN with an endorser is only valid for one loan. In these cases a new MPN and endorsement is required each time a Graduate PLUS loan is requested.


2. Accept Your Loans

A. Navigate to UAccess and click Student Center

  • Log into UAccess Student Center
  • Click Accept/Decline Awards under the Finances tab. By accepting a loan, you are authorizing a credit check to be run.
  • Click the applicable school year (2013-2014) and accept loans

B. Must Confirm Which Charges to Pay

Students must grant UA their permission for UA to pay charges other than tuition and mandatory fees with their federal student aid (grants and student loans

  • Navigate to UAccess and click Student Center
  • Log into Student Center
  • Under the Finances tab and click Financial Aid Authorization


  • No action is needed on loans that you wish to decline. Only the loans and amounts that are accepted will be processed. Be sure to enter the the loan amounts needed for the entire school year. Interest is charged from the point disbursement of the loan, not from the point approval. There is no advantage to taking loans term by term.
  • Be aware of how loans are reported to credit agencies.
  • You are not required to borrow and may borrow less than the amount offered.
  • Know what you will owe after college. Manage your Debt.

You can also decide to cancel a loan and have funds returned to the lender at a later time. A written request (fax, UA email) is required to cancel a loan that has been disbursed to your account. The immediate repayment of any account balance due is required when a disbursed loan is cancelled.


3: Complete Graduate-Level Loan Entrance Counseling

Loan Entrance Counseling

Students must complete separate loan entrance counseling session for graduate-level loans

First-time graduate students at UA must complete the Graduate Loan Entrance Counseling at The Undergraduate Entrance Counseling completed while attending UA or another school is not sufficient for this requirement.


Loan Rates and Discounts

  • 7.0% Graduate PLUS loan fixed interest rate* effective July 1,2017
  • 10.50% Life time interest rate cap (Graduate PLUS)
  • 4.276% Origination Fee after October 1, 2016
  • 4.264% Origination Fee starting October 1, 2017 as determined by the U.S. Department of Education 
  • 0.25% Interest rate discount for auto debit
  • Loans Serviced by U.S. Dept. of Education contracted agency
  • The average national federal student loan debt of a 4-year college student is $26,830​

             *For the most up to date interest rates visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Credit Must Be Approved to Receive Funds

By accepting the Graduate PLUS Loan you are giving your consent for a credit check to be completed by the U.S. Department of Education (ED)The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan will only be denied for adverse credit reasons. ED defines these conditions as reasons for adverse credit:
  • Bankruptcy (Chapters 7, 11, or 12 within the past 5 years)
    • Note: U.S. Department of Education policy does not consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy adverse.
  • Voluntary surrender within the last 5 years
  • Repossession within the last 5 years
  • Foreclosure proceedings started
  • Foreclosure within the last 5 years
  •  Deed in lieu of foreclosure
  • Accounts currently 90 days or more delinquent
    • Note: Accounts currently reported as 90 days or more delinquent, which are over 5 years old since the last reported delinquency, are not considered adverse.
  • Wage garnishment within the last 5 years
  • Defaulted loan that has been claim paid
  • Lease or contract on secured real estate
  • County/State/Federal tax lien, within the past 5 years

See Protect Your Credit for advice on maintaining good credit throughout your academic career. 

If Denied for Adverse Credit

  • Appeal the adverse credit decision with the Direct Loan Applicant Service Center at 1.800.557.7394
  • Obtain a credit worthy endorser. Be aware, that once a borrower is denied it's most likely they would continue to be denied each year for the next five years. Denied borrowers should be prepared to secure an endorser who can endorse the Graduate PLUS until the degree is completed. The steps the endorser must complete are listed below:
  1. Obtain a Federal FSA ID at
  2. Sign in with the FSA ID at
  3. Click Endorse a Direct PLUS Loan under PLUS Loan Process on the left side of the page. 
  4. Enter the Loan Reference Number (same as the award identification number) that UA will provide to you via email. 
  • Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, P.O. Box 210066, Tucson, AZ 85721
  • Phone: 520.621.1858
  • Fax: 520.621.9473