US Direct Federal Loan

For Information Please Contact:



William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program

Student loans provided by the U.S. Department of Education to enable a student to pay for education after high school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Loans include the following types of federal student loans: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans.

For information on your rights and responsibilities in respect of Title IV lending please visit

To receive aid, including Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans, a student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a student enrolled or accepted for enrolment in an eligible programme at an eligible institution.
  • Must have a high school diploma
  • Must be enrolled and on campus at least half-time for the period for which the loan is originated
  • Must comply with the University's satisfactory academic progress policy
  • Must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security number
  • Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
  • Must not be in default on an educational loan and must not owe a repayment on an adjusted federal grant
  • Studying on an eligible Bachelors, Masters or PhD programme

Please note that the University of Strathclyde is not approved to certify loans for students wishing to study:

  • Certificate and Diploma Programmes
  • Programmes with study less than half time
  • Distance Learning or online programmes
  • Programmes with Study Abroad – for study located outside of the USA, the institution does not have to be approved to participate in the Federal Aid (Title IV) Programme where the institution meets the definition of Foreign Schools. For study located in the USA, the institution must be a participating and approved Federal Aid (Title IV) School. The study abroad period must account for no more than 25% of the total length of the programme of study. Please check this with the Student Finance Team prior to accepting a study abroad place -
  • MChem Forensic and Analytical Chemistry
  • MChem with Drug Discovery
  • BSc Software Engineering
  • Meng Computer Science
  • BSc Sports & Physical Activity
  • BSc Speech and Language Pathology
  • BA Hons Social Work
  • MSc Urban Policy
  • BA Hons Primary Education
  • Degree studied via collaborative/partner institutions:


If your programme is ineligible for Direct Loans you can apply for a Private Loan.  Please see section covering Private Loans.

Enrolment Status

You must be enrolled and continue to be enrolled at least half time at Strathclyde to remain eligible for Federal Loans.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students attending the University of Strathclyde and who are in receipt of Federal Aid are required to make satisfactory progress in their degree program. We are required by the US Department of Education to check the progress of students and we will do this prior to releasing the second and third disbursements and for students returning to the next year of their course.

Full details of the SAP process and the procedures to be followed if a student fails to meet SAP requirements are outlined on our SAP policy (Word doc)

How to Apply

Submit a FAFSA.

You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You should apply online at 

  • Our school code is G09808. If you are unsure how to fill out your FAFSA please see here.
  • You will need an FSA ID. The FSA ID allows students and parents to identify themselves electronically to access FSA websites. 
  • If you do not already have a FSA ID, you can create an FSA ID at .

Completing your FAFSA generates a Student Aid Report (SAR) that is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

Please note, continuing students need to complete a renewal FAFSA every year.  

Email the Student Finance team at when you have completed the above.  Please confirm your application number on all correspondence.

(N.B. From May onwards, the Student Finance team will email you a Cost of Attendance to inform you of the amount and types of loans you are eligible to borrow and confirm the documents we require you to complete).

Cost of Attendance

You may borrow up to an amount equal to your Cost of Attendance (COA) less any scholarships that you have been awarded (from any source). The COA consists of

  • Tuition Fees
  • Living Expenses - (Please see below for Maximum Cost of Attendance 23/24)


 WeeklyNo. of WeeksTotal
Rent  185 36 6,660
Food 65 36 2,340
Utilities 50 36 1,800
Travel Expenses 25 36 900
Personal 70 36 2,520
Flight home 2 per year     2,000
Books/Computer equipment     800
Total (year 2 onwards)     17,020
Visa Health Charge - year 1 only     2.478
Total     19,498


 WeeklyNo. of WeeksTotal
Rent  185 52 9,620
Food 65 52 3,380
Utilities 50 52 2,600
Travel Expenses 25 52 1,300
Personal 70 52 3,640
Flight home 2 per year     2,000
Books/Computer equipment     900
Total (year 2 onwards)     23,440
Visa Health Charge PGT year 1 only     1,068
Total - year 1 PGT     24,508
Visa/Health Charge PGR year 1 only     2,008
Total - year 1 PGR     25,448

We will use a theoretical exchange rate of 1.35 to calculate 2023/24 Cost of Attendance amounts. Regulations allow us to set theoretical exchange rate to convert GBP costs to USD values to allow for volatility in the exchange rate as the year progresses.

