The Direct GradPLUS loan is a federally guaranteed, credit-based loan available to assist graduate/professional students in financing their educations. The Financial Aid Office is recommending that students who require additional funding after other aid, including Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans consider borrowing through the GradPLUS loan program. The William D. Ford Direct Loan Programs are administered by the Department of Education and funded by the US Department of Treasury.
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A student may generally borrow up to their cost of attendance minus all other aid received. Students may elect to make interest payments while in school, or have the unpaid interest capitalized once they enter repayment. Repayment begins six months after graduation or when a student ceases half time enrollment for all GradPLUS loans disbursed after July 1, 2008. GradPLUS loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2008 begin repayment 60 days after graduation or when a student ceases at least half time enrollment.
Students should not complete a Request for a Direct GradPLUS Loan (which includes a credit check authorization) and/or a Direct GradPLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to May 1, 2013. If it is completed before May 1st, the required credit check may expire and funds will not disburse.
The GradPLUS loan request and Master Promissory Note can be found at https://studentloans.gov. You will need your four digit PIN to e-sign the note.
The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. There is a 4% origination and 1% default fee charged at each disbursement. Origination fees may change due to congressional action.
A credit check is necessary and must be obtained by the Department of Education from at least one national credit bureau. The credit check is valid for 90 days. A student must have "no adverse credit" as defined by the Department of Education. ( Here is a detailed definition of adverse credit
.) Credit score and debt/income are not considered.
Students not able to meet credit criteria may apply with an Endorser. ( Here is a detailed definition of endorser
.) However, students are encouraged to apply initially on their own.
The Request for a Federal Direct GradPLUS loan and GradPLUSMaster Promissory Note can be found at https://studentloans.gov
. You will need your four digit PIN to e-sign the note. You must complete a separate “Request for a Federal Direct GradPlus loan each academic year. New Students and those who have not previously borrowed must “Complete a Master Promissory Note for GradPLUS Loan. If you have borrowed previously on your own credit at Widener Law in the graduate program, you should not need to complete another MPN.
We encourage you to use the 2012-13 Tuition Balance/GradPLUS eligibility worksheet
to determine your GradPLUS eligibility and tuition balance before completing the application/MPN. All students are charged tuition based a per-credit rate and requesting the maximum allowed by Widener University School of Law and your cost of attendance may result in a loan that is too large for your needs
Please refer to the Guide to Fees and Payment
to determine your program’s tuition chargeThe more you borrow now, the higher your loan repayment amount will be upon graduation.Requested Loan Amount
Please be aware the application only provides three options when requesting a loan amount:
- either the maximum allowed by Widener and your personal cost of attendance or
- student requested loan amount or
- Unknown – students indicating this status will be contacted by the Financial Aid Office prior to certifying a loan amount.
If you request a loan amount and intend it to be a one semester only loan you must complete the GradPLUS Special Processing Form to inform the Financial Aid Office of your intentions. If the form is not received then the loan will be processed as fall/spring. Students with Adverse Credit
Adverse credit is defined as the applicant being 90 days or more delinquent on a debt or having been subject to a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Federal Student Aid debt.
If you are aware that you will be denied a GradPLUS loan based on adverse credit history and want to pursue the endorser option then you can complete the application online at https://studentloans.gov
with your endorser.
If you are denied a GradPLUS loan based on your credit history, you can either appeal the decision or have an endorser complete the required paperwork with the Department of Education’s Direct Loan program. When choosing either option please contact the Financial Aid Office to facilitate the process. To appeal the credit decision: Select “Document Extenuating Circumstances” on the left menu of https://studentloans.gov
after login into the site.
If your endorser completes a paper application you must contact the Financial Aid office to begin your GradPlus application.Definitions
- Adverse credit is defined as the applicant being 90 days or more delinquent on a debt or having been subject to a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of an Federal Student Aid debt.*
- The absence of any credit history is not considered adverse credit.*
- DOE must obtain a credit report on the borrower from at least one national credit bureau.
- If student is turned down for credit, the student may chose to appeal the decision to Application Services or may update their “Request for a GradPLUS Loan” by having an Endorser complete the Endorser Addendum. A new Master Promissory Note will be required for each loan associated with an Endorser.
- An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the loan if the borrower fails to do so. The endorser must be a creditworthy U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen. If the student secures an endorser for the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, his or her endorser must sign a new Endorser Addendum for each loan requested during the period in which the student has adverse credit.