Fees and funding

Federal loans for USA students

American students coming to Greenwich can apply to receive financial assistance through the US Government's Title IV Federal Student Aid Direct Loan Program.

The University of Greenwich participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Our OPE IE Number is 036193-00.

You must make an application to study at Greenwich before you can be assessed for a Direct Loan. We will check your eligibility, but please review the requirements on Student Aid to prevent disappointment.

The information below is provided for you to refer back to whenever you need guidance and provides an overview of the processes from applying to receiving your loan, as well as the latest links to policy.

Application process

Step 1: Complete a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This generates a Student Aid Report (SAR/ISIR) that we can access (if you list the University of Greenwich).

Step 2: Email the Direct Loan Administration team at USFSA@gre.ac.uk to confirm that you hold an offer to study with us and you have completed the FAFSA. Please provide your full name, university ID number from your offer letter (example 001234567), and your social security number in your email.

Please also provide any information that could affect your assessment for Federal Aid where this information is different from the information on your FAFSA. If you believe you have Special or Unusual Circumstances you must provide this now at Stage 2 to ensure you are assessed correctly.

*An example of a Special Circumstance could be that your parent has lost their job. An example of an Unusual Circumstance could be parental estrangement.

Step 3: The team will email you further guidance and a ‘Cost of Attendance’ pro-forma (Microsoft Excel) that you must complete.

Step 4: You must complete ‘Entrance Counseling’ and you must e-sign the relevant E-MPN’s.

Step 5: Return confirmation of your completed 'Entrance Counselling', the e-MPNs, plus your completed Cost of Attendance to the team.

Step 6: Upon receipt, the team will use the information you have provided to determine your eligibility and the level of loans you can apply for. We may also need more information, in which case we get back in touch with you.

How to calculate your costs

It is vital that you formulate a realistic budget for your study in the UK. We will not sanction impractical costs. The following links may help you to prepare an accurate cost assessment.

You will need sufficient funding to support yourself in the UK until your loan is released.

The university deducts tuition fees and university accommodation costs (if you decide to live in halls) before any payment is made to you. See disbursements below.

Loan offer

Once we have determined your eligibility and the level and types of loan available to you, you will receive an award letter. This confirms the amount of aid available and ask you to confirm how much you would like to borrow.

Direct Loans

The US government sets maximum standard direct loans which are connected to your status as a 'Dependent' or 'Independent' borrower plus the level and year of study. We cannot influence these levels.

PLUS Loans

PLUS loans provide additional financial support as identified on the Cost of Attendance form.

There are two types of PLUS Loan:

  • Parent PLUS
    Dependent undergraduate students can ask parents to apply for a Parent PLUS loan. To be eligible, your parent must not have an adverse credit history. You will need to apply together as documentary evidence is required.
  • Graduate PLUS
    Graduate students can apply for this loan themselves. To be eligible, you must not have an adverse credit history. Additional documentary evidence will be required.

Undergraduate students cannot apply for PLUS Loans in their own right. If you are a dependent student and your parents are rejected for Parent PLUS, you will receive only the Direct Loan at the independent rate.

Graduate students rejected for PLUS may source an endorser for their application. If this is not possible, only the Direct Loan element will be available.

Students unable to obtain a PLUS Loan may be eligible to apply for private loans (see below).

Federal Pell Grants

Applicants attending Foreign Schools are not eligible for Pell or other forms of grants.

Tuition fee deposits

International students are required to pay a deposit of £3,000 towards their course costs. Some US Nationals receiving Federal Aid may not be required to do so.

Undergraduate students: if you agree to take the full Direct Loan and the full Parent PLUS Loan, the university deducts your fees from your disbursements and you are not required to pay a deposit in advance. If you are only entitled to the standard maximum Direct Loan and you have not arranged a further private loan, you will need to pay a deposit.

Postgraduate students: if you agree to take the full Direct Loan and/or a full Graduate PLUS loan, the university will deduct your fees from your disbursements and you are not required to pay a deposit.

