The School of Advanced Study participates in the Federal Direct Loan programme. Unsubsidized Loans and Plus Loans are available through the Direct Loan programme operated by the US Education Department.  Direct Loans are educational loans to assist US citizens with the costs of studying.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans should be considered first as this is usually the cheapest way of borrowing. If needed, additional funding should then be considered by applying for a Direct Plus Loan. The maximum total borrowed from Direct Loans cannot exceed the annual maximum Cost of Attendance.

The School’s Direct Loan Federal Code is G06696 listed under ‘School of Advanced Study – University of London’.


Direct Loans are available to all US citizens or permanent residents with a valid social security number who have a high school diploma and are not in default on any previous student loans. Male students also have to be registered for Selective Service.

You will need to have accepted an unconditional offer for an on-campus degree-granting program (ie MA, MRes, MSc, MPhil or PhD) at our school on at least a half-time basis and meet other eligibility requirements such as maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and being within the borrowing limits for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The School will confirm your enrolment status to the National Clearing House in November and March, this information is posted to NSLDS.

Once you are registered it is not possible for students in receipt of a US loan to undertake study/ research away from the School. If you are conducting a MPhil/PhD please contact the Student Aid Administrator so we can assess your eligibility for loans. Students studying by distance-learning or at certificate or diploma level are not eligible.

Applying for aid

There are number of steps to applying for a Direct Loan

Step 1: Complete your FAFSA application

All US Federal Loan applicants must first complete an online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available via the US Department of Education’s FAFSA page:

You will need the following information to successfully complete the application:

  • A Federal Student Aid ID number;
  • Your Social Security Number;
  • Your tax return (if you filed one);
  • Your parents’ income tax return for the prior-prior year (dependent undergraduate students only);
  • The School’s Federal School Code G06696 (or 00669600).

Completion of your FAFSA will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is used by schools to determine eligibility for a US Federal loan and calculate loan entitlement.

After applying, you must check the “Comments about Your Information” section on your SAR. Instructions on resolving any issues are provided under the “What you must do now” section on your SAR, and you must ensure that all issues are resolved and you supply any additional documents mentioned in that section (for example, documentation of your citizenship status) when you submit your application.

You must also ensure that there is an amount listed in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) field, as it will be used to calculate part of your loan entitlement.

Email a copy of you SAR to us together with your other required documents.

Step 2: Complete your Entrance Counselling 

It is a Federal Loan regulation that you complete Entrance Counselling as part of your loan application. Entrance Counselling is designed to help you to understand the rights and responsibilities of Federal Student Loan borrowing.

You can complete your counselling electronically at the US Student Loans website, alongside non-compulsory but nonetheless useful Financial Awareness Counselling.

The School requires you to complete counselling each academic year.

Once you have completed the counselling, you will be issued with a completion certificate. Keep a copy of your certificate for your own record and email a copy/screenshot to us together with your other required documents.

Step 3: Cost of attendance and selecting a loan amount

To determine and select your loan amount you must complete the Cost of Attendance (COA) Spreadsheet. The School uses the overall COA calculation to ensure that you are borrowing a reasonable amount/ at a reasonable limit. 

Please find up-to-date tuition fee information here

Please send your complete COA spreadsheet to alongside your other required documents. 

Step 4: Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans.

You must complete and e-sign a new Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for each loan type you wish to borrow (Stafford/PLUS), as Foreign Schools are not eligible for the multiple loan feature of the MPN. You can complete a Direct Loan MPN electronically via the Direct Loan web site.

You will need to complete a new Direct Loan MPN each academic year that you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan at our school.

To complete a Direct Loan MPN electronically, you must have a Federal Student Aid PIN. This is the same PIN used to complete the FAFSA.

Please keep a PDF copy of the MPN for your records and you will need to e-mail a copy to us at alongside your other required documents. If you/your parent or guardian wishes to apply for PLUS Loans to help you with your studies, you/they will need to complete a credit check, MPN and Entrance Counselling. This can also be done on the Federal Student Loans website.

Again, you should retain PDF copies of the MPN and Entrance Counselling and also send along the confirmation of credit check approval.

Step 5

Accepting the offer of Financial Aid - If you wish to accept the offer of financial aid you should complete:

Once completed you should email a copy of each document to in one email. Email subject line: ‘US Loans + First name + Surname + Student Number'

Step 6

As outlined in the above steps, in order for the School to process your application, you must send the following via:

  • PDF copies of your SAR  
  • PDF copies of your MPN and Entrance Counselling Certificate (for Unsubsidized Stafford Loans)
  • Completed COA Spreadsheet
  • (if applicable) PDF copies of your MPN, Credit Check and Entrance Counselling Certificate for PLUS Loans.
  • Completed Federal Loan Application & Worksheet
  • Email subject line: ‘US Loans + First name + Surname + Student Number'

Without these documents we will not be able to process your loan application, and all must be provided at the same time in order for us to proceed. The process and timing for what the US Federal Government determines as a Foreign School may well differ from what it is outlined for US-based institutions.

Once all documents have been received we will originate (certify) the loans and send a confirmation letter to you. This letter can in turn be used to support your visa application.

Once originated, loan information will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System.

