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Federal Student Aid - US Applicants

We participate in the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Programme

If you or your programme of choice is not eligible for the Direct Loan programme you can look at funding your studies privately. The Smart option Loan provided by Sallie Mae is the only private loan currently available to US students studying at the University of Chichester. 

These pages have information on Direct Loans available for students from the United States who wish to study at the University of Chichester. We do not cover other loans and grants such as the Pell Grant, as they are not available to students studying in Foreign Schools. 

Contact us

Paivi Leivo and Jane Smith
International Student Advisory Service (ISAS)

​Bognor Regis Campus, Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis, PO20 1HR, UK
+ 44 (0) 1243 812146

The above team can also advise you on Student Visa (Student Route) eligibility and the application process. Please do not arrange for your Student Visa (Student Route) appointment until we have confirmed your loan amounts in writing. 

COVID-19 (CARES ACT) – ACADEMIC YEAR 2019/2020 & 2020/2021


The University of Chichester moved all its programmes online from the 23rd March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Although it is not normally possible to receive US Federal Aid if the programme of study is offered via distance education, the US Federal Aid guidelines have been changed to allow for this if “the applicable government authorities in the country in which the foreign institution is located have declared a public health emergency, major disaster or emergency, or national emergency related to COVID-19.” Please see the Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) for more information. 


The University of Chichester is offering its programmes via blended learning during the academic year 2020/2021. Students on eligible programmes can continue to receive US Federal funds to finance their studies. This is explained on the Federal Aid website under the “Updated deadlines for flexibilities related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)” section:  

“Section 3510 of the CARES Act authorizes the Secretary to permit any part of an otherwise eligible program to be offered via distance education for the duration of a national emergency declared by the applicable government authorities in the country in which the foreign institution is located, through the payment period following the payment period or the break between payment periods during which the emergency declaration is lifted. The Secretary will permit the use of distance education by foreign institutions offering eligible programs for the full period authorized under the CARES Act.” 


In order to apply for funding, you must meet the eligibility criteria set by the US Department of Education

You are required to be enrolled at least half-time at the University of Chichester; study on an eligible, degree-bearing course; make satisfactory progress (SAP); and undertake your study in the UK.

Eligible courses:

  • Degree (undegraduate and postgraduate)
  • PhD (see below for PhD related restrictions)

Mature students

In order for US students to be eligible to receive US Federal Aid, you must have a secondary school completion credential or its equivalent. (See 34 CFR 600.54). Students enrolled under the mature student provision do not satisfy this requirement and are not eligible to apply for US Federal Aid. 

Work placements 

Many of our degree programmes offer work placements and they can be compulsory or voluntary.  

A degree with a work placement is eligible for Federal Aid funding if the placement component meets all the below criteria. 

The placement...

  • does not exceed 50% of the length of the degree;
  • counts towards the course grades;       
  • is under the guidance and guided by university staff; 
  • does not take place in the US;  

Study abroad and exchange 

Students in receipt of US Federal Aid can take part in voluntary study abroad and exchange opportunities available at the University of Chichester.  

Student should be aware, however that this is only possible if the host institution abroad is a Title IV eligible institution. A list of eligible institutions is available from the Financial Aid team (  

Students should also be aware that they will not be eligible for US Federal Aid funding if they choose to take part in study abroad/exchange that takes place in the United States.  

Who to contact? 

Questions relating to federal funding and eligibility during study abroad/exchange should be emailed to

If you would like to find out about study abroad and exchange opportunities, please get in touch with


We are unable to offer federal loans to students on certain ineligible courses.  

Ineligible courses include courses that are less than half-time, are not degree-bearing and courses with online or distance learning elements.  

You are also not able to study on non-degree programmes e.g. Foundation Degrees, Certificate of Higher Education etc. or take part in a study abroad/exchange programme unless it is with a Title IV eligible institution. 

Distance learning degrees 

Degrees that are delivered fully online or have distance learning components are not eligible for US Federal Aid funding. Please see above for information on the CARES Act that covers remote learning during a the COVID-19 related national emergency.  

Foundation Degrees 

Our Foundation Degrees are not eligible for US Federal Aid funding.  

BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing  

Our nursing degrees are not certified for US Federal Aid purposes and are therefore not eligible for US Federal Aid funding.  

Higher Education Certificate and HE Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

We are only certified to fund undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Therefore, Certificates and Diplomas, including the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), are not eligible for US Federal Aid. 

