There are many loan programs that can assist your parents in meeting their obligation for your college costs.

Because Amherst College participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, PLUS Loans are borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education through the College.  Your parents may borrow a parent alternative loan through any program they choose.

The following list represents the lenders from whom parents have borrowed during the past year.  

  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS):A federally sponsored program under which parents may borrow as much as the cost of attendance at the College less the amount of any student financial aid and other parent loans.  Application for a Federal Direct PLUS loan requires submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA -

    There is no need test; a review of credit worthiness is required.  To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan through the U.S. Department of Education, please go to  You will be required to sign in using your FSA ID and password.  Once your application has been completed you will be notified instantly of the credit decision.  If your application is approved and you are a first-time borrower for the student named in the application, you will be prompted to complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) immediately following your loan application.As of July 1, the interest rate is 6.31%.  There is a 4.272% federal origination fee on loans disbursed before October 1, 2016, which will be subtracted from the proceeds of the loan. The origination fee for loans disbursed after October 1, 2016, will be 4.276%.

    Repayment begins no later than 60 days after disbursement of the loan; however, for Federal Direct PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, the parent may defer repayment while the student on whose behalf the parent borrowed the loan is enrolled on at least a half-time basis, and for an additional six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.  The repayment period may be as long as ten years, although a monthly minimum repayment of $50 is required.

    For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid, or the US Department of Education at
  • MEFA Undergraduate Loan: Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority -
  • New Jersey CLASS Loan: New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority -