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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 Information and Assistance Team within the Student Services 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)

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
  • Applications for each new academic year cycle can be submitted from 1st June onwards
  • Loans will depend on your level of study (undergraduate or postgraduate) and your dependency status (dependent on independent) as indicated on your Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • 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
  • Study via Distance Learning or at partner institutions is not eligible, except as allowed under the temporary terms of the CARES Act due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
  • 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 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. Once completed email us a screenshot to confirm completion.

Complete your Financial Awareness Counselling:

The US Government advises you complete Financial Awareness Counselling to confirm understanding of your responsibilities and obligations, however this is not mandatory. Please see the GOV website for more information about completing Financial Awareness Counselling. If you choose to undertake this then please email us a screenshot to confirm completion.

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

The MPN's 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 MPN's on the GOV website.

Once you have completed your MPN's please send this to us.

What will the University do?

We will update this page when we begin to process applications. Applications received late will be dealt with as soon as we possibly can.

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 sent to the home address you provide us with for your COA.


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

Our disbursement timetable for 2021/22 is as follows:




Disbursement Date  Payment Period  
     From  To
Disbursement 1   4 October 2021  4 October 2021 30 January 2022 
Disbursement 2  31 January 2022  31 January 2022  18 June 2022

Postgraduates (Taught):


   From  To 
Disbursement 1  4 October 2021   4 October 2021  30 January 2022
Disbursement 2 31 January 2022  31 January 2022  18 June 2022
Disbursement 3  23 June 2022   19 June 2022  28 September 2022


Postgraduates (Research):


    From To 
Disbursement 1  4 October 2021    4 October 2021 10 April 2022
 Disbursement 2  11 April 2022  11 April 2022
 28 September 2022


We disburse your funds to you through Western Union.  In this way we can ensure you receive them quickly and efficiently.

Once we have set up your loan you will be contacted by Western Union for your bank details so they can pay your funds directly into your account.  If you choose not to give your bank details over to them, they will instead disburse the funds to you by cheque, although you need to be aware that you will have to await the cheque clearing in your account before you can access the funds

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 will 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 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 it’s 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, however as far as we are aware there is only one private lender that makes loans available to US citizens receiving their degree and who are unable to receive Title IV Federal Loans.

To get more information about the GEMS Smart Option Loan by Sallie Mae click here


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

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