In all instances, if you are not eligible or have not applied for sufficient funds to cover your tuition fee, you must pay a deposit. You can also choose to pay a deposit to reduce the deduction from your disbursements.

Certificate of Attendance to Study (CAS)

Following receipt of your signed award letter and any deposits paid, our International Admissions Team will contact you to confirm details about you and your course.

We then issue you with a standard Certificate of Attendance to Study. This is required to meet the regulations of UKVI's Tier 4 entry guidance for a student visa.

When you apply for your student visa, you must also include a copy of your loan confirmation and/or details of any private loans to prove you have the funds to conduct your studies.

Disbursement of living costs

Federal Student Aid is usually paid in three instalments, as follows:

  • Begin in September: October, January and April.
  • Begin in January: February, April and October.

Disbursements are not released before you have fully registered with the university. They cannot be used to pay for visa applications. Once you have completed registration and spent 14 days in attendance at the university, you will be eligible for your first disbursement.

To receive the funds, you must have opened a UK bank account and added your account details into the secure area of the student portal.

The university receives your loan in US dollars. This is converted into pounds sterling by our bank, Barclays, according to the exchange rate on the day. We are unable to confirm the value in advance.

When we receive your loan in sterling, we allocate funds to your student account. At this point, payments are deducted for your tuition fees (if not already paid) and accommodation fees (if you reside in university halls). This means each payment you receive is for personal living costs. This should be budgeted to ensure it lasts until your next disbursement.

If you are staying in halls of residence, please notify the Accommodation Office that your rent will be paid in three instalments via Federal Student Aid.

Satisfactory academic progress

All students at the university are required to make satisfactory academic progress. For US Nationals, your entitlement to Federal Aid could be affected if you fail to meet academic and attendance requirements.

More about satisfactory progress and other academic regulations.

Requirements for Federal Aid

Students receiving Federal Aid are expected to progress without repeating a stage of study. Sometimes however, we know unexpected circumstances can impact your studies.

If you need to repeat a stage or an element of study prior to being progressed, you are likely to still qualify for funding but will do so with a warning of Federal Aid probation. If, by the time of the next disbursement period, your progress meets university requirements, aid will continue. If your progress does not meet standards, aid is suspended for the remainder of your repeat study. Aid will be reinstated when you progress to the next academic stage.

If your aid is suspended

Your Federal Aid status does not affect your university registration. If your aid is suspended or your study/attendance intensity falls below 50%, you can continue studying using other financial means.

Where applicable, tuition fees are due for all periods of registration, regardless of your Federal Aid status.

Appealing a decision of suspension

Appeals are accepted only where extenuating circumstances have directly affected your ability to meet the necessary requirements.

A statement of appeal must be received by us, along with clear evidence of the circumstances and a statement from your personal tutor or other advisor (e.g. counsellor) within 28 days of the suspension notice. (See Contact us below.)

A decision will be communicated by email to your university account within 10 working days. This decision is final and no further appeal will be considered.


Federal Aid recipients must attend a course on a university campus. Aid is not available for courses offered by partners or networks or via distance learning.

All international students must attend contact hours as required by your Tier 4 Student Visa. (See full details.) Attendance is confirmed via your student ID card.

To progress and complete your course successfully, we recommend an attendance level of at least 95%.

Part-time Federal Aid

A change to your mode of attendance (e.g. full-time to part-time) will affect your Federal Aid entitlement. You must consult the Primary Destination Point Administrator of your intention to change so that you can make an informed decision.

If you choose to study part-time, you must study for a minimum of 50% of a full-time equivalent course ('half-time') to receive aid.

Study Abroad and Erasmus

The university accepts students from US schools to study for short periods or full academic sessions known as Study Abroad.

Entitlement to Federal Aid for this period is held by your school. We confirm the costs to your school to assess your eligibility for Federal Aid.