Study Abroad/Exchange – eligible institutions & time spent in the USA 

Student should be aware that a voluntary study abroad/exchange is only possible if the host institution abroad is a Title IV eligible institution. A list of eligible institutions is available from the Financial Aid team (   

Students should also be aware that they will not be eligible for US Federal Aid funding if they choose to take part in study abroad/exchange that takes place in the United States.   

PhD students – time spent in the USA 

Please note that PhD students are not eligible for US Federal Aid if their study includes periods of study or research in the U.S.A. 

PhD students may make themselves or the course they are studying on ineligible in these circumstances: Under §600.52, a foreign institution may not permit students to enroll in any course offered by the foreign institution that takes place in the United States, including research, work, internship, externship, or special studies. Despite this prohibition, independent research done by an individual student in the United States for not more than one academic year is permissible if it is conducted during the dissertation phase of a doctoral program under the guidance of faculty and the research can only be performed in the United States. (Additional guidance on the Title IV program ineligibility of foreign institution programs offered in the U.S. can be found in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-18.) Source: 

If you are a PhD student and are planning to spend any time during your studies in the United States, please make sure you contact the financial aid administrators to determine whether your plans impact on your loan eligibility. 

Funding for an ineligible programme 

If your course is ineligible, you can look into Sallie Mae loan (Private Loan). Please see further information below. 


The principle funding available to US students studying at the University of Chichester is the Federal Direct Loan.

For more information on the direct loan please visit the US Department of Education website.

The direct loan is available to cover the primary costs of education (tuition, student accommodation, books/supplies and commuter travel) and is available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.  

You should plan a budget for your studies (cost of attendance) and you should only borrow what you need.  

The full terms and conditions of taking out and repaying a loan can be found here.


Federal Direct Stafford Loan

The Federal Direct Stafford loan is made up of two parts -  subsidised and unsubsidised, which have fixed limits depending on your status (dependent, independent or postgraduate). These may be topped up to the full cost of attendance (COA) with a PLUS loan, which is not an entitlement, but subject to credit checking and may be declined by the US Department of Education.


This loan is assessed on financial need. No interest is accrued while you are in school at least half-time, during the grace period and during deferment periods. Afterwards these costs will revert to being your responsibility. The figures may change, so you need to check interest rates when applying for your loan(s).


This loan is not based on financial need. Interest is accrued during the period of study and during the grade and deferment periods. No payments are required while you are enrolled at least for half-time. These costs are your responsibility and figures may change, so you need to check interest rates when applying for your loan(s).

Dependent student (aged 24 and under) aggregate limit $31,000

Year of course Subsidised  Unsubsidised Maximum Loan 
Year 1 USD 3,500.00 USD 2,000.00 USD 5,500.00
Year 2  USD 4,500.00 USD 2,000.00 USD 6,500.00
Year 3 and beyond USD 5,500.00 USD 2,000.00 USD 7,500.00


Independent students (aged over 24 24 or those whose parents are unable to obtain a parent PLUS loan) - aggregate limit $57,500

Year of course Subsidised  Unsubsidised Maximum Loan 
Year 1 USD 3,500.00 USD 6,000.00 USD 9,500.00
Year 2  USD 4,500.00 USD 6,000.00 USD 10,500.00
Year 3 and beyond USD 5,500.00 USD 7,000.00 USD 12,500.00


Postgraduate students Maximum
All years USD 20,500.00


Dependent student: less than 24 years old, unmarried, without any legal dependents 

Independent student: at least 24 years old, or married, or postgraduate, a Veteran, a member of the Armed Forces, an orphan, a ward of court or having legal dependents other than a spouse

Aggregate limit: the maximum amount of Stafford Loans you can receive in your life time 

The direct subsidised and unsubsidised loans are not enough to pay the full cost of your tuition fees.

You may need to consider how to pay the outstanding balance of your fees and living expenses.  You can make up the difference with your own funds or a federal direct plus loan.

Find out more on the US Department of Education website. 

Direct Graduate Plus Loan

This loan is available to graduate/professional students. This loan helps to pay the cost of education up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid. Interest is accrued during the period of study.

The applicant needs to complete a separate MPN + credit check in order to qualify for this loan.

Direct Parent Plus Loan

This loan is available to the parents of dependent students.

This loan helps to pay the cost of education up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid. Interest is accrued during the period of study and in order to qualify the parent needs to complete a MPN and provide evidence of successful credit check.


Other charges: The US education department charge an origination fee on all loans and this is deducted from each disbursement. 


