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Grad PLUS Loans

Obtaining a Loan

If you are a graduate student attending UC Merced, you may be eligible to apply and receive a Grad PLUS Loan. A graduate student is not guaranteed to receive the PLUS Loan. Upon application, the Department of Education (DOE) will evaluate your credit and approve or deny your application based on your credit score and history. UC Merced is not involved in the credit decision made by the DOE. If you have any questions regarding the pre-approval process for the Grad PLUS Loan, please contact the Department of Education. For more information regarding the Grad PLUS loan, see PLUS loan.
Applying for a Grad PLUS Loan involves four steps:

  1. You must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), if you haven't already done so.
  2. You will need to log into the UC Merced Portal and accept the Grad PLUS Loan. If you are selected for verification, you will not be able to accept awards until this process is completed.
  3. Complete the "Apply for a PLUS Loan" option on the studentloans.gov website.
  4. Complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note for Graduate Students on studentloans.gov. The MPN is valid for 10 years; however, a new credit report will be initiated by the DOE each time.

Please Note:

  • APPLY after June 1st for the upcoming academic year.
  • If all steps in Grad PLUS Loan application process are not complete,  there may be a delay in processing or disbursing funds. Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns: finaid@ucmerced.edu or 209-228-7178.
  • If your financial aid awards package on the UC Merced Portal does not include a Grad PLUS Loan, you should contact the OFAS and request that a Grad PLUS Loan is included in your awards. The request may be emailed to finaid@ucmerced.edu.
  • If you are denied a Grad PLUS Loan, you may still be able to borrow the loan if a credit-worthy co-signer is approved by the Department of Education. If you are denied the Grad PLUS Loan and wish to use a co-signer, please contact the DOE.

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