If you are a US citizen or a permanent resident in the US, you can apply for a US Federal Loan to fund your studies in the UK. BU participate in the US Government William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which means eligible US citizens/permanent residents can apply for Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized and/or Direct PLUS Loans (Title IV Direct Loans) up to the Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA provides a breakdown of the costs for your course and is set by BU each academic year.
US students studying in the UK are not eligible for Perkins Loans or Pell Grants.
Please read carefully all the information below and the Eligibility and FAQ pages BEFORE you start the loan application process.
You can find our Consumer Information here.
How to apply for Title IV Direct Loans
1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will need:
- your Social Security Number (SSN)
- your driver’s license (if applicable)
- your income tax return or, if you are a dependant, your parent(s)’ Social Security Number and income tax return
- BU Federal School Code: G33503.
2. As a foreign school, we are not automatically notified when a student completes their FAFSA, therefore, once you have submitted your FAFSA application, you MUST contact the Federal Aid Administrator at BU to provide:
- your full name and family name
- your Social Security Number (SSN)
- your date of birth
- your BU student reference number (starting with 5).
We will then be able to assess your application and provide you with your expected Cost of Attendance (COA).
The COA is an estimate of your educational related costs for one academic year. and specifies the total amount you may borrow through federal loans minus any other aid you may be receiving for that academic year, such as bursaries or scholarships.
The COA is set by BU and approved by our Students’ Union (SUBU) annually in May and it is calculated in line with inflation for each academic year. These educational costs relate only to you, the student, and cannot include costs for partners or children (other than childcare or nursery costs). These broad-based costs can be broken down as follows as a guide as to how much you may need for one academic year:
- Tuition fees
- Living costs
- Accommodation fees
- Miscellaneous - a set amount for general expenses including loan origination fees and charges
- Student Visa and Immigration Health Surcharge.
While your costs may vary depending on where you stay in Bournemouth, we expect your expenses to be roughly in line with our estimates.
- Whilst your COA can include travel, we are unable to issue loan payments before the beginning of the academic year, so you should not rely on your first payment to finance your travel to Bournemouth or cover any costs associated with coming to the UK.
- If you are in receipt of any scholarship or bursary funding, either from the BU or another source, you must inform us so that this can be factored into your COA. Failure to do so will result in a recalculation and reduction of your loan later in the academic year when it is discovered you are in receipt of additional sources of funding.
3. Log in to Studentaid.gov to complete:
- Entrance Counseling for each loan type you are taking out.
- Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (eMPN) (for Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans). This is a legal document that explains the terms and conditions of your loans and through which you promise to repay your loans.
- PLUS Loan MPN (if you, your endorser or your parent(s) want to borrow a PLUS Loan). You, your endorser or your parent(s) must also pass a credit check as part of the loan application. If you/they have an adverse credit history then you may not be eligible to apply for a PLUS loan.
- Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement.
Let us know when you have completed these.
Warning: we won’t be able to fully set up your loan request until you have completed ALL these documents.
4. Once you have submitted the above documents, confirmed how much you want to borrow and whether you are receiving any other funding, we will set up your loan request on the US Department of Education system.
When this is approved, we will email you a Notification Letter outlining the amount of loans you will receive, your disbursement dates, and the period / academic year your loans relates to. The wording and format of this letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as acceptable proof of funding for Student Visa applications. Once you have confirmed you are happy with the draft letter, we will issue a PDF signed copy of the Notification Letter, which you can use for your Student visa application if required.
- We are required by the US Department of Education to direct you to read and refer to our consumer disclosure information on student regulations and other university policies. This includes information about General Data Protection Regulations (UK version of FERPA).
- We are bound by the Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR 668.24) on how we must maintain data and records of loan borrowers, including the provision of data requests from relevant US government departments, lenders or guaranty agencies.
- Apply online for a Federal Student Aid PIN so you can complete your student loans application (FAFSA).
- Our Federal school code is G33503.
- If you are male, you must be registered for Selective Service before your 26th birthday. It is your responsibility to provide us with evidence if you are exempt or became an eligible citizen after your 26th birthday.
- US regulations state you must have achieved a High School Diploma (or equivalent) to access Title IV loans. We may ask for a copy of this certificate.
- Complete Entrance Counselling for each loan type you are taking out.
- Complete a Master Promissory Note (eMPN) for each loan type you are taking out. This is a legal document that explains the terms and conditions of your loans and through which you promise to repay your loans.
- If applying for a PLUS loan (Graduate or Parent) then you, your endorser or your parent(s) must also pass a credit check as part of the loan application. If you/they have an adverse credit history then you may not be eligible to apply for a PLUS loan.
- Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement on StudentAid.gov (using your username and FSA ID password).
- We strongly advise that you use the repayment estimator to help you calculate your repayment options against your future salary expectations. This will help you plan your borrowing and repayments to avoid problems in the future and minimise defaulting on your loans.
- You can find out about estimated salaries by occupation in the USA from the US Department of Labour.
US Federal Loans contact details
Federal Aid Administrator
Fern Barrow, Talbot Campus
Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB
Tel: +44 (0)1202 969696
Email: [email protected]
You can find more information about Federal Loans, including how they are repaid, on our frequently asked questions page.