University of Greenwich students who take an Erasmus year as part of their degree are eligible for Federal Aid. For this, you must be required to formally attend an EU Higher Education Institution that is registered to administer Federal Aid with the US Department of Education.

Withdrawal, interruption, and the return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

All Federal Aid recipients must inform the Primary Destination Point Administrator at usfsa@gre.ac.uk immediately of any change in circumstances, especially if you are considering withdrawing or interrupting your studies.

You should read the university's withdrawal and interruption policy and speak to an International Advisor and your personal tutor before completing this process.

If you withdraw or interrupt from your studies, your eligibility to Federal Aid is affected. The details below form part of the terms and conditions of the acceptance that you sign to access your loan.

Where notified, you must return unearned aid immediately to the university for return to the US DoE.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Your aid is calculated on a daily basis, so any change to your registration status that results in an overpayment will require a return to the Department of Education either via the university or directly to your loan servicer.

Your loans will be assessed and reduced in the order of unsubsidised, subsidised, then PLUS. The assessment is completed using a pro-forma provided by the US DoE.

You are assessed to have earned 100% of the annual award amount if you have attended 60% or more of your course.

  • If you attend 25% of the course, you will have earned 25% of the loan.
  • If you attend 70% of the course, you will have earned 100% of the loan.

Depending on the date of your withdrawal or change of circumstances, you may or may not receive further disbursements.

The university charges a pro-rata fee for students that interrupt or withdraw. These differ from the standard university policy for Charging and Refunding due to the way the assessment is required to be completed by the US DoE:

  • Day 30 after registration until 31 December - 25% fee
  • 1 January until 31 March - 50% fee
  • 1 April until end of term - 100% fee

If you withdraw or interrupt within the first 30 days you will not be charged a fee and will not be eligible for loans. After 30 days, the amount of 'earned' loan eligibility depends on the date you complete the withdrawal or interruption form online.

Your last day of attendance is the date given on your withdrawal or interruption form by your Faculty.

You may have a fee balance to pay that is not covered by your loan. The assessment may show that your loan entitlement is lower than the value disbursed to you (after any due tuition fees are deducted). Any excess loan received must be repaid to the university immediately.

We will notify you by email at the preferred address in your student record. You should check this and, where relevant, respond, make payment or make queries immediately following receipt. Where relevant, we will also confirm by email the value of any refund we make to the DoE through G5.

Where relevant, we will return any unearned loans to the US Department of Education within 45 days where no excess payments have been made to you. You must also return any excess loan you are liable to repay directly to your loan servicer within 45 days.

Interruption of study (formal leave of absence) is allowed for up to 180 days. We report your attendance to the National Students Loan Data System (NSLDS) so you do not begin repayment before you return to study (where this is within the 180-day period). If the period of interruption is longer than 180 days, your attendance will be reported as 'withdrawn'.

More about the grace period and repaying loans.

Cancelling a loan

You have the right to cancel your loan but this must be done within the time frames given below.

Prior to registration

You can notify us that you wish to cancel your loan at any time before registration or by the first day of term - whichever is first.

Cancellation prior to registration will cancel all loans applied for at no cost to you. This update will be provided to UKVI, which may cancel any Tier 4 student visa it has issued to you.

After registration

The first liability date for Federal Aid is either the day you fully complete registration, with all registration holds removed from your account, or the first day of term - whichever is first.

Once you have completed registration fully, or the first day of term is reached, you are liable for a minimum tuition fee of £3,000. You cannot cancel this segment of your loan unless you decide to pay this fee through other means.

If you notify us within 14 days of your full registration, we can cancel the remaining part of your loan. Loans for living costs are not disbursed to you until you have fully registered and attended university for 30 days.

After disbursement

Your ability to cancel part of a loan after a disbursement has been made, whether it relates to a withdrawal / interruption or not, depends on the date you make the request and the number of days you have attended. You can return part or all of a disbursement directly to the DoE.Contact us (details below) for further advice.

