Fees and scholarships

Federal Loan Programs for American Applicants

The University of West London participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program for students coming from the US.

Our application cycle for entry in September 2017 is open.

Please read through the information provided below before starting the application process: you may find the process very different to applications made to US schools.

If you are seeking a private loan please see section below regarding Sallie Mae.

To apply, read:


What is the Federal Direct Loan?

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans to help undergraduate and graduate students pay for their education.

Direct Loans are provided by the US government and are available to US citizens who have firmly accepted an unconditional offer to study at University of West London.

The University of West London Financial Aid team administers Direct Loans to eligible students from the US studying at University of West London and has been approved by the US Department of Education for the origination and disbursal Federal Direct Loans.

There are several steps to loan application; they are all easy and quick but the University will not know if you have completed all the processes for all the loans you intend to borrow unless you tell us.


Eligibility for Federal Aid

To be eligible to take out US Direct Loans you need to:

  • be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • have a valid US social security number
  • be accepted to a programme of full-time or at least 50% part-time study
  • have been assessed as having made satisfactory academic progress to continue your studies with us if you are an existing student at the University of West London
  • be living in the UK during the course of your studies at the University of West London (students who continue to live in the USA during their studies are not eligible)
  • have not borrowed over your federal loan limits or are still in default on repaying previous loans
  • have signed up for selective service or have been officially exempted from selective service if you are a male over the age of 18
  • not have any outstanding convictions for drug-related offences
  • register for an eligible course. Ineligible courses include (but may not be restricted to) those listed below:
    • undergraduate degree courses that include a 'year abroad' option.
    • Foundation Degree, Diploma, or pre-Masters course.
    • Nursing courses
    • any programme that has a compulsory online element or distance learning element. Such programmes are ineligible for any US Federal Loan funds. Ref: US Higher Education Reconciliation Act (HERA), July 1, 2006.


How to apply - the step by step procedure you must follow exactly to apply for a loan

There are several steps to the loan application; they are all easy and quick but the University will not know if you have completed all the processes for all the loans you intend to borrow unless you tell us.

You can see each step described in more detail below:

1. Complete FAFSA
2. Check how much you can borrow
3. Sign Master Promissory Note(s)
4. Direct Loan Entrance Counselling
5. Sending your application to the University of West London
6. What happens after you send your application?
7. Applying for your visa
8. Accessing your loan funds

When you have finished and collected all the evidence, please send them all in one email. For priority treatment the subject field should start FAFSA and look like this:

To: int.app@uwl.ac.uk
Subject: 'FAFSA, Your Name'

1. Complete FAFSA

In order to access US Student Federal Aid, students must first complete a 'Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)', which can be accessed at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and specify University of West London as a nominated school and stating University of West London US Department of Education Federal University / School code:

  • Federal School Code: 039453
  • OPE-ID: 03945300

Upon receipt of the student's FAFSA information by University of West London, it shall dispatch to the email address provided in the FAFSA application the application instructions for US Student Federal Aid at University of West London.

2. How much can you borrow?

The amount you can borrow through Direct Loans is determined by your estimated cost of attendance and the borrowing limits set by the US Department of Education.

Your cost of attendance (COA) is an estimation of how much it will cost you to study at The University of West London for one academic year. When we calculate this we include the cost of your tuition fees and living expenses, and deduct any scholarships you will be receiving and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). A set average exchange rate for the academic year is used to convert your costs into US dollars.

You can borrow up to the cost of your attendance through a combination of Stafford and PLUS Loans. There are limits on the amount you can borrow through subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans. The values of the Stafford Loans you can take out depend on your academic level.

The maximum loans you can receive cannot exceed the yearly cost of attendance.

3. Sign Master Promissory Note(s)

To take out a Direct Loan, you must complete Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN can be completed on the Student Loans.gov website. The University of West London will only accept MPN’s that have been digitally signed using your Federal Student Aid PIN.

You will need to complete an MPN for each loan that you take out, so if you decide to apply for the PLUS loan as well as the Direct loan, you will need to complete a separate MPN for both. Also if you are applying for a PLUS loan, you need to apply for your Plus Loans Credit Check and either take a screen shot to send to in your pack or include the email sent to you about your credit check.

The University of West London requires new Master Promissory Notes to be completed during each year of access to Student Federal Aid

4. Direct Loan Entrance Counselling

Loan Entrance counselling will inform you of your rights and obligations and is a Federal requirement. If you do not complete entrance counselling we cannot originate your loans. Please visit Student Loans.gov to complete your Entrance Counselling and once completed, send us a screenshot for a proof.

