Can independent students take out the PLUS loan?

<p>Is the federal PLUS loan only available to parents, or can independent students also take it out? I've got a $6000 gap in one of my financial aid packages and was thinking maybe the PLUS loan could plug it up.</p>

<p>I think grad students and professional students can. I don't think undergrads can. Have you got the max in Stafford loans?</p>

<p>Darn! </p>

<p>Yes, the school took into account the Stafford loans and I still have the gap. :(</p>

<p>^^^
Contact the school, politely tell them that you want to attend, but you have no way of filling that gap. Ask them what can be done. Maybe they have some ideas or could give more work study or more grants.</p>

<p>Don't just call and talk to whomever answers the phone. Send a nice email to the director of financial aid. Include all your info...name, address, school ID number, etc...also include your stats if they are strong for the school. If you're a URM or from a desired region of the country, mention that also.</p>

<p>Here's what confuses me. I thought PLUS could only be taken out by parents and grads as well, but I have an 18 year old friend who qualifies as an independent undergraduate student and was offered an almost $20,000 PLUS loan (on top of a sub and unsub Stafford loan as well as a Perkins loan) from UCLA. But the gap between his grants and COA was also a huge amount so maybe that was the deciding factor?</p>

<p>And yes, before any of the worrying individuals pipe up on the above, I've discouraged him from taking out this much in loans as an undergrad and he has no intention of taking on such loans even before I discussed this particular package with him. He's a smart cookie and will make a decision based on whatever is the most financially sound for him :)</p>

<p>I did not think independent undergrads could get PLUS loans. I kind of wonder if it is a mistake that your 18 year old friend got offered them. You would have to check with your school to be sure. There is some info about them here
Student</a> Aid on the Web</p>

<p>Student</a> Aid on the Web</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice, that's a good plan.</p>

<p>I looked at my FA award letter again and noticed that when they subtracted the difference between the costs and their offer, they didn't include the $4000 in Work Study which they listed/offered in another column. So that's a relief--that's not as bad as I thought and I could probably make up the remaining difference with my savings/summer job.</p>

<p>However, I'm wondering if the cost they listed is their true COA, as it doesn't seem to include travel and some other basic aspects, which most COA's I've seen do include. I'm wondering if this is because they (incorrectly) assumed I'd be an On-Campus resident. I've sent their FA office an e-mail asking about this.</p>

<p>Independent students absolutely cannot get PLUS loans. If an undergrad independent student was offered a PLUS, it was a mistake.</p>

<p>
[quote]
they didn't include the $4000 in Work Study which they listed/offered in another column. So that's a relief--that's not as bad as I thought and I could probably make up the remaining difference with my savings/summer job.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Unless your campus pays a ton of $ for work study positions, to have $4000 in work study is a big commitment for a full time student.</p>