Federal Direct Loans for US Students

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

You will need to apply for Admission to the School of Advanced Study - You must apply for and accept an unconditional place on your chosen programme before your financial aid can be assessed. 

Step 2

You will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - You may complete the FAFSA electronically via the FAFSA on the Web site at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. To complete the FAFSA electronically, you must have a Federal Student Aid PIN which you can apply for by visiting the Federal Student Aid PIN Website.

After the Department processes your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).  Please retain the SAR for your records and be prepared to provide it to us if we ask.

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

Step 3

You will then need to complete a Loan Eligibility Assessment Form -  This will provide us with the necessary details to  access your completed the FAFSA and will enable us to complete an eligibility assessment.

Once completed you should email the form to sas.registry@sas.ac.uk.. Applications for aid will be processed from the 1st July.

Step 4

 The School’s Financial Aid Administrator will make an assessment using the information provided on the FAFSA. This can take up to two weeks and the Administrator may contact you with any queries.  Once your eligibility has been assessed and has been successful, your loan entitlement will be calculated. The Administrator will send you a Financial Aid Award Letter detailing the amounts available to you.

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 sas.registry@sas.ac.uk

Step 6

Notification of Student Loan for Tier 4 Visa Application - Once all of your documents have been received, the Financial Aid Administrator will issue you with a Notification of Student Loan. This is required by the UK Border Agency and will need to be submitted as part of your visa application as proof of your funding.  This notification will be sent to you via post because UKBA will only accept the original copy.

Students applying for a 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;

Email: sas.registry@sas.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8873
Fax: +44 (0)20 7862 8657
Mailing Address: US Federal Loans Financial Aid Administrator, 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 2017-18 is up to £41,325 / $53,723 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.

Please note from the 1st July 2012 graduates are no longer entitled to a Direct Subsidized Loan and the Origination fee rebate is abolished for all Direct Loans.

Loan disbursement

You must be registered and enrolled for your degree programme at the School before your loans to 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 can take some time for the banks to process. You should therefore bring sufficient funds to cover your costs, including rent payments and rent deposits, for the first 4 weeks of the academic year.

Your loan should be disbursed by the U.S Department of Education to the School on the following dates:

2 October 2017
8 January 2018
23 April 2018 

Your loan will be disbursed in three equal instalments, one each term. The disbursements are transferred to the School electronically and received in GBP.  Your tuition fees for the year will be deducted from your loan in three equal instalments on receipt of each disbursement. Loans are used to pay tuition fees in the first instance. If you have taken loans to cover your living costs as well as tuition fees, the remainder is paid over to you in approx 7-10 days from the disbursement date. You can choose how the disbursement refunds can be paid to you as follows:

  • directly into your UK GBP bank account once you have set up a UK account
  • as a transfer to your US$ account - please be aware that this can take up to 10 days to clear and your bank will apply currency exchange charges and the exchange rate will depend on the day of the transfer

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 sas.registry@sas.ac.uk

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 (Catered | Self-Catered).

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