What happens when PLUS loans are part of a student’s aid package but the parents don’t qualify for the loans? (Unlike direct student loans, PLUS loans have an approval process much like most other forms of loans.) In such a case, it’s likely that the parents will have problems qualifying for any other “good” loans, i.e. loans with reasonable interest rates and payment terms. But that doesn’t leave the student at the mercy of loan sharks. Instead, students whose parents don’t qualify for PLUS loans are eligible to take out additional unsubsidized direct student loans, up to $4,000 for freshmen (to a total of $9,500 in direct student loans) and up to a total of $12,500 for sophomores, juniors and seniors. As is the case with federal student aid, this is disbursed through your school’s financial aid office. If your parents are turned down for a PLUS loan, contact your school’s aid office to request the additional student loan funds.