⚠   Notice – The latest updates on the evolving COVID-19 policies and resources for the campus community
COVID 19 - Related Financial Aid Updates

Contact Us |  

Search form


Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a financing option with flexible repayment options. However, you should do research first on the Department of Education website, to make sure it's the best fit for your needs. Click here to compare PLUS Loans with other types of federal loans.

There are three steps to apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan:

Log in to CalCentral.  We encourage you to accept the smallest amount of Grad PLUS needed for the year. You can accept less than the offered amount, which is your maximum current eligibility. You can also delay accepting any or all of your offer until you are sure you need it.

Complete the Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. Simply log in to studentaid.gov by clicking on the green Log In button and entering your federal PIN information. Note: The Grad PLUS MPN is not the same MPN that you may have completed for your subsidized or unsubsidized loan. It is exclusive to the Grad PLUS.

Complete your Entrance Counseling at studentaid.gov. Be sure to select the "Graduate" student type when prompted.

When Do I Apply?

To receive a Federal Direct Loan at UC Berkeley, you need to complete required processes by the following deadlines at the latest:
Attending Fall-only: November 30
Attending Fall/Spring or Spring-Only: April 30
Attending Summer Sessions:

Enrollment Periods:                                  Deadline to Complete Loan Process:
Session A Only                                              Friday, June 26, 2020
Any Session ending August 14                         Friday, July 31, 2021
Special Session ending before August 14     Two weeks before end of Session


Accept your loan on CalCentral.   Please Note: Your credit will be checked when you accept the loan and the School submits the loan record to the Dept. of Education.

Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentaid.gov.

Complete Entrance Loan Counseling at studentaid.gov.



After 2 to 3 business days, your Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling will be received by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

After verifying that you do not have any blocks, that your financial aid application is complete, and that you meet all other basic eligibility requirements, your loan will disburse to your account.



If you have a freeze on your credit, this may prevent the required credit check from being run, which will result in a pending credit status that will need to be resolved for the credit check to run.  If possible, it is best to lift the credit freeze prior to accepting your Graduate PLUS loan, to avoid a "pending" credit status.

If the credit check shows that you have an adverse credit history, your Graduate PLUS loan will be denied, but you may still receive a grad PLUS loan through the following two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the grad PLUS loan if you do not repay it.

  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for PLUS loan borrowers on the StudentLoans.gov website



Your loan disburses to your student account and pays for any outstanding charges that you have for the term that the loan is disbursed.

If there is no outstanding balance on your student account when the loan is paid, or if your loan disbursement is larger than your balance, you will receive a refund.

If you are going to receive a refund, you will get a notification from Billing and Payment Services.

How Do I Cancel or Reduce My Grad PLUS Loan? 

Within 120 Days of Disbursement

You can cancel or reduce a paid loan through a request to the school for up to 120 days from the original disbursement date. It is important to remember that a reduction or cancellation of a paid student loan will create a charge on your student account that must be paid within no more than 30 days. 

 If you reduce your loan using these directions, send your payment to UC Berkeley once you see the charge on the student account. 

To reduce or cancel a federal student loan, the student should open a case at https://saservices.berkeley.edu/CSC/student-case.html with the requested change.

When you cancel your loan through the school by reducing the amount, a charge will be applied to your student account within 2 to 3 business days, which may create a balance due. You are responsible for paying this balance. Do not send a payment to your loan servicer if you are reducing the loan through the school.

More Than 120 Days After Disbursement

If it has been more than 120 days since your loan disbursement date, you cannot cancel or reduce your loan through the school. However, you can make a payment directly to your servicer. Locate the servicer’s contact information by logging into your National Student Loan Data System account and clicking on the Financial Aid Review button.

In order to ensure that your payment is applied to a particular loan, you must include a letter to the loan servicer with your payment that has specific instructions about how to apply your payment.

For example: "Please apply this $200 payment to my unsubsidized loan first disbursed on 01/10/2019, paying off any accrued interest and then applying any remaining payment to the principal of that loan."