US student loans
The US Federal Loans scheme allows various different types of loans to assist students with the cost of their studies. These are Direct Loans, which include
- Subsidized Loans
- Unsubsidized Loans
- PLUS Student Loans
Another option separate from the US Federal Loans scheme which students may also wish to consider is Private Student Loans. US Students are not eligible for the Pell Grants if studying at foreign schools.
US Federal Loans are originated from 1 July each academic year therefore it is very important for applicants to ensure that documents with expiry dates (e.g. credit checks) will still be valid up to 31 July.
The 6 step application process
A summary is also available via the Application Process Flowchart 2015-16 [pdf]
Complete a FAFSA
The FAFSA will generate your Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR). Imperial College London’s School Code is G11567.
Receiving your ISIR
Check that it includes an EFC (Estimated Family Contribution). Contact FAFSA to make corrections if required.
Complete the CoA
The CoA will calculate the maximum loans you can request based on your study costs less Expected Financial Contribution and any Financial Aid.
Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
An MPN each will be required for the Direct & PLUS loans. A PLUS Application and credit check will be required if you will be using a PLUS Loan.
Complete your Entrance Counselling
Federal law requires borrowers to complete entrance counselling. Special PLUS Counselling is required for applicants with adverse credit history.
Accordion widget 2 - payments
Direct Stafford Loans
These are low interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) at participating schools.
Direct Loans include the following types of loans
- Subsidized Loans - these are for students with financial need. You are not charged interest while you’re in school at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods
- Unsubsidized Loans - You are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive an Unsubsidised Loan. Interest accrues on an unsubsidized loan from the time it’s first paid out
Further information about the Direct Stafford Loans and eligibility for loans is available via Federal Student Aid webpages.
The USDE has set borrowing limits for the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.
|Per academic year||$20,500||$20,500|
The total aggregate loan limit from all Direct Loans combined at any one time is:
- $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan (no more than $23,000 may be Subsidized)
- $57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be Subsidized)
- $138,500 for graduate or professional students (no more than $65,500 may be Subsidized; includes loans for undergraduate study).
- Parent PLUS loans - these are available to parents of depenant students pursuing undergrdauate study only; dependancy status is determined through the FAFSA and will be shown on your ISIR
- Graduate PLUS loans - these are only available to graduate (or professional) study students
The maximum PLUS loan available in any academic year is limited to your calculated annual Cost of Attendance (CoA) minus any other sources of funding.
Private Student Loans
We will work with all private lenders as long as they are happy to issue loans to our students. We cannot recommend any private lenders specifically, but if a student applies for private funding, we can certify such loans. Students will be required to complete the ICL:Cost of Attendance (CoA) 2015 [XLS] spreadsheet to enable us to certify the loan and submit this to the Student Financial Support team stating that you wish to apply for a private loan. Terms and conditions of Federal loans may be much more favourable than private education loans.
Payment of your Loan
Federal loans will be disbursed in three instalments. Disbursement dates are set for 17 October 2015, 22 January 2016 and 29 April 2016.
Disbursements are dependant on
- Enrolment confirmation prior to each disbursement
- Students providing their UK bank account details to the Student Financial Support team
- The completion of a Satisfactory Academic Progress report (SAP) by your Tutor/Supervisor sent to Student Financial Support team
All disbursements are made in British Pound Stirling. A daily spot exchange rate obtained on the dates below will be obtained on the dates below to calculate your payments.
|Spot rate & email notification to the student||Date of cleared funds in the student's bank account|
|Disbursement 1||5 October 2015||7 October 2015|
|Disbursement 2||11 January 2016||22 January 2016|
|Disbursement 3||18 April 2016||29 April 2016|
Students must ensure that that have sufficient funding for the period leading up to the October disbursement.
Satisfactory Academic Progress reports (SAP)
Your eligibility for Direct Loans is dependent upon your continued attendance and participation on the relevant degree programme. If there is any change to your circumstances (for example temporary or permanent withdrawal, extensions, etc.) you must inform us and the US Department of Education immediately.
You will be required to provide the Student Financial Support team the name and contact details (including email address) of your supervisor/tutor within the first two weeks of the start of the academic year. We are required to contact them and confirm your satisfactory academic progress. Without this progress confirmation we are unable to process any of your Direct Loan disbursements.