If you have any questions about the sending any of the above, please email

Students applying for a Students Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) should allow sufficient time for the processing of their aid application.

Queries regarding Federal Direct Loans and the application process can be forwarded to;

Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8846
Fax: +44 (0)20 7862 8657
Mailing Address: Fees Officer, School of Advanced Study Registry, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU, United Kingdom


You are only able to borrow up to the maximum cost of attendance, less any expected financial contribution and other sources of funding.  Since these loans are repayable we would advise you not to borrow more than you need. You do not need to take the full amount that you are being offered.

Cost of attendance

The Cost of Attendance is the amount of money a student needs to pay their tuition fees, living expenses and course materials. Most students will need a combination of loans (Unsubsidized and Plus loans) to cover the full cost of attendance.  The total maximum Cost of Attendance for 2022-23 is up to £47,177/ $58,971 dependent on each individual’s tuition fees.

Estimated family contribution

The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is based on the information provided on the FAFSA. This is the amount of funding that the U.S Department of Education expects the student and their family to contribute towards funding your studies. The EFC will affect the amount of loan available.

Additional sources of funding

This includes any scholarships, grants, bursaries (ex. Veteran Affairs Benefits). Students are required to inform the School Financial Aid Administrator about any internal or external sources of funding they have secured for their studies.

Loan disbursement

You must be registered and enrolled for your degree programme at the School before your loans can be disbursed. Loans cannot be paid to you until you have completed the enrolment process. Credit denial for Direct Plus Loans can delay disbursement so it is important to confirm that you have satisfied all the credit criteria and that the loan is approved.

It can take several days for Direct Loan funds to be received by the University as it can take some time for the banks to process. You should therefore bring sufficient funds to cover your costs, including rental payments and deposits, for the first 4 weeks of the academic year.

Federal loans will be disbursed in three instalments. Disbursement dates are set for:

September starters entry

Disbursement 1 - 25 September 2023

Disbursement 2 - 08 January 2024

Disbursement 3 - 15 April 2024

Disbursements are dependant on:

  1. Completion of full registration on the programme
  2. Enrolment confirmation prior to each disbursement
  3. Students providing their UK bank account details 
  4. The completion of a Satisfactory Academic Progress report (SAP) by your Tutor/Supervisor sent to the Registry prior to the January and May disbursements.

All disbursements are made in British Pound Sterling. A daily exchange rate is obtained on the dates below to calculate your payments. 

Students must ensure that that have sufficient funding for the period leading up to Disbursement 1.
The $/GBP exchange rate changes daily so it is not possible to predict the exact amount that the disbursements  will raise in GBP. Please also note that origination fees are applied to Direct Loans at disbursement.


In order to remain eligible for aid you must ensure you continue to meet the following conditions. Failure to meet these condition will mean that you may longer be eligible for aid and that any disbursements can be suspended at any point in the year. 

US loan satisfactory academic progress

Students must be enrolled at the School and make satisfactory progress for loan disbursements to be issued. Please see the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for details.


All students receiving aid must permanently reside in the UK for the duration of their programme. Planned research trips abroad must be reported to the Aid Administrator. 

Return of Title IV Funds Policy for Direct Loans

This policy outlines the how the School will handle US loan funds following a student’s withdrawal or interruption. Please see the Return of Title IV Funds Policy for details.

Consumer information

This information is currently being updated. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding the information below, please email

If you are applying for a private US student loan, the School will work with whichever private lender you decide to use, if they are willing to work with us.

Please note that we are only aware of one lender currently offering such loans, which is Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae is not a preferred lender and this does not represent a preferred lender arrangement.

  • Textbook information

The School issues lists of recommended readings and these are made available in our libraries, there are no required book purchases

  • Title IV Loan Code of Conduct

Conduct in relation to US loans prohibits a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an agent of the school with respect to the previous FFEL Program or private education loans. All agents with responsibility for loans are informed annually of the provisions of the code which prohibits:

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • Receiving gifts from a lender, a guarantor, or a loan services
  • Contracting arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender
  • Directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications
  • Offers of funds for private loans
  • Call centre or financial aid office staffing assistance
  • Advisory board compensations

All agents with responsibility for US loans are reminded at least annually of the code.

  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention

Students are prohibited from the use or possession of drugs in University accommodation and this is covered in the Student Accommodation Handbook.

The University's Ordinance 17 provides further information about the procedures to be followed when dealing with student disciplinary offences of a non-academic nature.

Drug convictions will effect eligibility to the US federal loans and this has been outlined in section 483 of the Higher Education Act 1965.  Eligibility to the US Federal Loans will be suspended if the conviction occurs whilst a student is in receipt of loan funds. In such cases, students will be liable for returning any us loans received during this ineligible period. The College will provide you with written notice of your loss of eligibility and advise on the methods of regaining eligibility.

Students with previous drugs convictions will be provided with a worksheet which needs to be completed to determine whether your conviction affects your eligibility. This will be sent to applicants as soon as they disclose the conviction when submitting the FAFSA.

The Home Office provide a list penalties imposed on drugs convictions in the UK.

  • NSLDS Loan reporting

NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. If you take a Title IV, HEA loan, it will be submitted to NSLDS and will be accessible by servicers and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system. We are required by US regulations to