How to Apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parents may apply for a Parent PLUS loan beginning July 1st at

Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent students enrolled at Hampshire College.  Your Parent PLUS loan application is processed by the U.S. Department of Education.  Parents may apply online, beginning on July 1st, at  Click on the Parent tab in the center of the first page. 

Who is eligible?

  • You must be the student's biological parent, adoptive parent, or the student's step-parent.
  • You must have a credit history without adverse reporting.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • The PLUS loan cannot be used to pay an outstanding bill balance for an academic year which has already ended.

The Application Process

Apply online at  Click on the Parent tab in the center of the first page.  You will need to log into the application by using your FSA ID.

The application process may take up to 20 minutes to complete.  You must complete the entire Direct PLUS loan application in one session. 

What you need to complete the process:

  • A completed and valid FAFSA for the appropriate school year
  • Parent's verified FSA ID
  • Requested loan amount (or you may choose to have Hampshire determine the maximum amount)
  • Student's information (name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, contact information)
  • Parent's information (citizenship status, contact information, relationship to student)
  • Parent's employer information.

Please note that the parent will not be asked for their Social Security number.  This identifier is part of the parent's FSA ID.  Be sure to use the appropriate FSA ID to avoid any confusion.  If the parent does not have a FSA ID, one can be requested at

What to expect during the online application:

  • You may choose to defer payments on the loan while the student is enrolled.  If you choose not to defer, the first payment will be due within 60 days of the final disbursement. 
  • You will be asked to provide the start and end dates for the requested loan period.  We recommend using the full academic year as the loan period if the student is enrolling for the Fall term.  If the student is enrolling for the Spring term only, use the Spring term dates.  For the full academic year loan period, use September as the start date and May as the end date.  For the Spring loan period, use January as the start date and May as the end date.
  • You will be asked for the requested amount of the loan.  You may choose to have the financial aid office determine the maximum amount you are able to borrow for the loan period.  Or, you may indicate an amount.  In determining the amount of the loan, be sure to add the origination fee of approximately 4.3%.  For example, if you want to borrow $10,000, Hampshire College would receive $9,570 ($10,000 - $430 = $9,570). 
  • Your credit history will be checked during the online application process.  If you are approved you will need to complete and sign the master promissory note (MPN) for the loan.  You may electronically sign the note using your FSA ID.  If you had previously borrowed a PLUS loan for the same student, you will not be required to sign another MPN. 
  • If your PLUS loan application is denied because of your credit history, you may pursue additional steps to overturn the denial.  You may have another person be an endorser, or co-signer, on the PLUS loan.  Or, you may provide documentation about extenuating circumstances as to your credit history.  These options would be handled by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • If your PLUS loan application was denied and if you don't want to pursue the endorser or the additional documentation options, the student becomes eligible to borrow an additional unsubsidized federal student loan.  First and second year students may borrow up to $4,000 for the year, and third and fourth year students may borrow up to $5,000 for the year.  For this option, the student would work directly with the financial aid office at Hampshire College.

What happens after the online application is complete:

  • You will receive an email from the financial aid office asking you to confirm the amount of the PLUS loan.  This is your chance to change the amount of the loan before we send your loan to the U.S. Department of Education for processing. We need to hear back from you about the loan amount.  If you had asked us to determine the maximum amount that you can borrow, we need your authorization to proceed with the loan processing.  If you had entered an amount on your PLUS loan application, we will email you the amount of the funds we expect to receive and ask you to confirm the amount of the loan. 
  • After the financial aid office processes your PLUS loan, you will receive communications from your loan servicer.  The servicer works for the U.S. Department of Education and will be your contact for questions and payments for your PLUS loan.

If you need assistance with your PLUS loan application, please contact our loan counselor.