Repayment and defaults

When you have completed your course, you will need to repay the loans you have borrowed. The tools provided to you are designed to assist you throughout your repayment period.

We appreciate that circumstances can change over the years. But even in hardship, maintaining contact with your loan servicer is a legal requirement.

If you default on loan repayments, this adversely affects the institution and jeopardises the chances of others to access Federal Aid funding.

Exit counselling

Just as you complete 'Entrance Counseling' before you start your course, you will need to complete 'Exit Counseling' before you finish. This helps you consider the repayment options and provides information that will assist you in the future as your life changes.

If you fail to complete this, we may withhold your degree certificate or your invite to graduation.

Find out more about repayment.

Default management

How do we help you avoid defaulting on your loans?

  • We encourage you to limit your loan amount throughout your course.
  • We provide you with practical tips to help you manage a budget whilst studying, including the tools on studentaid.ed.gov and studentloans.gov.
  • We continue to monitor your loan repayment records through NSLDS and will contact you if you appear to be having problems.
  • We provide you with information about your loan servicer and encourage you to review your position and seek further advice about your options.
  • We provide your details to your loan servicer so they can assist in this regard.

Private loans

If you unable to borrow enough to cover the costs detailed in the Cost of Attendance form, you can apply for an education loan from a private lender.

Private loan agreements are made between you and the lender, not the university. You will need to conduct research on lenders. We do not make recommendations of providers.

We can assist by reporting on your attendance and progression, if required. We also accept payments from authorised lenders where the university is able to credit funds to your tuition fee account before disbursing any remaining funds to you. We are currently registered to administer loans provided through Sallie Mae.

A private lender will require you to complete a Private Loan Applicant Self-Certification form. The information required for the form is available through your completed COA and award letter. However, you can contact us for assistance if you are unclear.

Data protection and information sharing

The University of Greenwich is required by various agencies to collect personal and other data about you for the purposes of reporting. On occasion, we are required to disclose information to the relevant organisations we work with for various reasons.

Our Data Protection Policy and why we share information

When you complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Within this are details of the agreement you make for the sharing of information to the United States Department of Education and other government agencies. It is important that you understand these waivers prior to signing the MPN.

The University of Greenwich has a Programme Participation Agreement that allows us to administer Federal Aid and provide students with the funding they need to attend our university. Relevant personal information and data relating to your loan may be shared with the US Department of Education and other relevant agencies where fraud or other criminal activity is alleged or suspected.

For further details regarding data sharing with US Agencies before applying for federal aid, please contact the Primary Destination Point Administrator (details below).

Additional information

Links to information, policies and procedures so you are fully aware of your choices and your responsibilities when requesting a Federal Title IV Direct Loan.

Tuition fees

  • International tuition fees - Fees are subject to annual increases. If your course is longer than a year, your fees may increase in subsequent years.
  • Paying your fees - International students often pay fees differently to 'Home' students, as deposits may be required.
  • Charging and refund policy - Read this policy alongside the 'Withdrawal, interruption and the return of funds' above for details about repayment to the DoE.
  • Policy and procedure for non-payment of fees - You are responsible for payment of your tuition fees. If your loans are not sufficient, you must ensure that you are able to pay the balance, including any deposits due.
  • Attendance monitoring regulations - Failure to attend regularly has severe consequences on your studies, your loan entitlement, and your Tier 4 visa requirements.

Other student policies and procedures

University governance policies

  • View our policies relating to Governance, Academic, Human Resources, Equality, Finance and other areas.

Get stats and facts

  • View information relating to student satisfaction, entry and more at DiscoverUni.

Contact us

To notify us that you have accepted an offer and have completed your FAFSA, or for any further information about Federal Student Aid, please contact the Direct Loan Administration Team:

If you have any comments, complaints or queries regarding application, our service provision, or the administration of the Federal Loan Program, please contact:

Claire Evenden
US FSA Primary Destination Point Administrator
University of Greenwich
Directorate of Finance
Room A012, SWH
Avery Hill Road