How to Apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The PLUS program allows parents of a dependent student to borrow funds. Eligible parent borrowers must be either biological or adoptive parent, or stepparent if listed on the FAFSA.  Castleton uses the online Parent PLUS Loan Application at The credit check for a PLUS loan is valid for 180 days. The website will accept applications beginning May 1 for the upcoming academic year. If your loan approval expires your credit will be run again and the new credit decision may be different than the original based on your credit record.

New parent borrowers will need to complete a Master Promissory Note at, which is done in the Complete Aid Process section of the website. Returning parent borrowers, who had an endorser, have to complete a new PLUS promissory note and endorser promissory note each year, in addition to PLUS loan counseling.

Starting in academic year 2020-2021 all borrowers must complete the Informed Borrowing Confirmation process every year they borrow a federal loan.  This is completed at

Online Application Process

  1. Sign in using your FSA ID (If you do not have one, follow the prompts for creating one.  This is the parent borrower's FSA ID not the student's.)

  2. Under the Apply for Aid heading, select Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan and fill the form out. If you are unable to fill the form out completely, you can save it and return to it later. You cannot submit the form unless it is filled out completely. If you are not sure how much you need to borrow, refer to the Cost of Attendance and Funding Options information or your student's billing statement. There is an origination fee charged by the Department of Education. The origination fee is 4.236% for loans disbursed between 10/01/2019 and 09/30/2020. To factor this fee into your requested amount, take the net amount you need to borrow and divide it by 0.957 (x/0.957). This fee is subject to change based on federal funding.

  3. The result of your credit check will be displayed for you within a few minutes. If your credit is approved and you do not already have a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note on file, select the link to complete a Parent PLUS MPN under the Complete Aid Process tab. Once the Master Promissory Note is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email from

  4. In the event that your credit is denied, you will be presented with options which include obtaining an endorser (co-signer), appealing the credit decision, or canceling the loan.  If you choose to cancel the loan your student may be eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan (up to $4,000 for the year for students with less than 60 cumulative credits or up to $5,000 for the year for students with 60 or more cumulative credits). If you choose to get an endorser or appeal the credit decision, you will be directed to complete parent PLUS Loan counseling, which must be completed in order to process the loan after the endorser is obtained or the credit appeal is granted.

  5. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed unless another repayment option is selected. You will receive communication from your loan servicer regarding repayment options.

  6. We will receive the application information and the credit check results electronically and will process the loan. Once our processing is complete, an email notification will be sent to your student advising them to log onto web services to see their revised financial aid. Our processing time for a Parent PLUS Loan is 10-14 days. For the upcoming year, we will begin processing PLUS Loans for registered students after July 1.