US loans

Find out more information about Federal Aid for American students.

The University of Surrey participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Federal Direct Loans) and administers private student loans via Sallie Mae. These provide funding to Students from the USA to cover tuition fees and living expenses, subject to approval by the Student Money Team.

US government loans

Available loans


(undergraduate students only)

Fixed max value, No interest charged while in school

Origination fee 1.062% deducted at disbursement


Fixed max value, Interest charged while in school

Origination fee 1.062% deducted at disbursement


Max value set by School (Cost of Attendance), Interest charged while in school.

Origination fee 4.248% deducted at disbursement

Origination fee

The origination fee is a charge made by the US Department of Education (USDE) to cover the administrative charges related to your loan. For information on origination fees charged by the USDE please see Student Aid.

Please note: the loan origination fee is subject to change by the USDE.

The University of Surrey does not charge any loan fees. The USDE funds received by the University are converted into the equivalent GBP according to the daily exchange rate. Fluctuations in exchange rates cannot be used to increase the Cost of Attendance.

Interest rates

Please visit the Federal Student Aid website for details on current interest rates for direct loans.


Students on any program based in the US, any unit of a program based in the US, on study leave based in the US, are not eligible for Direct Loans. This is non-negotiable and is a regulation set by the US Department of Education not the University of Surrey.

Not all University of Surrey programmes are eligible for US Loans e.g. diploma courses, courses funded by the National Health Service (NHS), courses in Veterinary Medicine and students studying their course through distance learning. In addition students undertaking a study-abroad or work placement year for any programme type would not be eligible for US Federal Aid on their placement year.

How to apply

Before you make your application, please ensure you have done the following:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), just as you did under the FFEL Program. We will use the information from your FAFSA to assist in determining your eligibility for a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

  • To apply for a FAFSA ID, if you do not already have one, or to manage your previously registered ID, visit the ID section of the Federal Aid webpage.
  • After the department processes your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Please retain the SAR for your records and to provide to us with your other documents.
  • The University of Surrey ID number is G09860

As soon as you have submitted your FAFSA, please inform us about your application by emailing your full name to the University of Surrey at email address.

Once your FAFSA is completed and processed, it will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR). The Student Aid Report is a compilation of all the information that was submitted on the FAFSA. This information will be used by the University of Surrey to determine your eligibility for Federal loans as stipulated by the U.S. Department of Education, therefore, it is important that the information is accurate. Changes can be made by logging back into the FAFSA website.

After the University receives your SAR, we will determine your eligibility for a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. We will notify you of the loans and amounts for which you are eligible via an Award Letter that will be sent to you via email. The amount of loans you may be eligible for will be based on elements as such your intended program of study, Estimated Family Contribution, Cost of Attendance, Year of Study, and other financial assistance (including any International Scholarships you may have been awarded).

You may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance and no more. Please note this is the maximum you can borrow, and most students do not need to borrow the full amount. If you do not wish to borrow the full amount on your Award letter you must reduce your loan amounts on your Award Letter accordingly.

You will be required to sign and return an Award Acceptance Form before any loan disbursements can be made.

PLUS loans

If you would like to apply for a PLUS loan:

  • Go to the Student Loans website
  • Apply for your Plus Loans Credit Check
  • Take a screen shot to send to the University of Surrey in your pack or include the email sent to you about your credit check.

Direct Loan MPN Completion

Once you have accepted and returned your Award Letter, you can proceed to complete the applicable Master Promissory Notes (MPN).

You must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for each loan type you wish to borrow. Although you may have previously signed an MPN to receive FFEL or Direct Loan Program loans, these MPNs cannot be used to make Direct Loans at our school.

The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. In some cases, a Direct Loan MPN can be used to make loans for up to ten (10) years. However, you will need to complete a new Direct Loan MPN each academic year that you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan at our school.

  • You may complete a Direct Loan MPN electronically via the Student Loans website
  • To complete a Direct Loan MPN electronically, you must have a Federal Student Aid ID. This is the same ID used to complete the FAFSA.

Direct Loan Entrance and Exit Counseling Completion

If you are an undergraduate or graduate/professional student and have not previously received a FFEL Stafford Loan, Direct Subsidized Loan, or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling before you can receive a Direct Loan.

  • You may complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling electronically via the Student Loans website
  • To complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling electronically, you must have a Federal Student Aid PIN. This is the same PIN used to complete the FAFSA.
  • You will need to complete Entrance Counseling for each type of loan you borrow (e.g. Stafford and PLUS)
  • Parents are not required to complete Entrance Counseling for a Parent PLUS loan.
  • You will also be required to complete Exit Counseling shortly before you complete your studies.

It is essential you also read the following policy document:

Prepare your email to the University

  • Prepare your email to
  • For the subject line, type USL and your name using a surname (upper-case) then forename (lower-case) format
    i.e. USL CLOONEY George.

Confirm in the email the following has been completed:

  • You have signed and returned your Award Letter/Acceptance Form
  • Completed the applicable Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Stafford Loan(s)
  • Completed Entrance Counselling completion
  • Received your SAR (Student Aid Report)

Also, confirm if you are applying for PLUS Loans

Please note: if you have not completed all of the above steps, we will be unable to process your application.

Award and loan certification

If you do not wish to borrow the full amount on your Award letter you must contact the Student Money Team at to cancel or reduce your loan amounts. You will also need to complete Entrance Counseling. This is done online and details of this will be sent to you once you your loans have been certified.

