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Washington State University
Student Financial Services Graduate & Professional Loans
Continuing education with Graduate & Professional Loans

Graduate and professional students have several specific loan options. You may be familiar with some of them if you used financial aid as an undergrad. Some types of aid are available to all graduate and professional students, while others are reserved for students in specific paths.

Whatever your area of study, completing the FAFSA should be something you do every year.

Be sure you’re aware of the annual and lifetime loan limits. The aggregate lifetime limit applies to all loans of that type, whether for undergraduate, graduate, or professional study.

FAFSA Application

WSU Priority Dates and Deadlines

Due to the most recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on further delays for institutions to begin receiving applicant data, WSU has extended our 2024-2025 priority dates and deadlines. Our goal is to provide flexibility to students and families with the assurance that we stand ready to assist with navigating unforeseen delays. Below are the updated priority dates and deadlines:
  • December: FAFSA Opens
  • Early January: WASFA Opens
  • May 1: WSU General Scholarship Deadline *
  • June 1: FAFSA/WASFA priority date for new & current WSU students
  • July 31: Additional Documentation priority date for new & current WSU students

**PLEASE NOTE: For the 24-25 academic year – accepting/declining of offered loans will open mid-summer! Our office will send an email when you can take action. Visit our Accepting Loans page for more information and details about the process.**

WSU’s 3-year Cohort Default Rate:


Every 3 years, the US Department of Education informs institutions of the loans that have gone into default and provides them with their Cohort Default Rate – the percentage of student loans in default during the 3 years. All Family Education Loans (FFEL) and/or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans are used as part of this rate calculation. Cohort default rate as of FY 2020.

Student Loan Repayment

Loan limits

Type of loanAnnual Loan LimitLifetime aggregate limit
Unsubsidized Direct Loan for Graduate Students$20,500$138,500
Unsubsidized Direct Loan for Medical Students$40,500$224,000
Unsubsidized Direct Loan for Pharmacy Students (9-month program)$33,000$224,000
Unsubsidized Direct Loan for Pharmacy Students (12-month program)$37,167
Unsubsidized Direct Loan for Veterinary Students (9-month program)$40,500$224,000
Unsubsidized Direct Loan for Veterinary Students (12-month program)$47,167$224,000
PLUS Loan for Graduate StudentsAmounts vary widely. They should not exceed the total cost of attendance including other types of assistance. This loan requires good credit.
Loan for Health ProfessionsThis loan is based on the EFC criteria, the FAFSA delivery date, and the current level of HPL funding. Amounts granted vary according to availability.
Private / Alternative LoansAmounts vary widely. They should not exceed the total cost of attendance including other types of assistance. This loan requires good credit.
See current student loan interest rates

Borrowing responsibly

As a borrower, you have rights and responsibilities; be sure you understand both.

It costs money to borrow money. Before applying for a loan, determine how much you’ll be able to afford to repay by estimating:

  • What you can expect to earn after graduation
  • What your monthly loan payments will be
  • How much you must have for other living expenses

Borrow only what you can comfortably repay within that budget.

Know the true cost of your loans by keeping track of how much you borrow as well as the additional amount you owe in interest and other fees. If possible, pay the interest on unsubsidized loans to avoid capitalization. Also, keep in mind that the longer you take to repay your loans, the more interest you will pay.

See current student loan interest rates

Graduate PLUS loans

Graduate or professional students can borrow up to the total annual cost of attendance, less any other aid they may be receiving, including any Federal Direct Loans. This loan is not based on the income or asset information you provided on the FAFSA.

Eligibility requirements

  • Complete the FAFSA. Your eligibility for federal subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans must be determined before you can apply.
  • Meet the credit eligibility requirements.
  • You must be enrolled at least half time.
  • Complete the loan counseling requirement.

See complete requirements
FAFSA application

If a PLUS Loan is denied

A student who is denied a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan because of adverse credit information has certain rights and options. The student may take the following actions to see if the loan may still be approved:

  • Appeal the credit decision: Appeal directly to Federal Direct Loan (FDL) Program. They can be contacted at 1-800-557-7394 (Option 3) for more information.
  • Add an endorser (co-signer) to the loan: Obtain a credit-worthy endorser (co-signer). An endorser is someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if the student is unable to repay it. The endorser may not be the student. An Endorser Addendum must be completed by the loan co-signer, and submitted to the Federal Direct Loan program for processing. For instructions, please contact Direct Loan Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394 (Option 3). A parent with an endorser must complete the MPN each year.

In either of the above cases, it is a requirement that the student 1) Contact our office to let us know if they are pursuing one of the above options, and 2) Complete PLUS Counseling at before the loan funds can be disbursed to the student.

How to add an endorser to a PLUS loan

The endorser agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay it. The endorser cannot be the student on whose behalf you are borrowing.

The endorser takes these steps

  1. Create an FSA ID and sign in at
  2. Click on “Endorse a Direct Plus Loan.”
  3. Enter the loan ID.
    The loan ID can be found in the denial email received from the Department of Education. The ID starts with the student’s SSN followed by “P17G0380000” and ending in the number of PLUS Loans sent to Department of Education. If a student has been offered multiple PLUS Loans, the Loan ID will end in “1”, “2”, etc. (example: SSNP17G03800002).

The borrower takes these steps

Once the parent/graduate student has obtained an endorser, the final step is for the borrower (aka the parent/graduate student) to complete the loan counseling requirement. To do this:

  1. Go to
  2. Log into the site with their FSA ID
  3. Click on “Complete PLUS Counseling”
  4. Click on “PLUS Counseling” (if in doubt, see the blue highlighted description to the right of your selection)


Department of Education will send our office the updated file once the PLUS Counseling has been completed. It can take the university a few days to receive the file and get it updated in myWSU.

How to accept your PLUS loan

  • Sign in to myWSU
  • Click on “My Student Center” in the middle of the screen
  • Click on “View Financial Aid” under finances
  • Click on the aid year
  • Click on Accept/Decline Awards
  • Select the loans you wish to accept (or click ‘accept all’)
  • Enter the amount you wish to accept
  • Click submit, and then click yes to accept

You also have offline options: You can schedule an appointment to accept your loan in-person (for WSU Pullman students only) or call our office to accept your loan(s) over the telephone.

If you have questions about any part of the process, please contact us.

Entrance and exit counseling

Federal law requires entrance counseling before WSU can deliver loan funds to you.

You will need to complete Graduate PLUS loan counseling only once. If you have previously completed the counseling at another institution, you are not required to complete it again. Grad PLUS entrance counseling requirements are in addition to the entrance counseling requirements for other loans you may receive.

Exit counseling for Graduate PLUS Loans is required when you withdraw, drop below half-time status, or graduate. In each of these instances, you are expected to begin repayment of your Grad PLUS Loan. Exit Counseling requirement is in addition to the Direct Unsubsidized Loan exit requirement.

Note: Graduate students can complete a combined entrance counseling process (or exit counseling process) for both Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans.

Complete your entrance counseling requirement

  • Go to
  • Sign in with your FSA ID
  • Click on “Complete Counseling”
  • Under “Entrance Counseling” click “Start”
  • Make sure to indicate whether you are a graduate student and follow the instructions to complete the counseling.
  • Once completed, print the confirmation page for your records

Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN)

  • Go to
  • Sign in with your FSA ID
  • Click on “Complete Master Promissory Note”
  • Click “”Graduate PLUS”
  • Complete the MPN by signing with your FSA ID

Health professions & nursing loans