The Pitzer College Office of Financial Aid recognizes that financing a Pitzer education may involve deferring some of the cost through loan programs. The Direct PLUS Loan program enables parents with good credit history to borrow as much as the full cost of attendance minus any financial aid.
Here are some quick facts:
- Fixed interest rate of 7.08% for the 2019-2020 academic year
- Origination fee of 4.248% for loans paid before October 1, 2019 and 4.236% for loans paid between October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020
- Interest accrual is immediate (as soon as the loan is disbursed)
- Repayment occurs after the second loan disbursement (normally 60 days after the spring disbursement), but may be deferred until the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time
Only parents of a student can borrow a Parent PLUS Loan, this includes custodial and noncustodial parents as well as stepparents; so long as they pass the credit check. Grandparents and other relatives cannot borrow through this loan program.
More than one parent can borrow a PLUS Loan at a time. For example, if the family needs a $20,000 PLUS Loan, one parent can borrow the full $20,000 or one parent can borrow $10,000 and the other parent can borrow the other $10,000. Each parent who borrows will need to complete and pass the credit check application.
Amount to Borrow
The student’s parent(s) can borrow as much as the cost of attendance minus any financial aid the student receives.
We encourage parents to only borrow what they need to cover direct educational expenses (i.e. their bill) each semester. If you need assistance determining how much to borrow, we encourage you to review your bill or contact the Student Accounts Office before starting the PLUS Loan process.
In addition, parents should keep in mind that the PLUS Loan has origination fees of up to 4.264% that are taken off the top of the PLUS Loan. This means that a parent who borrows a gross amount of $20,000 will have origination fees of $853 and only a net disbursement of $19,147 will be paid to the student’s account. We encourage parents to account for these fees when deciding how much to borrow.
Student Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Options
Most students have the option to borrow through the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan program. Most students are awarded their maximum subsidized loan, but may have unsubsidized loan eligibility of $2,000 or higher.
Due to the difference in interest rates, we encourage families to consider maximizing the student’s Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan options first before deciding how much to borrow on the PLUS Loan. The interest rate for the unsubsidized loan is 4.53% compared to the PLUS Loan’s 7.08%.
PLUS Loan Denial
Parents who are denied a PLUS Loan due to their credit have a few options available:
- Appeal – parents can appeal the credit decision by calling Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-557-7394.
- Endorser – parents can secure an endorser who is willing to co-sign the PLUS Loan
- Additional Unsubsidized Loan – the student has the option to borrow an additional $4,000 in an Unsubsidized Loan due to a PLUS denial
When a parent completes a credit check application, we will receive notice within 24 hours. If the application has been denied, we will send the parent an email with additional details and options.
Dates & Timing
We recommend parents wait until the summer to start the PLUS Loan process. The PLUS Loan credit application has an expiration date and PLUS Loan applications completed too early may expire before we are able to process them. We encourage families to wait until July to do their PLUS Loan credit check.
Pitzer will receive PLUS Loan applications 24 hours after completion. We will send the parent borrower an email if additional information or documents are required. Otherwise, we will add the PLUS Loan to the student’s financial aid package.
Apply for a PLUS Loan