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. We participate in the US Government William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which means eligible US citizens can apply for Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized and/or Direct PLUS 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.
Students studying in the UK are not eligible for Perkins Loans or Pell Grants.
How to apply
1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To complete the application you will need:
- your Social Security Number (SSN)
- your driver’s license
- your income tax return or, if you are dependent, your parent’s Social Security Number and income tax return
- our 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 and provide them with:
- 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 the academic year. The CoA will specify 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), and it is increased in line with inflation for each academic year. These educational costs relate only to you, the student. These costs 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 your year of study:
- Tuition fees
- Living costs
- Accommodation fees
- Miscellaneous - a set amount to include general expenses including loan origination fees and charges.
- Tier 4 Student Visa
- Immigration Health Check.
Please note, whilst your CoA can include travel, we cannot 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.
If you are in receipt of scholarship or bursary funding, either from the University 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.
While your costs may vary depending on where you stay in Bournemouth, we expect your cost of attendance to be roughly in line with our estimates.
3. Log in to Studentaid.gov to complete:
- Entrance Counseling
- Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) (for Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans)
- PLUS MPN (if you or your parent want to borrow a PLUS Loan).
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 confirmed how much you want to borrow and whether you are receiving any other funding in the form of scholarships or bursaries, we will set up your loan on the US Department of Education system. When this is approved, you will receive a Notification Letter from us outlining the amount of loans you will receive, your disbursement dates, and the period / academic year your loan relates to. The wording and format of this letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration as acceptable proof of funding for visa applications. Once you have confirmed you are happy with the draft letter, we will post the final Notification Letter to you by International Tracked and Signed delivery. We will also email you a scanned version of this letter, which you can use for your Tier 4 visa application. The UKVI will accept this. If they request to see the original letter after you have applied, you can submit the letter we post you.
US Federal Loans contacts
Federal Aid Administrator
DL113, The Sir Michael Cobham Library
Fern Barrow, Talbot Campus
Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB
Tel: +44 (0)1202 969696
Fax: +44 (0)1202 965475
You can find more information about Federal Loans, including how they are repaid, on our frequently asked questions page.