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Federal Loans eligibility

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States you are eligible to apply for funding under the US Government William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

You must also meet the criteria set by the US Department of Education in order to be eligible for US Federal Loans. The eligibility criteria are subject to change at the US Department of Education's discretion and are beyond the University's control. You should check the latest eligibility criteria on the Federal Student Aid website.

In addition to the criteria specified on the Federal Student Aid website, you must be accepted for an eligible full-time degree and you must remain continuously enrolled and resident in the UK on the specified degree programme for the whole duration of the course. If your enrolment/residency status, including any placement, changes at any time, you must inform the Federal Aid Administrator immediately.

You must also be taking the required credit load for the full-time undergraduate or postgraduate course.

Ineligible Courses

Most of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses are eligible for Federal funding however, there are exceptions; please see the list of courses that are not eligible below:

  • CPD courses
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing (all branches)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Operating Department Practice
  • Paramedic Science
  • Physician Associate Studies
  • Physiotherapy
  • Social Work
  • Any Foundation degree
  • Any Postgraduate Certificate course (PGCert)
  • Any Postgraduate Diploma course (PGDip)
  • Any Distance Learning course
  • Courses which are less than half time.

Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list and subject to regulation change. The US Federal Loans team will assess whether your course is eligible when you submit your loan application.

If you are not eligible for the US Direct Loan Program, you may still be eligible for a private education loan.

Courses with a Work Placement

You are eligible for Federal Stafford Loans/Direct Loans funding for the duration of any official work placement.

Important: If your placement is in the US, you will NOT be eligible for funding for the whole course.

Courses with a Study Exchange

Some courses have the option of studying a semester at an overseas institution as a study exchange. You are only eligible for Federal Stafford Loans/Direct Loans if the institution overseas is registered to administer Federal Stafford Loans/Direct Loans.

Important: If you choose to do a study exchange in the US or at an institution that is not registered, you will NOT be eligible for funding for the whole course.

You can contact our Global Engagement team for further advice.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In order to remain eligible for Federal Aid you need to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress by being in attendance, and passing assignments and exams. If you fail to meet SAP you will become ineligible for US Federal Loans. For further information, please see the BU SAP policy.

Entrance and Exit Counseling

If you borrow under the US Government William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, you MUST complete Entrance Counseling before we can fully set up your loan request.

You are also required under US law to complete Exit Counseling shortly before graduating or otherwise leaving school.

Both Entrance and Exit Counseling can be completed at

You can find more information about Federal Loans, including how they are repaid, on our frequently asked questions page.