Please note that in the event that a student’s SAP report is not satisfactory they will be put on probation for 3 months. Failure to improve academic results during this period will affect future disbursements. Please read the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for further details.
Tuition Fees and Deposit requirements
Tuition fee deposits
US students receiving any of the loans mentioned in this document are not required to pay the 10 percent deposit in advance of registering. Please refer any correspondence requesting a deposit payment to this webpage or directly to the Student Financial Support team.
Tuition fee payments
Imperial College requires that tuition fees receive priority before any maintenance payments are made. Tuition fees will therefore be proportioned in line with your disbursements. This will result in your disbursement being applied to a third of your total tuition fees with the remaining loan funds paid into your UK bank account for maintenance.
If your disbursement is less than the proportioned tuition fees payable, the whole disbursement amount will be used towards tuition fees. Students are responsible for paying any outstanding tuition fee debt not covered by disbursements.
Terms and Conditions of US Federal Direct Loans
The U.S Department of Education stipulates that the following must apply
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Your eligibility for Direct Loans is dependent upon your continued attendance and participation on the relevant degree programme. If there is any change to your circumstances (for example temporary or permanent withdrawal, extensions, etc.) you must inform us and the US Department of Education immediately. The full SAP policy is available here.
You will be required to provide the Student Financial Support team the name and contact details (including email address) of your supervisor / tutor within the first two weeks of the start of the academic year. We are required to contact them and confirm your satisfactory academic progress. Without this progress confirmation we are unable to process any of your Direct Loan disbursements.
Entrance and Exit Counselling must be completed at the appropriate times. This can be done online at www.studentloans.gov. All new students who have not received a FFEL Stafford Loan or Direct Loan must complete entrance counselling prior to any funds being disbursed from the U.S Department of Education. All students must complete exit counselling before the final disbursement is paid.
If you are in default on any student loan, you will not be eligible for a further student loan.
Half time attendance
Where course attendance is not ‘at least half-time’ in comparison to a full time course, students on these courses will not be eligible for the Federal Loans. Therefore students on the MBA Global, Executive and Weekend courses are not eligible for the Federal Loans.
We will confirm your attendance on the National Student Loan database every other month as required by the US Federal Law.
Funding from other sources
Any student who is in receipt of Direct Loans must inform us of any additional funding (expected or received) before and after your student loan entitlement is calculated. Your loan entitlement will be recalculated upon the discovery of other sources of funding.
Loss of aid eligibility and due to substance misuse
The Higher Education Act (1965) as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students who have a Drug Conviction. The Student Financial Support Office will notify students who lose their federal student aid eligibility by email of the ways in which eligibility can be regained. Under section 484(t) of the HEA eligibility to federal aid can be regained where a student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests.
All loans are repayable. You will be required to arrange repayment directly through your loan servicer. You can check who your loan servicer at National Student Loan Data System website.
Further information about repayment can be found on:
• Federal Student Aid website
• Student Aid website
Rights and responsibilities of students in receipt of Title IV Loans
It is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities associated with the loans. These are explored in the Entrance and Exit Counselling and are also provided with the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Students are recommended to read these documents very carefully.
Right to cancel
Direct Loans funds are disbursed electronically. Students will be notified by email prior to each disbursement, that their payment is expected and the amount and type of loan. Students have up to 10 working days to inform us if they no longer wish to receive these funds. If a student wishes to cancel their loans after the disbursement is made, and 120 days has passed, the student is responsible for returning the funds to the U.S Department of Education along with any interest accrued.
If you interrupt your study, withdraw or fall below half-time enrolment you must inform the Student Financial Support team immediately.
Under US federal law, we are required to report any changes to your enrolment within tight timescales. We may be required to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation and arrange for any ‘unearned’ loan funds to be returned to the US Department of Education. If the unearned funds have been paid to you, you may have to return these. However we will inform you of this by email. The full Return to Title IV (R2T4) policy is available here.
Title IV Loan Code of Conduct – Participating Schools
The College’s code of conduct for US loans is as follows:
In order to prohibit a conflict of interest of an agent with respect to private education loans, all agents at the University 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
- Contracting 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 agents with responsibility for US loans are reminded at least annually of the code.