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 4.288 percent processing fee.

Interest and repayment

The interest rate on the Grad PLUS is fixed at 6.41 percent for loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

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!)

  • Beginning May 1, 2013, MU will utilize 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 will need your federal PIN number to apply.  If you cannot remember your PIN, go to and request a duplicate PIN.
  • Once you have your federal PIN number, navigate to the link below and click on the Sign In Button located in the upper left hand corner.
  • Enter your personal information and click the Sign In button.
  • If you are successful at logging in, you will see a page titled Welcome to  Your personal information will be located on the right  hand side of the screen.
  • Click on the link Request a Direct PLUS loan.
  • On the next page read the information and click on the Graduate PLUS loan type at the bottom of the page.  This will open the application.
  • 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.



Grad Plus Online Application