The US Dept. of Education does not allow additional lending for a spouse. However, if you have dependent children the regulations will allow for the cost of childcare whilst you are attending your studies.  Please note that this is the only cost allowed for dependents.

Contact  if you have dependents and need to include the cost of registered childcare in your Cost of Attendance.

Completing Documents

  • Entrance Counselling-The U.S. Department of Education requires first-time borrowers of the federal Direct Loan to complete a loan Entrance Counselling session before loans can be originated and funds disbursed. Parents are not required to complete Entrance Counselling for a Direct Parent Plus Loan. Please note that new students to the University will also require to complete Entrance Counselling.
  • Credit Check – If you or your parent is applying for a plus loan, you or the parent must complete “Applying for a Plus loansection. This should automatically trigger a Credit Check. Please note that to obtain a plus loan the decision must be “Accepted.”

Continuing students follow the same process as above without Entrance Counselling


The Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans

Subsidised: These are loans awarded to eligible undergraduate students based on financial need. The information you supply on your FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Your EFC and any EFA (Estimated Financial Assistance, i.e. scholarships, other funding) with be deducted from your Cost of Attendance to determine your Financial Need.

The US government will pay the interest on a subsidised loan while you are    enrolled at least half time or during a grace or deferment period.

Unsubsidised: Not based on financial need. These loans are available to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. While studying at least half time or during deferment or grace periods you have the option of paying the interest or having it capitalised and added to the total value of the loan therefore increasing the amount you need to repay.

Direct Graduate Plus Loan - The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that graduate students with good credit histories may borrow to help pay their educational expenses. A graduate student may borrow up to the total Cost of Attendance less all other financial aid received.

Students must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan.

Direct Parent Plus Loan - Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan and can borrow up to the total Cost of Attendance minus all other sources of financial aid their student receives.

Note: PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done).

Private Loan - The University 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 at a foreign school. To get more information about The GEMS Smart Option Loan by Sallie Mae you can go to their link here:

(Note: Students who are eligible for federal student aid should complete the FAFSA and exhaust all federal loans and scholarship opportunities, before applying for a private alternative loan. Federal student loans generally have more favourable terms and conditions than private loans. We recommend that you utilise all federal loan eligibility before turning to private loans).

Loan limits

The maximum amount you can borrow each year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans depends on your grade level and on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student. The following table shows the maximum amount of money you may borrow each academic year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans as well as the total or aggregate amount you may borrow:

Year of Study

Annual Subsidised

Annual Total Combined Loans
(Sub & Unsub)

Aggregate Subsidised

Aggregate Combined Loans (Sub & Unsub)

Undergraduate Dependent Students (unless your parent is unable to obtain a Direct Plus Loan)

Year 1





Year 2





Year 3+





Undergraduate Independent Students (and dependent students, if your parent is unable to obtain a Direct Plus Loan)

Year 1





Year 2





Year 3+





Graduates & Professional Students

All Years




$138500 (not more than $65,500 can be subsidized;

includes subsidized and unsubsidized loan received for undergraduate study)

If you receive a Federal Student Loan, you will be required to pay that loan with interest. You will find information here to view interest rates for federal student loans and how interest is calculated.

Loan Disbursement new tab

Once your loans have been certified you will receive confirmation in writing of the amounts and disbursement dates. This confirmation may be used as proof of funding for Visa purposes.

The first disbursement takes place in Mid September for most students and funds will be requested from the US Dept. of Education only when you have registered. Please ensure you bring enough funds to cover your initial living costs for the first few weeks until your UK bank account is set up.

