How to apply for loans

Our School Code is: G08920

Step 1 Completing your FAFSA application

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online or download the myStudentAid app and list The University of Nottingham as one of your choices using our School Code shown above. The FAFSA is available from 1 October and students are encouraged to file their FAFSA as soon as possible.  By completing the FAFSA you will create a Student Aid Report (SAR). Once you have received your SAR please email

Step 2 Confirming your Cost of Attendance (CoA) and loan amounts

Once we have reviewed your SAR we will check your eligibility and then do a simple calculation to determine your Cost of Attendance (CoA) and the loan amounts you may be eligible for. Your CoA is based upon the actual costs for your course at The University of Nottingham. We use fixed amounts to calculate your costs - we don’t make calculations based on individual expenses.

Your CoA is calculated as follows. Figures are given in pound sterling (GBP):

  • Tuition fees - The cost of tuition fees varies depending upon the course you are studying. The amount for your course should be confirmed on your offer letter. Further information can be found here.
  • Living expenses - We estimate that international students joining the University in September 2022 will require £1,023 per month to cover their living expenses (including accommodation, food, local travel etc). For postgraduate students this is usually calculated for 12 months = £12,276. For undergraduate students this is usually calculated for 9 months = £9,207
  • Cost of two return flights (from the USA to the UK) = £2,000
  • Books, stationery, course materials = £600
  • PC and supplies (1st year) = £1,000
  • Loan origination fees
  • NHS Surcharge/Visa fees
  • For a student with dependants, an allowance for costs expected to be incurred for dependant care. Please email for further information.

Once we have made the calculation for your CoA we will confirm the figures for you.  You also need to inform us at this point of any other funding, grants or scholarships that you are in receipt of - or are in the process of applying for - in support of your studies here.

The maximum amount the University can certify as loans is the full CoA minus any other aid, but you decide how much you want to borrow up to the maximum available.

Stafford loan amounts are fixed and further information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website. Grad Plus and Parent Plus loans can be certified up to the full CoA – minus any other financial aid/loans.

You are an independent undergraduate student if you meet one or more of these criteria:

  • You were 24 years old by 31 December of the award year
  • You are married when you apply for the loan
  • You have at least one child who receives more than half of his/her support from you
  • You are an orphan or ward of court or were so until age 18
  • You are a US Armed Forces veteran


Step 3 Applying for your loan

All loans are now made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programme. This programme offers low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education. Eligible students borrow directly from the US Department of Education at participating schools.

Applications are made online through the student loans website.

As part of the loan application process you will need to complete a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) listing The University of Nottingham - this can be done online too at the same website shown above. If you are intending to apply for the Grad Plus loan (or your parents will apply for a Parent Plus loan) you (or your parents) will need to complete a separate MPN and credit check for the Grad Plus/Parent Plus loan on the same website.

The MPN is the legally binding document you sign when you enter into an agreement with the Department of Education for your student loan. It explains the terms and conditions of your loan in detail, including information about repayments and the interest the loan will accrue. Read it carefully and make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Step 4 Origination

The University cannot originate (certify) your loan until you have been made an offer of a place to study here and have accepted it, and you have completed the following documents:

  • A valid MPN for each loan also completed for The University of Nottingham (see Step 3)
  • Confirmation of a valid credit check for the Grad Plus or Parent Plus loans (see Step 3)

All international students undertaking a masters degree are required to pay a tuition fee deposit before an electronic Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) can be issued.  Once your loan has been originated, we will waive the deposit requirement if you are undertaking a masters degree.

You may need proof of funding for your visa application. For more information about applying for your visa please see Additional information.

In order for you to have your payment disbursed in time for the start of session we recommend you complete your FAFSA and sign the MPN by the end of June if possible. Due to fluctuations in the exchange rate and the dates for decisions on scholarship applications we do not usually certify any loans before the beginning of July.  Please allow a minimum of 15 working days for your loan application to be processed.

Step 5 Disbursement

The University does not authorise the disbursement of funds direct to students.

Loans are disbursed in equal instalments at the beginning of each payment period. Funds are drawn down by the University in dollars and then converted into pound sterling (GBP). The amount required for tuition fees for the payment period is automatically deducted and the credit balance of loan funds is paid directly into the student's bank account for living costs.

Please note because of currency conversion the disbursement process may take 7-10 working days before amounts for living costs are available. You should therefore ensure you bring enough money with you when you first arrive to cover your expenses for this period - we would recommend around £400-500.

Entrance and exit counselling

It is a US Department of Education requirement that all students complete appropriate loan counselling for the loans taken out. This should be completed through the Student Loans website. Entrance counselling will advise you about the different types of loans available and the repayment responsibilities of participating in the loans programmes. The University cannot disburse the first instalment of your loan until we have received confirmation that you have completed entrance counselling.

Exit counselling provides information about how to manage your student loans after your course, including methods of repayment, deferment and the consequences of defaulting. The University requires confirmation that you have completed exit counselling.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that students maintain satisfactory academic progress towards their degree requirements in order to continue to receive federal aid. 

In addition to meeting the University of Nottingham’s assessment requirements as set out in the Quality Manual, the academic progress of students in receipt of Title IV Federal Student Aid Funds will be assessed as follows.

For programmes of one year or less in duration, SAP will be assessed at the end of each payment period to determine continued eligibility.  For all other programmes, SAP will be assessed annually at the end of each academic year, corresponding with the end of a payment period. 

Continuing students

If your course is for more than one academic year or you decide to take another course you will need to complete the application procedures again for any further loans for the next academic year. You will need to complete a FAFSA application, obtain a new SAR and complete a new MPN. Your MPN is only valid for one year if you are attending a school outside the USA.


International Student Recruitment

C Floor, YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK

+44 (0) 115 951 5247
Contact us by email