5. Sending your application to the University of West London

Once you have completed the steps above then you must email us the following documents:

1. Copy of Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note
2. Copy of Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (if applicable)
3. Copy of accepted credit check confirmation (PLUS Loan applicants only)
4. Copy of Direct Loan entrance counselling confirmation
5. Copy of a Scholarship Award letter(s) (if applicable)

Please email your completed application pack to int.app@uwl.ac.uk. For your application to be handled as quickly as possible please enter the subject line of your email in the following format: FAFSA (Surname, Forename).
For example: FAFSA, CLOONEY George

6. What happens next?

Once we have your complete application, we will be able to assess it, determine your eligibility for Federal Student Aid, and if eligible, originate loans for you. We will also generate a letter which can be used to help demonstrate funding through the Federal Loan system to support a visa application for the UK. Completed applications take approximately ten working days to process. During our peak application time (May - July) the process can take considerably longer and we would recommend applying at least five weeks prior to any deadline you have to meet.

When we have completed the processing of your application on the US Ed Dept systems, we will send you the signed and stamped loan award letter to confirm award. Once you have provided your FAFSA and have an offer of admission UWL will send you an award letter detailing your award eligibility and amounts. 

7. Applying for your visa

You can use your Direct Loans to support your application for a UK student visa to come over to the UK. Once we have confirmed and originated your loan(s) with the US Department of Education we will send to you an official letter detailing the loans you will be accessing whilst at UWL. You will be able to use this letter to demonstrate to the UK authorities your financial aid.

8. Accessing your loan funds

Direct Loan funds are disbursed at the start of each term during an academic year. Disbursements can only be made to students who are fully enrolled on their programme of study and making satisfactory academic progress. This means that you will not be able to receive your funds until you have completed the University's registration and verification process at the start of each academic year.

For September 2016 starters, the earliest anticipated dates for the disbursement of the balance of funds will be announced shortly.

Once we receive your loan funds from the US Department of Education we use these to pay off your tuition fees and University accommodation costs for the term. If there are any funds remaining from the disbursement these will be paid to you by the University's Finance Department. A cheque, in Pounds Sterling (GBP), will be made available for collection. It is strongly recommended that all students open a GBP currency bank account, whilst in the UK in order to negotiate these cheques.

Please note that the disbursement date is the date that your financial aid is paid against outstanding charges on your student account at the University, and not the date that funds will be available to you.

Please note it can take up to three weeks to open a UK bank account. Please ensure you bring any necessary funds to cover your first month in the UK including potential large expenses such as housing deposits. 

When do I start repaying my Federal Aid loan?

It is important that you understand your rights and obligations as you prepare to repay your Federal Loans following graduation. Exit counselling is compulsory and is designed to inform you about loan repayment and money management, and will help you make the necessary arrangements before and during repayment. Please see the 'Exit Counselling' section on the Department of Education's Student Loans website for details.


Veterans benefits

Eligible students should first visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website and apply for benefits. For further information for students wishing to attend foreign schools, please visit the VA webpage Foreign School Information for Students.

Before you start your course please contact us to check if your course is approved for VA benefits. If your course has not yet been approved it could take several weeks for the course approval request to be processed. If the approval of your course is denied by the VA, you will be responsible for funding your studies.

Please send us a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility. Once you have enrolled, we will complete and submit your enrolment information on VA Form 22-1999. Please note you will not receive payments until your enrolment information has been received and processed by the VA.


Private Loans: Sallie Mae

The only private loan currently available to students at foreign schools is the Smart Loan from Sallie Mae.

Please review the Federal Aid Direct Lending programme before you progress with a private loan as this may be a more favourable option.

To apply for Sallie Mae:


Deferments and repayments

If you have taken out Federal student loans prior to coming to the University of West London, we will automatically update your enrolment details with the US Department of Education once you have joined us on a full-time or part-time programme of study to ensure that your repayments are deferred. The information we provide is shared with all of the US Department of Education's servicing agents, who are responsible for administrating loan repayments. If you believe that your enrolment status is not correctly registered with your servicing agent please let us know.

Please note that once you have completed your period of supervised study you then will have ceased to be enrolled at least half time with us. The date when your studies end is not the same as the date as when you will graduate and receive your degree.


Further information

If you have any questions about federal loans please do not hesitate to contact the International Office. We have provided a number of links to information you may find useful before you join us in the UK. 


International Office
University of West London
St. Mary’s Road
W5 5RF

Tel: +44 (0)20 8231 2440
Email: int.app@uwl.ac.uk