Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Parent PLUS Loan

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  • Interest Rate = 8.05% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024.
  • Origination Fee for loans disbursing before October 1, 2024 is 4.228% Calculate Fee
  • Parents may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.
  • PLUS Loans automatically go into repayment once the loan disburses, but parents have the option to contact their Loan Servicer directly to request repayment be deferred until after the student graduates.
  • Direct PLUS Loan Basics for Parents --Provides an overview of the application process and repayment.

PLEASE NOTE: We will begin processing PLUS loan applications on July 15th.

How to Apply:

  1. Go to, choose the “Parent Borrowers” tab, and then click on “Apply for a PLUS Loan

  2. Log in with your FSA ID

  3. Start the PLUS application using the Columbia University school code: (002707)
  4. Complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note. MPNs are generally valid for ten years.
  5. Specify the loan amount requested; you may request the maximum amount of PLUS loan available (not to exceed the total cost of attendance); a specific amount of loan; or you may contact our office via email to notify us of the desired loan amount.
  6. Specify the period for which you are requesting the loan. The Loan Period is based on the semesters of the 2023-2024 academic year:

Fall 2023: 9/6/2023 - 12/23/2023

Spring 2024: 1/17/2024 - 5/12/2024

Summer 2024: 6/6/2024 - 8/15/2024

Important note:

  • Submitting the PLUS application via will initiate a credit check. You will be provided with further instructions if the credit check is denied.

  • You will have the option to request either a New Parent PLUS Loan or a change to a current Parent PLUS Loan. If you are requesting an additional amount of Parent PLUS Loan funding, please select “Change” and note the additional amount that you would like to borrow.
  • We recommend not specifying a new total loan amount, when requesting a change to your current Parent PLUS loan.
  • Loan applications submitted over the summer will be processed on a rolling basis. If you have applied for institutional financial aid, we will process your loan after you have received a financial aid eligibility letter.

Related FAQs

What if my PLUS Loan application is denied based on adverse credit?

You may still be eligible to receive a PLUS loan. To become eligible you must either:

· Obtain an endorser.


· Document extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education.

· In either situation, you will need to complete PLUS Credit Counseling, prior to becoming eligible for the PLUS loan.

Why would my PLUS loan application be denied?

Please review the Adverse Credit Conditions considered by the Department of Education on their FAQ page.

What if my parent does not have a Social Security Number?

Your parent will not be able to borrow a Federal Parent PLUS loan without a Social Security Number; please contact our office for additional financing options.

What are some options for how we may pay the bill?

There are a few payment strategies that Columbia parents commonly use; you can learn more about financing options and apply online.

Monthly Payment Plan:
Some families simply take the total billed costs minus the total amount of financial aid and pay the remaining amount through the 10-month payment plan. If you choose this option you would make ten equal monthly payments starting July 1. Remember that unbilled expenses are not included in this scenario. For example a family with billed costs of $30,000 would make ten $3,000 monthly payments. A family receiving some financial aid that has $15,000 in unbilled costs would make ten $1,500 monthly payments. Further informationis available on the SFS website.

Long-Term Financing: Student and/or Parent Loans
Some families choose to borrow most or all of the cost of education, thereby spreading out the payment of educational expenses over ten years. For example, a family may take a $30,000 Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan to cover the billed costs and would begin making monthly payments of approximately $379 to the lender, beginning sixty days after the second Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan disbursement. The second disbursement typically occurs in February since the loan is disbursed one-half for the fall term and one-half for the spring term.

Unlike the payment plan only strategy, long-term options like the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan allows families to finance unbilled costs like books, miscellaneous expenses and travel. Therefore, a family may choose to borrow more than the billed costs, resulting in a small credit balance for the student each term. Credit balances are made available as a refund to the student.

Please note that there is usually an origination fee associated with long-term financing options and, therefore, the net proceeds received by the school will be slightly less than the total amount borrowed.

Combination Strategy:
We realize that many families do not have the cash flow or liquid assets to accommodate the payment plan strategy. In addition, many families strive to keep borrowing to a minimum. As a result, we often counsel families to use a combination of payment plan and borrowing that fits the family’s circumstances. In general, it is best to pay as much as possible, interest-free, through the payment plan and borrow the rest using one of the long-term financing options. For example, a family paying $15,000 may choose to sign up for a $10,000 payment plan and borrow the remaining $5,000 using a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan. In this case, ten monthly payments of $1,000 would be made to the Payment Plan and a monthly payment of approximately $73 would be made toward the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan starting sixty days after the second Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan disbursement.

For more detailed Information regarding payment options and loans available to students and parents please visit theStudent Financial Services Web site.

Can I purchase a computer with my financial aid?

The cost of a computer is not part of the student budget. Student loans are available to cover a computer that is purchased during the academic year. If you are interested in borrowing a loan to cover the cost of a computer please contact us at

If you have an outside scholarship that exceeds the amount of your Student Contribution (SC) and Work Expectation, up to $1500 of the computer cost may be able to be covered by the scholarship. Note this policy is not applicable to tablet purchases.

Whether borrowing a loan or receiving an outside scholarship to cover the cost, you will be asked to provide a receipt of the purchase.