Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
The Student HubMoney matters

US Federal Loans

US Federal Loans

The University of Southampton participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Programme

GOV Website



The University of Southampton participates in the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Programme.

At the University this programme is administered by the Financial Support Team within the Widening Participation & Social Mobility department.

There are three types of loan available to students through the Direct Loan program:

  • Subsidized
  • Unsubsidized
  • Plus Loans (If you are a graduate/ professional degree student, you can apply for a Plus Loan in your own right. For undergraduate students, your parents can apply for a Plus Loan on your behalf. Plus Loans are credit based)

Please note that students studying at a UK Institution are ineligible to receive Pell Grants.

The amount you can borrow will be determined by the Cost of Attendance (COA) and no more:

  • The COA is set by the University, but may be adjusted to meet specific individual needs keeping within the parameters set by the University
  • Your COA will include Tuition Fees, accommodation fees, general living expenses, travel, and miscellaneous costs
  • We will complete the COA on behalf of the student
  • Loans will depend on your level of study (undergraduate or postgraduate) and your dependency status (dependent or independent) as indicated on your FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS)
  • The University of Southampton code is G08399

There are some programmes at the University which are ineligible to receive funding through Direct Loans:

  • Students studying with the Faculty of Medicine or the Faculty of Health Sciences are not eligible. Audiology students are also ineligible for funding.
  • Study via Distance Learning or at partner institutions is not eligible
  • In respect of postgraduate research, students are not normally permitted to return to the US for the purpose of study or research

Students may borrow up to the COA set by the University.

The maximum loans you can receive cannot exceed the yearly cost of attendance, less any other financial aid you may be receiving.

What do you need to do to apply?

Complete your FAFSA:

This is your application to the US direct of Education for a Direct Loan. Please see the GOV website for more information.

Complete your Entrance Counselling:

The US Government requires you to complete Entrance Counselling to confirm understanding of your responsibilities and obligations. Please see the GOV website for more information about how to complete Entrance Counselling. 

Complete your Master Promissory Note(s) (MPNs):

The MPNs are your Loan agreements. You will need to complete one for each type of loan you are applying for.

If you are applying for Parent Plus Loan then it is your parent that must complete the MPN. You can find information about completing MPNs on the GOV website.

What will the University do?

We will start processing applications for the 2024/25 academic year from the week commencing 24th June 2024. Please contact once you have submitted your FAFSA.

Complete your COA:

The University will complete the COA on behalf of the student.

Confirm your eligibility:

We will check your COA against the Direct Loans published guidelines. If we have any concerns, we will contact you to discuss.

Once all completed, the University will originate your loan.

Issue a visa funding letter (if appropriate):

If you are applying for a Tier 4 Visa (a student visa), you will need to be able to show you have sufficient funding in place.

Once your loan has been agreed and processed we will produce a letter confirming your Federal Aid funding for the year ahead; this will be emailed to you but you can also request a hard copy to be sent to your home address.

You can download a PDF process document to help you, which can be found in the Useful Links tab.

Our disbursement timetable for 2023/24 is as follows:




Disbursement Date  Payment Period  
     From  To
Disbursement 1   2 October 2023  2 October 2023 28 January 2024
Disbursement 2  29 January 2024  29 January 2024  16 June 2024

Postgraduates (Taught):


   From  To 
 Disbursement 1  2 October 2023  2 October 2023  28 January 2024
 Disbursement 2 29 January 2024  29 January 2024  16 June 2024
Disbursement 3  20 June 2024  17 June 2024  27 September 2024


Postgraduates (Research):


    From To 
Disbursement 1  2 October 2023  2 October 2023 8 April 2024
 Disbursement 2  12 April 2024  9 April 2024
 27 September 2024


We disburse your funds to you through Convera to ensure you receive them quickly and efficiently.

Once we have set up your loan you will be contacted by Convera for your UK bank details so they can pay your funds directly into your account. If you do not have a UK bank account, then you can enter your US bank account details.

In accordance with the US Government guidelines, the University will deduct tuition payments from the disbursement. If you are living in University accommodation, the University may also deduct accommodation payments from the disbursement.

Remaining funds will be paid directly to you.

All disbursements are subject to the following:

·        Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is being made

·        Student is enrolled at least part time (Half Time)

·        Student is not in the USA

·        Student has not violated any federal compliance regulations (repayment default, fraud, drugs)


Entrance Counselling

The US Government requires you to complete Entrance Counselling to confirm understanding of your responsibilities and obligations. Please see the GOV website for more information about how to complete Entrance Counselling. Once completed email us a screenshot to confirm completion together with your COA.


Exit Counselling

US Government regulations require students who withdraw, graduate, or drop below half time attendance to complete exit counselling.

Students must complete NSLDS Exit Counselling, this is completed online. Once completed send a scanned pdf of the final page to


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

US Government regulations require the University to ensure all students receiving Federal Direct Loans are making satisfactory progress.

Please be aware that failure of any academic year can have a major effect on your eligibility to receive funding.


Exchange Rates

The COA is calculated in US Dollars and the loan is borrowed in US dollars. It is exchanged into GBP at the time the disbursement takes place. Due to exchange rate fluctuations throughout the year, the University is unable to accurately fix the rate in advance so that the student gets exactly what they need. The exchange rate for all COAs in the 23/24 academic year is 1.35.


The National Student Loans Data System (NSLDS)

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. It receives data from a number of sources, including the participating schools.

The University of Southampton keeps NSLDS updated with changes to enrolment status of all its US Loan recipients.

NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data. 


University of Southampton's Code of Conduct for Education Loans

In order to prohibit a conflict of interest of an agent with respect to private education loans, all employees of the University of Southampton with responsibility for US loans are prohibited from the following:

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • Receiving gifts from a lender, a guarantor, or a loan servicer
  • Contacting arrangements 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 compensation
  • All employees covered by this Code of Conduct are reminded at least annually of the code.


Commercial Loans

The University of Southampton does not recommend any private lender, but is currently only able to disburse Sallie Mae loans.


Veteran’s Affairs

The University of Southampton is currently unable to administer Educational funds from the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Enrolling without funding in place is at your own risk and you will be liable for fees should the VA be unable to approve your course. Please email should you have any questions regarding this.

Key points about US Direct Loans as well as information on the application process can be found below.

Privacy Settings