Students on a geology field trip

Read the terms and conditions of US Federal Direct Loans.

Ineligible Courses

 if you would like more information.

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.

Accordion widget 2 - payments

Loan options

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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:

 SubsidizedUnsubsidizedTotal
 Dependent Undergraduates      
 Year 1    $3,500  $2,000   $5,500
 Year 2   $4,500   $2,000   $6,500
 Year 3+   $5,500   $2,000   $7,500
Independent Undergraduates      
 Year 1   $3,500    $6,000  $9,500
 Year 2   $4,500   $6,000   $10,500
 Year 3+   $5,500   $7,000   $12,500
 Graduate/Professional      
 Per academic year    $20,500  $20,500
Summary of the table's contents

The total aggregate loan limit from all Direct Loans combined at any one time is:

  1. $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)
  2. $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)
  3. $138,500 for graduate or professional students (no more than $65,500 may be Subsidized; includes loans for undergraduate study).

PLUS Loans

  1. 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
  2. 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 IC_CoA_ 2016_17 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.

The 6 step application process

  1. Complete a FAFSA
    The FAFSA will generate your Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR). Imperial College London's School Code is G11567.
  2. Receiving your ISIR
    Check that it includes an EFC (Estimated Family Contribution). Contact FAFSA to make corrections if required.
  3. Complete the CoA
    The IC_CoA_ 2017_18 will calculate the maximum loans you can request based on your study costs less Expected Financial Contribution and any Financial Aid.
  4. 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.
  5. Complete your Entrance Counselling
    Federal law requires borrowers to complete entrance counselling. Special PLUS Counselling is required for applicants with adverse credit history.
  6. Send your application to us by email
    Email the completed IC_CoA_ 2017_18 together with the following documents to student.funding@imperial.ac.uk
    • Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans MPN
    • PLUS Loan MPN
    • Credit Check
    • Entrance Counselling
    • Selective Service (applicable to males only)

    Upon receipt we will review your documents and notify you if the application is not in order. Loans will be originated after 1 July 2017 and you will be emailed a US loans notification letter which can be used as evidence of funding for your visa application.

A summary is also available via the Application Process Flowchart 2017-18.

Payment of your loan

Federal loans will be disbursed in three instalments.  Disbursement dates are set for 15 October 2017, 19 January 2018 and 4 May 2016.

Disbursements are dependant on:

  1. Enrolment confirmation prior to each disbursement
  2. Students providing their UK bank account details to the Student Financial Support team
  3. 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 Sterling. A daily spot exchange rate obtained on the dates below will be obtained on the dates below to calculate your payments. 

Disbursement 1

September starters
  • Spot rate and email notification to student: 4 September 2017
  • Date of cleared funds in student's bank account: 15 October 2017
October starters
  • Spot rate and email notification to student: 29 September 2017
  • Date of cleared funds in student's bank account: 13 October 2017

Disbursement 2

  • Spot rate and email notification to student: 8 January 2018
  • Date of cleared funds in student's bank account: 19 January 2018

Disbursement 3

  • Spot rate and email notification to student: 23 April 2018
  • Date of cleared funds in student's bank account: 4 May 2018

Students must ensure that that have sufficient funding for the period leading up to Disbursement 1.

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.

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 with 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.

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.