Graduate PLUS Loans
You’re ready to invest in your future with a graduate degree.
But how will you pay for it? UTC has options.
Graduate Assistantships, available through various departments on campus, give you experience teaching, researching or in a profession related to your program in exchange for a paycheck and waiver of tuition and maintenance fees.
Scholarships are available through both the Graduate School and individual departments to help cover costs.
Internships and unsubsidized student loans are another option available to graduate students.
Find what works best for you.
Scholarships, Graduate Assistantships and Internships
Department-specific scholarships are available throughout campus. Explore your department’s website or reach out to them and find out what is available for your program.
The Graduate School has a limited number of scholarships available. To be eligible, students must have a minimum 3.0 institutional GPA. The priority deadline to apply is Feb. 15.
Learn more about scholarships available through the Graduate School →
Graduate assistantships come in four different forms at UTC: graduate research assistants, graduate teaching assistants, professional services assistants and graduate administrative assistants.
You must be a full-time graduate student, regularly admitted to a graduate degree program and in good standing to fill an assistantship position.
Learn more about graduate assistant positions →
Check with your department to see what internships are available for your program. Or visit the Graduate School’s website to search for internships.
General Information about financial aid for graduate students
Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans are low-interest student loans available to assist students with educational cost. Direct Graduate PLUS loans enable independent graduate students, with good credit histories to borrow up to cost of attendance, less any other aid received.
Learn more about interest rates and fees →
Good to know:
- UTC's financial aid awarding process follows a fall-spring-summer schedule. This means that you will need to complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA for these terms: fall 2021, spring 2022 and summer 2022. You will need to complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA for these terms: fall 2022, spring 2023 and summer 2023.
- Graduate students are not eligible for Federal Pell Grant or other federal and state grants with the exception of the TEACH Grant.
Learn more about the TEACH Grant for students enrolled in a Teacher Certification Program at UTC →
- You must be a degree-seeking graduate student, as determined by the Graduate School and enrolled at least half-time (five credit hours) or conditionally admitted to the Graduate School and enrolled in at least six credit hours to be eligible for Federal Direct Loans. Per Graduate Council policy, graduate students enrolled in less than five hours of thesis or dissertation credit at the end of their program of study are considered full-time equivalent. See the Graduate catalog for more details about Graduate School policies.
- Graduate students are not eligible to receive Subsidized loans.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Procedures
- To apply for this loan, you need to complete the FAFSA. Other documents may be requested once the FAFSA data is received by the UTC Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. Check your MyMocsNet account frequently for requested documents.
- Once your file is complete, processing time in the UTC Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is generally two to three weeks, although it may be increased to four to six weeks during peak processing times.
- You will automatically be offered the maximum Direct Loan amounts based on cost of attendance and outside resources. Full or partial loan amounts can be accepted in your MyMocsNet account.
- When borrowing Federal Direct Loans for the first time at UTC, you must complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note prior to receiving the first loan disbursement.
- Exit Loan Counseling must be completed at studentaid.gov each time you graduate or you are no longer enrolled at least half time.
Federal Direct Loan Limits
Annual loan limits are:
- $20,500 for graduate and professional students. Beginning 2012-2013, graduate and professional students are eligible to receive unsubsidized loans only.
Aggregate loan limits are:
- $138,500 for graduate and professional students (including undergraduate borrowing).
Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
Direct Graduate PLUS loans enable independent graduate students with good credit histories to borrow up to cost of attendance, less any other aid received.
Good to know:
- To be eligible, you must be fully admitted to the Graduate School at UTC and enrolled at least half time.
- Undergraduate students taking graduate level classes are not eligible.
- You must complete the FAFSA and all other financial aid requirements.
- You must accept the maximum eligibility of $20,500 under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program for the current aid year. Typically, in-state graduate students will not be eligible for the Graduate PLUS Loan until (possibly) summer due to UTC's low cost of attendance.
- These loans require a borrower credit check and in some cases, a cosigner.
- These students need not submit the PLUS Information Form to UTC.
- You must adhere to all UTC enrollment and Satisfactory Academic Progress standards to be eligible for PLUS loan funds.
- The repayment period for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan begins at the time the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement.
- Students may defer repayment while enrolled at least half-time.
Learn more about interest rates and fees →
Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Procedures
Direct Graduate PLUS loans enable independent graduate students, with good credit histories to borrow up to cost of attendance, less any other aid received.
- First, complete the FAFSA and all other financial aid requirements. If you are starting your graduate program in the 2022 summer term, remember that UTC's financial aid awarding process follows a fall-spring-summer schedule. This means that you will need to complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA for the 2022 summer term as well as the 2022-2023 FAFSA for the theses terms: fall 2022, spring 2023 and summer 2023.
- Complete the Graduate PLUS Loan application online at studentaid.gov.
- If pre-approved, you must complete a Master Promissory Note.
- First time PLUS borrowers must complete an Entrance Loan Counseling.
- The Department of Education electronically transmits the approval or denial to the UTC Financial Aid and Scholarships Office within 72 hours.
- The approval is certified by UTC. Denial processing is not available for independent graduate students. Allow a minimum of five business days for internal processing.
- Funds are released electronically by the Department of Education typically within seven days of the certification, provided the Department of Education has received all relevant documentation from the borrower.
- EXIT Loan Counseling must be completed once you graduate or each time you drop below half time.
If you have exhausted all of your federal loan options, these provide an alternative solution.