Financial Aid beyond the FAFSA: A Closer Look at the Direct PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Plus Loans Are a Burden to Many Parents

Written by Jason

My name is Jason Vallozzi and I am the founder of Campus to Career Crossroads. I have a passion for education and for helping students reach successful outcomes. The mission at Campus to Career Crossroads is to develop a supportive and individualized partnership with students and their families in order to help them successfully navigate the transitional and complex stages from high school to career.

Last updated May 25, 2021 | Published on Feb 13, 2019

Many families falsely perceive or simply do not realize that college financing options do not end with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. I believe it is more important than ever for families to be aware of college financing options in the initial planning stages since the burden of unmet costs is shifting to students and parents in the form of loans. This is one area that many parents struggle with the most, because when they attended college, a majority were able to finance a large portion of their education without having their parents take out huge loan amounts.

Presently, many private colleges in the United States are over $60,000 a year for their entire cost of attendance – tuition, fees, books, room and board. The skyrocketing cost of attendance coupled with the reduction of federal “need based” financial aid has parents shouldering the majority of the college bill. The desire to be fiscally responsible with loan amounts can be complicated for many families, especially for those who have other children approaching the college years.

Unfortunately, many parents with good credit history only consider a Federal Direct Plus Loan – commonly known as the Parent PLUS Loan – without considering or comparing other loan options to cover annual college costs. While the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is considered safe with its flexible repayment options and a fixed interest rate, it also has one of the highest interest rates of all federal loans.

Parents are now encountering an increased Federal Direct PLUS Loan interest rate of 6.28% for the 2021-2022 academic year. The past Federal Direct PLUS Loan interest rates have been:

  • 5.30% for the 2020-2021
  • 7.08% for 2019-2020
  • 7.6% for 2018-2019
  • 7.0% for 2017-2018
  • 6.31% for 2016-2017

The current loan has an origination fee of 4.22% proportionally deducted from each loan disbursement. What does proportionally deducted from each loan disbursement mean? It means with federal loans, slightly more money will have to be borrowed than originally anticipated to cover a specific dollar amount. For many families this is equivalent to a surprise tuition increase before classes even start in the freshman fall semester!

College costs can quickly expand each year from increased loan rates amounts to increased tuition rates. Families that do not plan for these potential increases risk having affordability issues in the later years of a student’s college education.

Please contact Campus to Career Crossroads if you are concerned about financing college as doubt, confusion, and regret should not be part of the college journey. Call today for your free consultation.

You May Also Like…

0 Comments

Get the Latest Admissions Trends to Improve Your Application Efforts!

Does Your College Journey Feel Stressful?

Get the latest admissions trends for less stress and more admissions success!

Thank you! You have been successfully subscribed to our email list and your admissions insider tips are on the way!

Share This