University of Wisconsin–Madison

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is a credit-based educational loan available to graduate and professional students directly through the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools, like UW-Madison. If you are borrowing Federal Direct Loans for the first time, you must complete both Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note online.

1. Submit FAFSA

You must complete the FAFSA. Be sure to submit any additional documents and/or information requested by our office that may be required to complete the application and award package.

2. Review Awards on MyUW Student Center

You must review your awards in your Student Center and accept or decline any offered aid.

3. Complete a PLUS Loan Application

You must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Request for Graduate/Professional Student Borrowers.

**Be sure to specify the loan amount you want, do not write ‘maximum’. Be careful to borrow only the amount you think you’ll need. A credit decision will be received immediately following the submission of the application.

Denied borrowers will have the option to appeal or designate a cosigner/endorser. It is your choice to pursue this option. Borrowers who use an endorser or who successfully appeal the credit decision are required to complete additional PLUS Credit Counseling before the loan funds can be disbursed. For questions and answers about credit decisions and/or adverse credit history contact the Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394 or review Federal Student Aid’s fact sheet.

4. First Time Borrower Documents

First time PLUS borrowers must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Graduate/Professional Students.

5. Disbursement

When the MPN and all other requirements are complete, the loan money will disburse to your tuition account prior to the start of classes each semester. Note: PLUS loans will not automatically pay for UW Housing Charges. You are responsible for using excess PLUS funds to pay UW Housing bill separately.

Interest Rates

Grade Level
Loan Type
2016-17 Rate

First disbursed between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017

2017-18 Rate

First disbursed between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018

Graduate/Professionals GradPLUS 6.31% 7%

Origination Fee

Loan Type
2016 Fee

First disbursed between 10/1/2016 and 9/30/2016

2017 Fee

First disbursed between 10/1/2016 and 9/30/2017*

GradPLUS 4.272% 4.276%

*Due to Sequestration – origination fees will continue to increase for all federal direct loans on October 1 each year.

Repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement. Grad PLUS borrowers will automatically be granted an in-school deferment as long as they are enrolled at least half-time.

Everything you could want to know about repaying your federal student loan(s) can be found online – Federal Student Aid website.