Loan type Origination fee
Subsidised 1.068%
Unsubsidised 1.068%
Direct Plus Loan 4.272%


The limit for receipt of direct loans:

There is a maximum period that you can receive Direct Subsidised Loans if you are a first-time borrower. 

You cannot receive Direct Subsidised Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your programme.  


If you are successful in applying for federal funds to finance your studies in the UK, you do not need to pay an international fee deposit to confirm your place and to get your CAS for the visa application. (if applicable). We recommend that you apply for your loan in a timely manner and send us the required documents by early June so that we have enough time to process your loan request and confirm to the admissions team that you are exempt from paying the deposit.


1. Complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application form & apply for a PIN.

Completing your FAFSA application will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR) document, which we need in order to check your eligibility for a loan. Please keep the SAR for your records. You will be asked for our school code, which is: G36943.  Get help on completing your FAFSA.

Check and update your FAFSA if necessary and make sure that it includes your expected family contribution (EFC) and the details of any previous Federal loans you have taken out. You should also make sure that you are registered with Selective Service (males only) unless exempt.   If any details are missing or if there are comments stating that further information is required, please make any necessary corrections and re-submit your application.

You can submit your FAFSA from January, but we won’t be able to process your application until you have unconditional offer from the University. However, we can issue you an award letter to indicate what you would be eligible for at any point after you have submitted your application.

You will need to email us to confirm that you wish to apply for a loan so that we can send you the award letter.

2. How much can you borrow?

Once we receive your email we will send you your estimated cost of attendance (COA) and a loan recommendation. You can use our loan recommendation to decide how much you need to borrow from each type of loan you are eligible for

The COA is made up of tuition fees and living expenses as determined by the University. This, along with other factors, such as your aggregate loan limit, dependency status and your estimated family contribution determine the amount you will be able to borrow for the academic year.

Estimated living costs at University of Chichester  (undergraduate students 36 weeks per year including vacation periods).  

You may wish to borrow less than the estimated figures. If you wish to borrow more, please contact the US loans team to discuss your options.

Description Per week 
Room rent £100.00
Board, food and power £80.00
Books and copying £15.00
Travel £20.00
Personal £60.00
Flights (2 return flights per year) £2,000.00

Visa applications and travel to visa application centre/ interviews


NHS immigration surcharge (this can vary depending on length of course)


PC/laptop and printer 

Tuition Fees Check your tuition fees

Loan origination Fees.

The US department deducts an “origination fee” at source, which reduces the net amount that the University will receive on your behalf. You may choose to add/include this fee in your COA so that the net amount represents what you wish you borrow.

Full cost depending on loan amount

These figures are estimates and are used as your Cost of Attendance on your loan application. You cannot borrow more than what we estimate as your COA.  

Please note that we must deduct any other Financial Aid and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) when calculating your COA. It is your responsibility to let us know your EFC and other funding e.g. scholarships you are in receipt of.

3. Entrance counselling

As a first time borrower you will need to complete an online loan entrance counselling session before the loan can be disbursed. This session will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower and gives you tools to assist you with managing your loan.

For a plus loan you will need to complete a plus loan counselling. We will need a screenshot of the last page of your online counselling form.

Once you complete your degree with us you will be required to carry out a loan exit counselling.  

4. Master Promissory Notes (MPN) and Plus Credit Check

You will need to complete a MPN annually before the loan funds can be disbursed. You will need to E-sign your federal direct loan MPN on the student loans website using your Federal Student Aid PIN. After you sign in, choose complete MPN and then select subsidized/unsubsidized. Follow the four step process listed on the student loans website.

For a graduate plus loan or parent plus loan a separate MPN is required. A Plus loan is also subject to a credit check. We will need copies of the MPN(s) and a screenshot of the credit check ‘acceptance’ message if applicable. Please note that credit checks remain valid for 3 months, so don't do it too early in the year.

5. Email your loan application to the University of Chichester


Subject: USL, Surname, First name, Student/applicant number

Please sign and return the award recommendation letter and with a copy of your MPN for your loan(s), SAR, a screenshot /PDF confirmation of your entrance counselling completion page. In addition, if you have applied for a Plus loan, you will need to send us evidence of your credit check (or your parent’s credit check) to prove that you have been “accepted”.

We will also need your parent’s consent to pay the PLUS loan funds directly to you. For this you will need to return a consent form, which will be emailed to you once we receive your forms.

6. What happens next?

Once we have received the documents listed above, we will check and confirm your eligibility for direct loans. We will send you an email confirming the details of your loans including the amounts and disbursement dates. If you need a UK study visa, we will issue you with a letter confirming the loan amounts.

