With the Plus loans, I was told by Brooklyn's financial aid office that you can only borrow the cost of tuition and expenses (determined by the school, lets say $63,000) less your expected contribution (determined by FAFSA; mine is $17,000) and less other financial aid (any scholarship/grant money and the Stafford loans).
Students may be eligible to borrow Graduate Plus Loans up to the cost of attendance (less other aid).
How much can I borrow in Direct PLUS Loans? There are no set annual or aggregate limits. You may borrow up to your full cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid you receive (including Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, scholarships, and certain fellowships).
You misheard or they mis-told you.You take any grants or scholarships off the top. Then you take subsidized Stafford. Then you take unsubsidized Stafford. Then a Perkins, if your school offers them. THEN you take GradPlus or a private loan. You can borrow the entire cost of attendance without paying any money.
So what if you have to take out a private loan instead of a GradPlus loan?
Private loans can actually be better deals for some borrowers than GradPlus.