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Parent PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS Loans are offered by the Department of Education (Dept.) for parents of undergraduate students who are considered dependent in terms of federal aid.  Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens. Approval is credit-based.

The borrowing maximum is the cost of attendance minus all other aid - - it is NOT the billed amount due. Depending upon the composition of each student’s aid award and billed charges, a PLUS Loan for the maximum amount could leave a balance due or overpay the tuition account.

Requests are made online at with the process activating July 1; however, requests should NOT be made until 1.) the student's official aid award has been determined and 2.) the student has accepted or declined any offered student loans. Requests CANNOT be processed unless these prerequisites have been met.

For parents wanting assistance in determining the PLUS Loan amount that accounts for the loan fee, it is better to wait until charges and any pending aid are posted to the tuition account.  In cases in which the student is accepting health insurance through Smith, it is better to wait until the annual required health decision is made (that process activates around July 1).

Requests, though, should be made before the due dates (August 10 for fall-only or full-year students and January 10 for spring entry students).

Some parents may find that financing is needed for the fall term, but are uncertain about spring. In such cases, we recommend borrowing for the full year and, come spring, if less in PLUS Loan is needed, having us reduce the loan. This approach allows financing to be in place for spring in case it is needed, helping to avert a potential late fee and/or registration hold. And reducing the loan is simpler and quicker than going through a second loan process.

For more details, please review the information below. Should you need further assistance, please contact us at

Terms of the Loan

First Disbursed Interest Rate
July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024  8.05%
July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023 7.54%

Note: Interest begins to accrue on disbursed amounts upon disbursement.

First Disbursed Origination Fee
October 1, 2021-September 30, 2022 4.228%

Note: Origination fees are deducted from the requested loan amount. Therefore, the amount that is credited to tuition accounts is a bit less than the processed loan amount.

For detailed rights and responsibilities and repayment terms, refer to the read-only Master Promissory Note (if a Master Promissory Note is required for your loan, then you must complete one online instead of using the read-only version)



How to Apply

Please wait to request a PLUS Loan until after the following items are completed:

  • The application for financial aid has been completed and the official aid award has been determined.
  • Any loan offered to the student has been accepted or declined by the student via Net Partner.
  • The annual required health insurance decision has been made.
  • First-time PLUS Loan borrowers must have a completed PLUS Loan MPN at

PLUS Loan requests that are submitted prematurely will be suspended and follow-up by the parent borrower will be required.

When requesting a loan, you must either request a specific whole dollar amount or select the Maximum option. (The maximum loan amount is NOT the same amount as the billed balance due.)

If you are unsure of the amount, contact this office instead of estimating (to avoid submission of another request because submitted requests cannot be modified).

If the loan period is September through May, then finance the amount needed for both terms. (We recommend full-year loans for full-year students as opposed to single-term loans.)

Be sure to account for the loan fee because it is deducted from the loan amount before disbursement. Not accounting for the fee could result in an unintended balance due on the account.

If a payment plan is being used in conjunction with a PLUS Loan, then the PLUS Loan should be processed before the payment plan is set up to avert a higher initial plan payment.

If two parents are requesting PLUS Loans, then both amounts should be worked out with this office before requests are made because one amount could lessen the borrowing limit for the second loan.

If you need assistance, contact us via email at

Requests are made at

You will need your FSA ID to sign in. Do not use the FSA ID of the student. If you do not have one, you will be able to request one using the link near the sign in button.

Be careful when entering dates of birth and SSNs. And be sure that the parent information is entered in the borrower section and the student information is entered in the student section.

If you will be a first time borrower of this loan type for the named student, or if you previously borrowed this loan using an endorser, you must complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note at If you owe this requirement, please complete this document at the same time that you complete your PLUS Loan request or earlier.

Policies & Guidelines

  • A parent requests a loan at
  • The request data is transmitted to Smith College.
  • A PLUS loan is added to the aid award.
  • The current term portion is entered as a pending credit on the student account.
  • The loan is originated with the Department of Education.
  • The Department sends a disclosure to the borrower.
  • The loan is linked to a master promissory note (MPN).
  • The current term portion of MPN-linked loans disburses.
  • The disbursed loan is reported to the Department.
  • The Department assigns the loan to a loan servicer.
  • The servicer notifies the borrower of this assignment.
  • The borrower repays the loan via the servicer.
  • Loan proceeds pay directly to the student's tuition account.
  • Full-year loan amounts are split equally between both terms.
  • Disbursement typically occurs on a weekly basis during the aid year.
  • Email notification of disbursement is sent to borrowers.
  • Note: Unsatisfied aid requirements can prevent disbursement.
  • Credit balances are automatically refunded to the PLUS Loan borrower.
  • During the online request process borrowers may authorize surplus loan amounts to be paid to the student directly.
  • Repayment of the loan begins 60 days after final disbursement. (For a single-term loan, final disbursement is the only disbursement. For a full-year loan, the spring disbursement is the final disbursement.)
  • Borrowers may defer repayment while the student is enrolled. This option may be selected during the online request process.
  • Denials may be overridden via appeal or by use of an endorser.
  • Borrowers with loans approved via appeal or use of an endorser must complete "PLUS Counseling" at
  • Endorsers must complete Endorser Addendums at
  • Denials, when there is also no approval, allow students an increased federal unsubsidized loan maximum. Unsubsidized loan increases due to PLUS denials are made upon request only.
  • Applicant Services can provide appeal/endorser help at (800) 557-7394.