Promissory Note / Master Promissory Note (MPN)

A promissory note is a binding legal document a student must sign before loan funds can be disbursed by the lender. The promissory note outlines the terms and conditions of the loan, including the repayment schedule, the interest rate and cancellation conditions. Using a master promissory note (MPN) enables you to sign one note to receive multiple loans in different academic years under the same program. An MPN is good for 10 years, after which it must be signed again for additional funds.

Ford Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

Who qualifies?

  • Graduate


IMPORTANT! Please read the information on this page before clicking on the Grad PLUS online application link at the bottom of the page.

Ford Federal Direct Grad PLUS (Grad PLUS) are loans from the U.S. Department of Education that provide additional funds for graduate and professional students whose educational expenses are not met by other types of aid.

Eligibility criteria

  • Enrollment at least half time in a degree-seeking graduate or professional program
  • Completed and processed Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA)
  • No default on any type of student loan
  • No outstanding debt on a student grant
  • Credit approval by U.S. Department of Education (ED)

Promissory note

  • A graduate or professional student borrowing a Grad PLUS for the first time must sign a master promissory note (MPN).
  • Subsequent loans do not require a new MPN unless you obtained an endorser for the approval of your loan.

Loan entrance counseling

  • A graduate or professional student borrowing a Grad PLUS for the first time must complete loan entrance counseling
  • Subsequent loans do not require loan entrance counseling

Additional information

The borrower must pass a credit check. Approval of the loan is strictly based on your credit rating.  Debt-to-income is not a deciding factor, therefore, the amount of loan you request does not affect your approval for the loan.  If you are denied you may appeal the decision or apply with a credit-worthy endorser.

After you have satisfied all eligibility requirements, loan money is paid to your university account in two installments.


When the loan is disbursed, the Department of Education calculates a 4.236 percent processing fee for loans disbursed after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020

Interest and repayment

  • The interest rate on the Grad PLUS is at 7.08 percent for loans disbursed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.
  • The interest rate on the Grad PLUS is 5.30 percent for loans disbursed between July1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Repayment begins within 60 days of the final loan disbursement. Principal and interest payments may be deferred if the borrower meets deferment requirements. Graduate and professional student PLUS borrowers may defer repayment while they are enrolled in school at least half-time and for six months after they cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

Interest is charged while in school and may be allowed to accrue and be capitalized at the end of deferment period.

Completing the online application (IMPORTANT!)

  • MU utilizes the Department of Education’s Grad PLUS request process.  The web link below will take you to the Department of Education’s student loan website.  Once you submit the application, you will know immediately whether your loan was approved or denied.
  • You (the student) will need a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to apply.  If you did not already obtain one to sign the FAFSA form, you may request one at  If you have an FSA ID, but cannot remember it, you may use this website to retrieve it.
  • Once you have your FSA ID and password, navigate to the link below and click on the LogIn Button located in the upper right hand corner.
  • Enter your personal information and click the Login button.
  • If you are successful at logging in, you will see your name in the top right corner of the screen.
  • Under Apply for Aid at the top of the screen, click on Apply for a Grad PLUS Loan. Scroll down and click the START button.
  • Once you have submitted the application and have been approved, the MU Financial Aid Office will be notified within 2 business days of your request for a PLUS loan.

PLUS Counseling 

  • PLUS Counseling is required if you initially do not pass a credit check but are approved because you obtain a co-signer or you appeal your denial and submit supporting documentation.
  • PLUS Counseling is a new requirement effective March 30,2015.
  • PLUS Counseling is not the same as Loan Entrance Counseling. You may be required to complete both PLUS Counseling and Loan Entrance Counseling.


To apply for a Graduate PLUS loan, click on Graduate PLUS Online Application and follow the instructions below.


  • You are directed to the federal loan website,
  • In the upper right of the screen, click on the LogIn button
  • You (the student) must sign in using your FSA ID
  • Under Apply for Aid at the top of the screen, click on Apply for a Grad PLUS Loan. Scroll down and click the START button.

                Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 loan instructions

  • Under Award Year, select 2020-2021
  • Under Loan Period, select months you want to borrow the loan for
  • Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 loan = August 2020 loan period begin date and May 2021 loan period end date
  • Fall 2020 loan = August 2020 loan period begin date and December 2020 loan period end date