Disbursement of Federal Loans

Loan payments will be paid directly to the University via Western Union and converted into UK currency (GBP). In accordance with US Department of Education regulations, your loan will then be paid to you in two or three equal instalments according to the dates on your award letter:

  • Undergraduate Students: 2 instalments – Mid September and beginning of February
  • PG Taught Students: 3 instalments – Mid September, beginning of February and beginning of June
  • PG Research Students: 2 instalments - October and beginning of April
  • PGT Taught students (January start): 3 instalments – Mid January, beginning of May and beginning of September

Before each disbursement, the US Department of Education deducts their origination (loan) fees from students' Direct Loan(s). For information on origination fees, see:

The Student Finance Team will advise you in writing of the breakdown of your disbursement. The University will deduct your tuition fees for the academic year in equal instalments from each disbursement. If you are in University accommodation, the University will deduct your accommodation fees from each disbursement. Thereafter any balance will be paid to your UK bank account (if set up) via Western Union or by draft.

Exit Counselling

Complete Exit Counselling  

Exit Counselling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loans.  Students coming to the end of their studies are required to complete Exit Counselling for each type of Federal US Loan borrowed. This is a condition of your loan terms

  • The Student Finance Team will email you to remind you to complete Exit Counselling and ask you to confirm once you have completed Exit Counselling.
  • You are required to complete Exit Counselling if you drop to less than half time, withdraw from your studies or complete your studies.

Tax forms and Information on Deferment

1098T Forms

As a foreign institution University of Strathclyde does not complete 1098T forms. If you need a Certificate of fees paid please contact

Loan Deferment

If you are taking US federal loans at Strathclyde in the current academic year, we will automatically report your enrolment on the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS) so that repayment of pervious US loans can be deferred.  If you are a student not currently, taking Federal Loans please advise the Student Finance team at if you wish to be reported on the NSLDS for deferment purposes. If you are a student requiring a paper loan deferment form to be completed please forward the form to Student Finance Team at 

Title IV Consumer Policies and Disclosure Information

The US Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to establish policies relating to the processing of U.S. Federal Aid.

For information on US loans, please visit our US loan page

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Withdrawal procedure

US Department of Education: Return to Title IV R2T4 (pdf)

Absence and Voluntary Suspension/Transfer and Exchanges

N.B.  It is essential that you advise of any change of studies, i.e. withdraw, suspend, transfer or change from full time to half time or less than half time.

The University is required to report any change in your enrolment status. For students who withdraw from their studies, suspend their studies or complete their students earlier than expected, it may be necessary to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation, and arrange for the return of any unearned funds to the US Department of Education.

Policy and Procedures for Students

Academic Regulations

Academic Programmes

Admission Policy

Code of Conduct for Educational Loans

In order to prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an agent with respect to private education loans, staff at the University with responsibility for Federal and Private Education Loans from the United States are prohibited from the following:

  • Revenue sharing arrangements with lenders
  • Receiving gifts from a lender or loan servicer
  • Obtaining financial benefits from lenders or loan servicers
  • Providing a preferred list of lenders.
  • Offers of funds for private loans

Preferred Lenders List

The University does not have a preferred Lenders List but will, where possible, work with whichever private lender a prospective borrower decides to use. Students should be aware that the majority of private lenders choose not to offer loans when borowers are studying outside the USA. This is why, on our US Loans information the only loans we list as being accessible are the US Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS loans or the private Sallie Mae loans. 

Completion/Graduation Rates/Transfer Rates

Information on the University’s completion and transfer out rates are available from HESA (The Higher Education Statistics Agency). For these rates please see  below:

Complaints Procedure

Data Protection- Access to Information

Data Protection Policy

Default Management Plan

Disability and Wellbeing

Equality and Diversity Policy

 Freedom of Information

Funding and Financial Support

Gainful Employment Disclosure 

The University of Strathclyde is approved only to provide federal lending for students on a degree programme.  Therefore there is no Gainful Employment Disclosure to report.

Information and Security Policy for Students

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Safety and Security

School Costs 

Study Abroad

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