Parent PLUS Loans

Federal PLUS Loans are available to parents or stepparents with a good credit history to help pay for the education of a dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled at least half-time. The Federal PLUS Loan is offered under the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Direct Loan program. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for this type of loan.

An art professor works with a Washburn student on a painting project.

What is a Parent PLUS Loan?

  • Federal loan for parents or stepparents
  • Used to assist with the student's educational expenses not covered by scholarships, grants, and/or student loans
  • Non-need based
  • Requires repayment
  • Interest accrues on this loan from the date the funds are disbursed to the school

Who qualifies?

  • Parents or stepparents of undergraduate students
  • Parent and student must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Parent cannot have adverse credit history
  • Student must be enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours)
  • Student must be degree-seeking
  • Parent and student must not be in default on any federal student aid
  • Parent must not have discharged student loans

If the parent/stepparent applies for a Parent PLUS Loan and their credit is not approved, Washburn University may be able to offer the student an additional $4,000 in an Unsubsidized Loan for the academic year.

The student must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Once the FAFSA is received, Washburn University will determine if the student has potential eligibility for a Parent PLUS Loan based on the student's other financial aid awards. If so, an estimated Parent PLUS Loan will be included in the student's financial aid awards. The estimated Parent PLUS Loan is not guaranteed, but is meant to reflect the maximum amount a parent could receive in the Parent PLUS Loan, if they choose to apply and are approved for this loan.

After the student has accepted all other available student aid, the parent/stepparent can apply for a Parent PLUS Loan online through PLUS Loan applications become available April 1 each year. Parents are not required to request the full amount reflected on the award offer and can enter a smaller amount in the application process.

If the parent/stepparent is approved for the Parent PLUS Loan, a Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed online. The MPN is meant to help the parent understand the terms and conditions of borrowing a federal PLUS Loan.

Parent PLUS Loan Denials

If the parent/stepparent is not approved for the Parent PLUS Loan, they may still be eligible to receive this loan through the following options.

  • Obtain an endorser with good credit history
  • Appeal the credit decision

If the parent/stepparent does not wish to pursue either of these options, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student if they are eligible to receive an additional amount in the Unsubsidized Loan, up to $4,000.

The estimated Parent PLUS Loan amount reflected in the student's financial aid award offer is determined by subtracting all other financial aid, scholarships and resources offered from the total Cost of Attendance. The Cost of Attendance is not necessarily what the student will pay to go to school, but an estimate of the direct and indirect costs they may experience for one academic year. 


Cost of Attendance $22,018
Less Academic Scholarship -2,000
Less Federal Student Loans -5,500
Estimated Parent PLUS Loan $15,018

Loan Disbursement

Disbursement is the process of financial aid applying toward the student's bill at Washburn University.

  • All loans must be disbursed in two equal installments - typically one disbursement in fall semester and one in spring, unless the student is attending only one semester or summer
  • Parent PLUS Loans will disburse approximately 10 days before the start of classes

Financial Aid Refunds

  • After all other student aid is applied, if the Parent PLUS Loan exceeds the student's bill at Washburn University, a refund will be issued to the parent and will be mailed in the form of a paper check
  • Parent PLUS Loan refunds cannot be picked up in person
  • If the parent would rather have the refund issued to the student, they may indicate this on the PLUS application or via signed authorization to the school
  • Find out more about financial aid refunds

Approved Federal Direct PLUS Loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). All borrowers have access to review their full loan history through NSLDS. Additionally, this information is made accessible to guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions that are deemed to be authorized users.

For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and prior to July 1, 2024, the interest rate for the PLUS loan is fixed at 8.05% percent.

The PLUS Loan is also subject to a 4.228 percent loan fee. This fee is deducted from the loan each time a disbursement is made.

Since the Parent PLUS Loan has a higher interest rate and loan origination fee than the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for students, we encourage students utilize those loans first before determining if a Parent PLUS Loan is needed.

Loan repayment for parent/stepparent borrowers begins 60 days after the PLUS Loan has fully disbursed. For example, if requesting a Parent PLUS Loan for the academic year, repayment would begin 60 days after the spring disbursement of the loan.

However, the parent/stepparent may request a deferment while the student is enrolled at least half-time (six or more credit hours) and for an additional six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. If a deferment is requested, payments are not required while the student is enrolled half-time but interest will continue to accrue and capitalize.

Visit the Federal Student Aid website for information regarding loan payment plans and estimated repayment schedules.

Parent PLUS Loan are awarded by academic year. Eligibility could vary from year to year. Along with the FAFSA, a Parent PLUS Loan application must be completed each academic year, if the parent/stepparent chooses to apply.

Additionally, the student must meet the following criteria to maintain eligibility for the PLUS Loan.

  • Enroll at least half-time
  • Enroll in a degree-bound program
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Not be in default on any federal student aid


Financial Aid Office
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Ph: 785-670-1151
Fax: 785-670-1079

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