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Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

 General Information

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) is a loan designed to help parents pay for their child's education. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is offered to a birth parent, stepparent or an adoptive parent of a dependent student. MSU Denver offers PLUS Loans through the Direct Lending program.

If a student has completed with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a Federal Direct PLUS Loan may be possible if they are also a dependent student. 

A Federal Direct PLUS Loan will be awarded to a credit-worthy applicant. Eligibility for PLUS Loans is not based on household income so parents at all income levels are welcome to apply. With a Federal Direct PLUS Loan you may borrow up to the entire cost of attendance (including books, room, board, fees, tuition, etc.). The school will certify the actual dollar eligibility based on the student’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid awarded. Direct PLUS Loans not only offer a great low interest rate but the interest payments may be tax deductible. Parents are advised to consult with their tax advisor for details.

Institutional Emancipation and Taking out a Parent PLUS Loan

If a student has been approved for institutional emancipation through the Office of the Registrar, PLEASE be advised of the following:



How to apply:

We encourage you to borrow only what you need. If you have an award notice from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships you are not required to borrow the full amount for which you are eligible.

Step 1: Parent must go to Federal Student Aid Plus Loans

Step 2: Sign in with their FSA ID.  If parent does not yet have an FSA ID please go to Create FSA ID.

Step 3: Complete the “Request a Direct PLUS Loan” application.

Step 4: Complete the Master Promissory Note for Parent PLUS loan if approved. A Master Promissory Note is the contract that the borrower must sign before the loan can be disbursed. This contract states that the borrower agrees to repay the loan and accepts the terms and conditions of the loan.

Step 5: Disbursement of the funds. Once all of the necessary forms are completed the funds will be disbursed to the school. Your loan funds will be disbursed in two equal disbursements for fall/spring requests. For a one-term loan, it will be in a single disbursement. The funds will be applied to your student’s Tuition and Fee charges. Any excess funds will be issued in a refund to the student or as a paper check mailed to the parent depending on the method selected at the time of application.

Please visit for additional information on PLUS loans.


Interest Rates and Fees

For current interest rates and loan fees please go to Federal Student Aid.


Credit Check Requirements

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan requires that the parent borrower not have any "adverse credit." This can include, but is not limited to, a recent bankruptcy, excessive delinquencies, and certain court judgments. This credit check will occur at the time of the online application submission.

Note about credit denials: If the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is denied because of the credit check the parent may do the following:

  • The parent may appeal the credit decision or obtaining an endorser.
  • The denial is only based on one parent. The other parent has the option of also applying for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
  • If our office receives the Parent PLUS Loan credit denial, we will initiate the process for the student to qualify for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. An email will be sent to the student via their Student Hub email account notifying them of the next step. An undergraduate student's ability to borrow through the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program is not as liberal as the parent's level of borrowing ability and has annual and lifetime limitations.

The additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan borrowing limits are:

Freshman: $4,000
Sophomore: $4,000
Junior: $5,000
Senior: $5,000

How to Accept Additional Unsubsidized Loan Funding: The student must still apply for the additional Unsubsidized funds via the MSU Denver Online FSLA.  The student will have 180 days from the date of the PLUS Loan denial to accept the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. After the 180 days, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be unable to process the additional Unsubsidized Loan and a new PLUS Loan credit check will have to be made. Other limitations and eligibility requirements may apply.


Eligibility Requirements

For Student: The student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours in a degree seeking program and must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships). The student cannot be in default on an educational loan and cannot owe any education grant refunds.

Please note: If you are a non-resident for tuition purposes, the Parent PLUS loan may prevent you from qualifying for in-state residency in future semesters. Please contact the Office of the Registrar to learn how the Parent PLUS loan may affect you.

For Parents: A parent may not be in default on an educational loan or owe any education grant refunds, and must be a natural parent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, or stepparent.

Parents must be a Citizen/Eligible Non-citizen: You must be one of the following to receive federal student aid: 

  • U.S. citizen 

  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's Island) 

  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card)

If you do not fall into one of those categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showing one of the following designations in order to be eligible: 

  • "Refugee" 

  • "Asylum Granted" 

  • "Indefinite Parole" and/or "Humanitarian Parole" 

  • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending" 

  • "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

If you have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you are not eligible for federal student aid. If you're in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa only, or on a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only, you cannot get federal student aid. Also, persons with G series visas (pertaining to international organizations) are not eligible for federal student aid.


Borrower Responsibility

  • The borrower is required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

  • Repayment begins 60 days after the funds are fully disbursed, and the repayment term is up to 10 years.

  • PLUS Loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student. 

  • Your repayment conditions will be determined by your loan service provider.


Borrowing Limits and Loan Periods

Borrowing Limits: For each undergraduate child, parents may borrow up to the student's cost of attendance minus all other financial aid awarded. The cost of attendance may include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. The student's school will determine and certify this amount.

Once the loan is approved, the funds will be sent to the school. Loans are made co-payable to both the parent and the school, with any excess funds being issued in a refund to the student. To view budget information, please click the following link: Awarding Process, and go to Student Budgets (Cost of Attendance). 


Repayment Details

All repayment plans can be found at:

Deferment: Parent may opt through the PLUS loan application to have the loan deferred while the student is in school for 6 or more credit hours.

Repayment: usually begins within 60 days of full disbursement. Under the Standard Repayment Plan, borrowers will pay a fixed amount each month for up to 10 years. Choosing the Extended Repayment Plan will lower the monthly payment and extend the repayment period. Parents who choose the Extended Repayment will pay more interest over the life of the loan. Under both of these plans, the monthly payment will be at least $50.

For specifics on repayment options, please contact your direct loan servicer through NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System).



If a Parent wants to cancel a loan that has been submitted or processed they must submit a LNEVL Form. If your loan has already disbursed and you have received a check and want to cancel your loan, you must return the check with a written statement requesting cancellation of your loan and a legible copy of your parent's driver license. If you have cashed the check and still wish to cancel the loan, you must contact the Loan Department at the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to learn how to cancel this loan.  A representative from the Loan Department at the Office of Financial and Scholarships can let you know how to make the payment back to the school.

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