Understanding PLUS and Private Alternative Loan Eligibility

Students and/or parents may be interested in utilizing additional loan resources to pay for their educational expenses such as a private alternative loan or a Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan. When determining the maximum eligibility for either of these loans you must use the total cost of attendance minus all aid awarded.

COA - Aid = Loan eligibility

Your billing statements will only include the direct charges of tuition, fees, housing and food, and the scholarships, grants and loans applied against those charges. Miscellaneous expenses, travel and books, while included in the cost of attendance, vary by student and are paid directly by the student. Work study, while an award included in the total financial aid award offer, is not to be applied against any direct charges as the student is paid directly, if they choose to work.

Keep in mind that the Department of Education deducts an origination fee from the PLUS loan amount prior to disbursement. Knowing the origination fee amount will enable the parent to have a greater understanding of the loan amount that will be applied towards expenses. This fee may be added to the cost of attendance should the parent wish to have it included in the total amount borrowed. Our PLUS Loan Origination Fee Calculator can assist you in determining the origination fee and the total amount you wish to borrow.

We are available to answer any questions you may have at (315) 781-3315 or at finaid@hws.edu.