You will receive your loans once you have arrived at the University and completed your registration. The loans are paid directly to the University and is disbursed in two or three instalments depending on the type of course you are on. Please see the disbursement section below for more information.

We receive your loans from the U.S. and convert this into GBP pound Sterling. We will then deduct the fees for tuition (50%) and halls of residence (50%) and transfer any excess funds into your UK bank account within 14 days of the disbursement date.

To receive the excess funds you will need to open a UK bank account as soon as you have registered onto your course.  Please contact the International Student Advisory Service to request a bank account letter.  

As the disbursement process will take some time, so we recommend that you bring enough money to cover at least first 6 weeks of your stay in the UK.  Please note that if you are a first time borrower your loan disbursement will take place 30 days after you have registered onto your course.

Each loan disbursement is subject to you maintaining satisfactory academic progress and there are no changes to your status. Please see our Satisfactory Academic Progress policy under ‘Important Information’ below.

You have the right to cancel all or part of your loan.  This can be done by emailing the International Student Advisory team 14 before the disbursement date listed on your notification letter.

7.  Re-apply for your loan every year

You will need to apply for direct loan funding separately for each year of your study. Please note that this is not administered by us automatically. You will need to provide a new Student Aid Report (SAR) and new MPN(s) and credit checks (if applicable) for each year of your study.

8. Exit Counselling

Once you are approaching the end of your studies with us, you will need to complete exit counselling. You should do this via the Student Loans website

Please email us your exit counselling completion confirmation as a PDF before your final loan disbursement (at the beginning of your final semester with us). This is a formal requirement and the purpose is to ensure you are aware of the obligations with regards to your loan repayments.

How to Apply for a Private Loan (Sallie Mae)

We advise that you investigate US federal loans before applying for a US private student loan, as federal loans are often cheaper and most American students are eligible for them. US private student loans do not enable you to borrow more funds than US federal loans. 

If you are not eligible for US federal loans, a private loan can be the way to fund your studies.

The University does not recommend any private lender, however as far as we are aware there is only one private lender that makes loans available to US citizens receiving their degree at a foreign school. To get more information about The GEMS Smart Option Loan by Sallie Mae visit the Global Educational Management Services.

  • Please contact the International Student Advisory Service for a Cost of Attendance (COA) figure before contacting Sallie Mae to apply for your loan;
  • Apply for your Sallie Mae loan’
  • Once you have your e-signed Promissory Note you should forward it to the International Student Advisory Service who will liaise with Sallie Mae regarding the origination;
  • Register onto your course;
  • We will originate your loan;
  • Sallie Mae will typically send us a cheque which is endorsed by the University. We will post the cheque to you to be endorsed before you can pay it your local bank. Alternatively, we can ask for the cheque to be sent directly to your home address. Once the money has cleared you are responsible for making payments due to the University.


Please note that we will confirm the exact dates to you in your loan confirmation letter. 


Undergraduate students: Masters Students: PhD Students: Sallie Mae borrowers:


1st: 24 September 2021

Or if first time borrower: 22 October 2021

2nd: 14 February 2022


1st: 24 September 2021

2nd: 14 February 2022

3rd: 13 May 2022

1st: 16 October 2021

2nd 14 February 2022

3rd: 13 May 2022

Your loan will be paid in one instalment. The date will be specified in your loan confirmation letter. 

You must be registered onto your course before you can receive your funds.  The above dates indicate when we receive the funds from the U.S. Department of Education. We will deduct any tuition fees and accommodation fees (if applicable)within three days and transfer any surplus to your bank account within 14 days. You should ensure that you have sufficient funds from an alternative source to cover any costs until you receive your first disbursement.  

You will need to open a UK bank account if you are expecting any surpus funds to be paid to your bank account. Please email to request a bank letter.  

If you have applied for a parent PLUS loan, your parent borrower must complete the Parent Plus Authorisation form before any surplus funds can be paid directly to your bank account.  

If you are a first-time borrower, your loan will be disbursed 30 days after enrolling at the University. 

Visit our course & semester dates page.

Withdrawal/Suspension of Studies

We are required to report any changes to your enrolment within tight timescales and, if necessary, 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.  For more information please see our 'Return of Title IV funds' policy under the important information section. 

Consumer Information

The US government requires institutions which offer federal student loans to disclose the following consumer information.

University of Chichester Consumer Disclosure information 2020/21.