Once we have verified you are expected to enrol here and you have completed Entrance Counseling, your loan can then be originated (in anticipated form) and can only be disbursed once you are on campus and have physically enrolled on your programme in October. Federal loans will be disbursed in 2 equal instalments in October and February. The balance after tuition fees and any University accommodation fees have been deducted will be paid into your UK bank account.

It would be sensible to ensure you have up to six weeks spending money with you when you arrive whilst we await the funding. You should contact the Student Money team ( if you have any questions.

As you can see this is a long process. In order for you to have your payment disbursed in time for the start of session you will need to have completed your FAFSA and signed the MPN by mid-July if possible. You will also need proof of funding for your visa application.

The loans will be disbursed to the University of Surrey who will then arrange to convert the loans to pounds sterling. Once we know the amount in pounds received, the money is allocated to tuition fees as laid down in the US Dept of Education regulations before any surplus is returned to you. You will then be notified of how the loan has been allocated.

If your loan period is based on enrolment for two semesters, you will receive two disbursements, one at the start of each semester.

Generally, the loans cannot be disbursed until the semester has officially started (27 September for fall semester and 07 February for spring semester).

Note: First year, first time borrowers must have their initial disbursements delayed until 30 days after the first date of their first semester.

The amount in Federal Direct Loan funds that you are eligible to borrow each academic year is limited by your grade level; whether you are a dependent or an independent student; your financial need; and your cost of attendance.

You cannot borrow more than your financial need or the cost of attendance.

The following annual and aggregate loan limits apply to Federal Direct Loans:

Undergraduate Dependent Students

Dependent studentBase amount (subsidized or unsubsidized)Additional unsubsidised loanTotal annual combined maximum amount of subsidized & unsubsidized loans
First-year undergraduate      $3,500          $2,000          $5,500    
Second-year undergraduate      $4,500          $2,000       $6,500    
Third-year and beyond undergraduate      $5,500          $2,000       $7,500    

Undergraduate Inependent Students

Independent student (and dependent students whose parents are denied a plus loan)Base amount (subsidized or unsubsidized)Additional unsubsidised loanTotal annual combined maximum amount of subsidized & unsubsidized loans
First-year undergraduate      $3,500          $6,000          $9,500    
Second-year undergraduate      $4,500          $6,000       $10,500    
Third-year and beyond undergraduate      $5,500          $2,000       $12,500    

Postgraduate Students

Postgraduate studentBase amount (subsidized)Additional unsubsidised loanTotal annual combined maximum amount of subsidized & unsubsidized loans
Yearly eligibility    n/a         $20,500          $20,500    

Direct Loan Aggregate Loan Limits

 Subsidized onlyAdditional unsubsidised loan
Dependent undergraduates      $23,500          $31,000    
Independent undergraduates      $23,500          $57,500 
Postgraduate students      $65,500          $138,500 

In order to receive your Federal Funds as quickly as possible, we would advise you to open a UK bank account to use during your time in the UK.

There are many High Street banks in the local area that offer student accounts including:

  • Barclays
  • HSBC
  • NatWest
  • Santander

These banks will normally require you to provide proof of a UK address and that you are an enrolled student which you can obtain from the University upon arrival.

Online student bank accounts that you can apply for before you arrive in the UK are also available.

Consumer Disclosures

Please see the document Consumer Disclosures for Students in receipt of Federal Student Aid regarding important Federal Aid information and regulations, as well as University practice and policy.

Study Abroad Information

As a student on a Direct Loan program, you must refrain from undertaking study abroad in the US or at any university, which does not hold the Title IV stipulation. List of ineligible study abroad programs (PDF) (May 2021).

Other sources of funding

    We are able to administer Veterans funding for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The approval process for new University courses to be certified by Veteran Affairs takes up to six months. Please contact us as early as possible in order to see if your prospective course is eligible and needs to be certified.

    If you wish to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill funding please contact us in order to declare your involvement in Veteran Affairs Funding, including the following information: your full name, date of birth (MM/DD/YY), social security number, permanent address and full title of program at the University of Surrey. To receive educational benefits you must be in physical attendance at the University.

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

    To apply for a Smart Loan follow these steps:

    1. Student borrowers are required to complete a self-certification form (supplied by the lender). To help you complete this our Cost of Attendance can be found here in section “6. Cost of Attendance” of the Consumer Discolures for Students in receipt of Federal Aid
    2. Make an application online
    3. Send a copy of your e-signed Promissory Note to

    Please note:

    Active Acceptance of Loan

    Student borrowers are now required to “actively accept” the terms of their loan approval before their school will be notified that school certification is required. The lender’s terms for how to “accept” the loan terms can be found on the private loan approval disclosure form that they will provide to the borrower.

    Right to Cancel

    Borrowers and/or cosigners have the right to cancel or rescind a loan offer within 3 business days after receipt of Final Disclosure. During this time, the lender cannot disburse loan funds. This cancellation period cannot be waived in order for funds to disburse more quickly. This may cause a delay in the disbursement of loan funds to your student account. Be sure to apply several weeks before funding is needed.


    We suggest that you fully research the loan and lender that best suits your needs. It is a good idea to compare the benefits and costs of several supplemental loans before you apply, as the loan terms can vary. Also remember that it is always in the best interest of students and parents to explore federal student and parent loan options before applying for private loan products.

    For more information on private loans please visit Global Education Management Services - see Loan application and solicitation disclosures

    Important details

    • Direct lending code: G09860
    • School OPE ID: 00986 000


    Student Money Support

    International Student Support

    US Department of Education

    • 1-800-557-7394
    • 1-800-4-FED-AID (800 433-3243)
    • Website