Federal Parent Loan (“PLUS”)

The PLUS Loan is designed with the parent in mind. From this loan program, the parent may borrow the difference between the “cost of attendance” and all financial aid the student has received.

Loans will appear on your billing statement after your student’s enrollment is confirmed, and you have completed the master promissory note (MPN).

First-time borrowers will be notified of the application process early in the summer, and do not need to complete anything until that time.

PLUS Loan vs. Private Loan (chart)

PLUS vs. Private Loans (U.S. Dept of Education)

PLUS Loan Basics

Loan Limit:  Determined by subtracting the total financial aid from the “cost of attendance.”

  • The parent is the borrower
  • The lender is the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Not need-based, so available regardless of family income
  • Requires credit check (see “Adverse Credit” below)
  • Fixed interest rate
    • 9.08% for the 2024-2025 academic year
    • 8.05% for 2023-2024
    • 7.54%  for 2022-2023 
    • 6.28%  for 2021-2022
    • 5.30%  for 2020-2021
  • A fee of 4.228% is charged, so you must request a larger loan to end up with the amount you need.
    • Ex: To end up with $10,000 you will need to request $10,449. Fees will total $449.
    • Divide the amount you want to receive by .957.
  • Payment of interest and principal can be deferred until after graduation
  • Interest accrues once the loan is disbursed, including while the student is in school
  • 10-year repayment, with no penalty for early payoff

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed before you can apply for this loan.

If you wish to borrow the Parent PLUS Loan, please follow these steps:  

1) Determine the amount you need to borrow, by reviewing the tuition bill via the Parent Portal. If you do not have access to the Parent Portal, please ask your student to give you access via my.lakeforest

In order to establish permission, your student should log into  my.lakeforest and select the ‘Student’ tab, then “Student Information Form” from the left-hand column, and then “Review My Contacts.” That’s where they will add you to the list of people who can see their information.  See step-by-step.

Questions about the Parent Portal? Please contact the Office of Student Accounts.

2) You (the parent) should go to StudentAid.gov

  • Click on “ Log in
  • Select “ Loans and Grants” then click on “ PLUS Loan: Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS
  • Then click “ Learn more” next to  I am a parent of a student then click “ Start”.
  • Proceed to complete all steps until you obtain a credit decision.

When completing the PLUS loan application please keep in mind the following: 

  1. Please use your own Federal Student Aid ID and not the student’s FSA ID. To create an FSA ID or if you forgot yours, go to https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch.
  2. Select the loan period for the loan. You can apply for a full year loan by selecting August 2023 thru May 2024. You can apply for a fall term loan only by selecting August - December 2023. Or you can apply for a spring loan only by selecting January - May 2024.
  3. Select the loan amount you wish to borrow. Remember to include the 4.228% origination fee to the total loan amount. You will also have the option to request the maximum amount available to you which is the cost of attendance minus financial aid received. Once you have determined the NET amount, divide that value by 0.957 to arrive at the GROSS amount you need to request to end up with the NET amount.

If your credit decision is approved, you must complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN):

  • Go to “Loans and Grants” and select “Master Promissory Notes (MPN)”
  • Click “Start” next to  I’m a Parent of an Undergraduate Student and complete all 5 steps.
If you receive a negative credit decision, you will be presented with the following options:
  •  Appeal the decision – You should consider this option if you think there is an error on your credit report.
  •  Apply with an endorser – Additional information will be presented to you by the Application Services Department, but make a note of the loan ID number.
  •  Additional Unsubsidized loan for the student - Additional loan limits are- first-year and sophomore students: up to $4,000 per year, and junior and senior students: up to $5,000 per year.
  •  Undecided – No additional loans will be awarded to the student. Please contact our office to discuss the options.

IMPORTANT: If you cannot complete the Parent PLUS Loan request online, please contact Adriana Rodriguez to request a PLUS Loan Request form. 

What Happens Next

If you are eligible for a PLUS Loan:

Approximately 10 days after you submit the PLUS Loan Request Form to us, we receive word of the credit decision.  If the PLUS Loan is approved, it will appear on your tuition account as an anticipated credit.  After we certify the loan (confirm your eligibility) the loan funds will be sent to the College and applied to the student’s tuition account.  You will receive a notice from the College’s Business Office when the funds have been applied to your student’s account.  

If you are not eligible for a PLUS Loan (“adverse credit”):

If you are denied the PLUS Loan your son/daughter will be able to receive some additional funds, up to $5,000, from the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan. 

A PLUS Loan can be denied if you have adverse credit, currently defined as being 90 or more days delinquent on any debt, or any of the following in the last five years:  loan default, bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, etc…

If you want to modify an existing PLUS Loan: 

Use this Request to Modify form to increase/reduce/cancel a loan.

Contact Financial Aid

Phone and Fax



Patterson Lodge, 2nd Floor
Middle Campus, Map


8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Jerry Cebrzynski
Associate Vice President for Financial Aid

Mark Anderson
Associate Director

Adriana Rodriguez
Associate Director for Financial Aid Operations
VA Certifying Official

Si necesita hablar con alguien en español en la oficina de ayuda financiera, usted puede llamar a Adriana Rodriguez.