Parents of dependent undergraduate students have access to a very good, but often overlooked loan: the PLUS loan.

PLUS is guaranteed by the federal government and can be used to borrow the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. As with any type of loan, we suggest only borrowing what is needed. Learn more about the PLUS loan:

Eligibility Requirements

When applying for a Federal Parent PLUS Loan, you must be the biological or adoptive parent of the dependent undergraduate student who submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, you must pass a credit check and must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan


4.228% of the loan amount for loans disbursed between 10/1/20 and 9/30/24.

Interest Rate

8.05% fixed rate for loans that disbursed between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.

How to Apply

Pre-Application Process

  1. Log onto with your FSA ID and Password. If you do not have a FSA ID and Password, you can request one from this website.
  2. Click on one of the following links: Start PLUS Application Process or Request PLUS Loan
  3. Complete the application and click Submit. You must complete this step in full.
  4. You will receive an instant credit decision once you submit.

If Credit Check is Approved

In order to borrow a PLUS Loan, the parent applicant has to pass a credit check.

  1. If you are approved, you will be directed to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online (if you do not already have one on file). Once you complete the MPN, Emerson will receive your approved loan and requested loan amount information within two business days.
  2. The student will receive and email notification that the financial aid award has been changed.  The student will be directed to view changes via eCommon
  3. The parent borrower will receive disclosure statements and repayment information from Direct Loan Applicant Services.

If Credit Check is Denied

If you do not pass the credit check, there are three options available to you:

  1. You can work with Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394 if you believe there was an error made on your credit check.  You also have the ability to appeal a denial decision with Direct Loan Applicant Services. You would need to contact Applicant Services and go through the appeal process. Appeals are not guaranteed to be approved. 
  2. You can obtain a creditworthy endorser (co-borrower). The endorser would need to pass the credit check, agree to endorse the promissory note, and agree to repay the loan if you would fail to do so. More information on this option will be provided to you by Direct Loan Applicant Services.  Please Note:  If you do decide to get an endorser you should have your endorser complete the endorser addendum electronically via  Emerson will not be notified of any endorser addendums that are not completed electronically.  
  3. You can stop processing the PLUS Loan. If you decide to stop the processing of the denied PLUS Loan, Emerson will assume you wish us to offer the undergraduate student to borrow an unsubsidized loan in the student’s own name. Freshmen and sophomores can borrow up to $4,000 and juniors and seniors can borrow up to $5,000 for the school year. Emerson will send information directly to the student.

Loan Disbursement

Loans are certified for the full academic year and are disbursed in two parts: half for fall and half for spring. Funds are disbursed directly to the student's account. Any overpayment on the student’s account from the PLUS Loan disbursement is refunded directly to the parent borrower.

Emerson will assume that PLUS borrowers want to borrow their loan for the full academic year (both fall and spring terms). If you do not wish to borrow your PLUS loan for the full academic year, please contact our office by sending an email to studentloans [at] (studentloans[at]emerson[dot]edu). In your email, please include:

  • The borrower’s full name
  • Student’s full name
  • Student’s ID number
  • The term(s) that you would like your loan to be disbursed

Right to Cancel

When your loan has disbursed, Emerson College is required by fed reg to notify the borrower that the funds have disbursed to their student account. Further, this regulation states that we must inform you of your right to cancel all or a portion of your loan. To do so, you must submit a written request via email to studentloans [at] within fourteen (14) days of the date of this notice and include the following information:

  • Type of loan(s) to be cancelled
  • Amount of loan(s) to be cancelled
  • Date of request

Please note that the student is the borrower of the Federal Direct Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) and Graduate PLUS loan. The parent is the borrower of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. The parent is the borrower of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

Upon receipt of the request, the College will cancel the loan(s) and return the funds to the lender/servicer. We will send confirmation of this to the borrower. Please be aware that if you have used a student or parent loan to pay your semester bill, cancellation of any loans(s) may result in an open balance owed to the College. Emerson requires immediate payment of balances resulting from cancellation of your loan(s).

If you submit a request to cancel a loan beyond the 14-day period, the College is not required to honor your request. However, we will give it every consideration and notify you, in writing, of the outcome.

Repayment Plans

There is no grace period for Direct PLUS Loans. Repayment begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify you of the date your first payment is due.

If you are a parent PLUS borrower, you can defer repayment of Direct PLUS Loans while the student for whom you obtained the loan is enrolled at least half-time, and for an additional six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. You must separately request this deferment period.

However, if you are a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student, you can defer repayment while you are enrolled in school at least half-time, and for an additional six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. You must separately request this deferment period.

Generally, you’ll have from 10 to 25 years to repay the PLUS loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. Read more about these repayment plans at


Information on financing programs is subject to change without notice. Emerson College is not responsible for any changes.