Direct Loans for Americans (undergraduate)

The University of York has approval from the U.S. Department of Education for the origination and disbursal of William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (Direct Loans).

School code: G06700/00670000

Applications open: 3 June 2024

If you need to apply for a 2023/24 loan, please email as these applications are now closed.

This information is for undergraduate students. If you're applying to a postgraduate course, please see our information for postgraduate students.

Applying for a Direct Loan/Federal Student Aid 

  1. To be considered for Federal Student Aid (FSA), you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
  2. Private loans are a helpful alternative if you're unable to borrow Direct Loans. You'll need good credit and a co-signer in order to apply. More information on Private Loans can be found on the Private Loans webpage
  3. We recommend you apply for your loan before you apply for a visa, as you may need to provide your loan confirmation as evidence of funding.
  4. Once you have read the details below, go to our How to apply page. 


Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a Direct Loan to study with us, you must:

Are all courses eligible for Direct Loans?

The following types of courses are not eligible for Direct Loans:

  • courses which are less than half-time
  • courses which are not degree-bearing
  • courses at the Hull York Medical School
  • courses in Nursing or Midwifery
  • online courses
  • courses with any period of study outside the UK (with limited exceptions).

If your course is not eligible for a Direct Loan you may be able to take out a private loan. We don't recommend any one lender over another and can't advise on the suitability of any loan product. Make sure you carefully research the terms and conditions (including repayment obligations, interest rates, deferral options, etc) and consider the implications on your specific circumstances before going ahead with any loan.

Direct/Title IV loans

The Federal Student Aid website has detailed information on borrowing under the Direct Loans programme.

If you're enrolling on an undergraduate course which is eligible for Direct Loans, you can be considered for:

  • A small Subsidised Loan awarded based on financial need. The US government subsidises the interest on these loans. The amount of Subsidised Loan that you are eligible for depends on:
    • your Student Aid Index (SAI) (your family do not have to provide you with the SAI amount - it is only used to determine how much Subsidised Loan you are entitled to receive)
    • any existing loan amounts.
  • A small Unsubsidised Loan not based on financial need. The interest rate is reviewed annually. The amount available will depend on:
    • any existing loan amounts
    • whether you are classed as a dependent or independent student.
  • A Parent PLUS Loan from Direct Loans to cover the remainder of the costs of attendance. This is subject to a credit check.
  • Pell Grants - Students studying at a foreign school are NOT eligible for a Pell Grant. More information is available on the Federal Student Aid website.

Regardless of the type of loan(s) you choose, you can borrow up to your calculated cost of attendance. We calculate this based on your estimated living, study and travel expenses, plus one year's tuition fees.

These figures are provided as an indication of the maximum amount available. Your cost of attendance will vary based on a number of factors:

  • the tuition fees for your course
  • which year of your course you will be studying
  • the total length of your course
  • previous loans
  • whether you are in receipt of any other financial aid, e.g. sponsorship, scholarships or bursaries.

What is the cost of attendance?

The figures below are based on an undergraduate student living in University on campus accommodation. For students living in privately-owned accommodation, their cost of attendance may vary slightly.

Course duration Year of study Cost of attendance
3 years 1st £19,679 + Tuition
4 years+ 1st £20,149 + tuition
3 years+ 2nd+ £16,259 + tuition

These amounts do not include origination fees of 1.057 per cent on Unsubsidised Loans and 4.228 per cent on PLUS Loans for 2024/25. These are deducted by the US Department of Education before loans are paid out.

What other considerations are taken into account when calculating the cost of attendance?

Part-time study

The costs of attendance quoted above are for students studying full time. If you intend to study part-time, please contact Student Financial Support for further information.

Borrowing more than the fixed cost of attendance

In limited circumstances you may be able to borrow more than the fixed cost of attendance. For example, you could have childcare costs for dependent children, or you may need to travel to undertake research.

To apply for additional funds, please make a written request to Student Financial Support. You should explain your circumstances and include evidence of additional costs if available. Where possible you should make this request at the same time as you apply for your loan for the academic year.

Dependency Status 

Your dependency status determines whose information you must report when you fill out the FAFSA form.

  • If you are a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information.
  • If you are an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you are married, your spouse’s).
  • No contact with your parents - if you have no contact with your parents and don’t know where they live, or you’ve left home due to an abusive situation, select “Yes” to the “Do unusual circumstances prevent the student from contacting their parents or would contacting their parents pose a risk to the student?” question on the FAFSA form. More information can be found on the Federal Student Aid help pages.

Students who indicate they have no contact with their parents will need to contact Student Financial Support to find out what supporting documentation you will need to submit to us directly. 


The figures below are based on an undergraduate student living in University on campus accommodation. For students living in privately-owned accommodation, their cost of attendance may vary slightly.

Your cost of attendance is calculated to cover your costs, including:

  • accommodation and college fees
  • insurance for your possessions
  • food, toiletries and laundry
  • course-related costs such as field trips, textbooks, printing
  • social and sporting activities
  • mobile phone and TV licence
  • travel to and from the UK and travel while at university
  • visa costs and NHS surcharge (first year only)
  • a computer and printer (first year only)
  • tuition fees
  • loan origination fees (Federal Loans only)

How we calculate your living costs

Expenditure Weekly cost Annual cost (40 weeks)
Food £44.00 £1,760
Toiletries £18.50 £740
Course related costs1   £640
Insurance2   £320
Laundry3 £11 £440
Social and sporting activities4 £34 £1,360
Mobile phone £10 £400
Mid-range ensuite campus accommodation5 £196 £7,840
Travel to study (within York)6 £15 £600
TV license7   £159
2x return flights to the UK   £2,000
Visa costs including flight to interview and NHS surcharge (first year only)8   £2,820
PC and printer (first year only)9   £600
Total cost of attendance (not including tuition fees or loan origination fees)10   £19,679
Total Cost of Attendance in $
(Exchange Rate $1.40 = £1.00 )11


1. Course related costs can vary and include such items as text books, photocopying, equipment and field trips. Your academic department may be able to provide a more accurate estimate relating to your specific course. If you have a placement as part of your course costs may differ substantially, particularly due to travel costs.

2. It may be helpful for you to check whether you are covered by your parents’ household insurance before taking out insurance of your own. If you live in University accommodation, you will be covered by our contents insurance policy (

3. This covers two washes a week on campus.

4. Social costs are indicative only. The actual amount spent on social activities can vary widely in accordance with your lifestyle choices. See sample social costs.

5. For the purposes of the cost of attendance, we have included an approximate cost for a mid-range ensuite room in University on campus accommodation. The actual cost of your accommodation will depend on your choice, the availability of rooms and whether you choose to live on campus or in private accommodation. These differences can be reflected in the amount you choose to borrow.

  • We have many different room types and facilities available - see more about accommodation on-campus
  • In private accommodation it is often necessary to pay rent up to six months in advance. This is particularly so for international students and students with families. If you choose to live in private accommodation you may also need to provide a deposit of at least one month's rent on signing the tenancy agreement. You may also need to arrange a UK Rent Guarantor (doing so may reduce the requirement for payment of rent up front).
  • Please email if you need advice on living on-campus or in the private sector. You can also have a look at help with private sector accommodation and specific advice for international students.

6. Student Bus Passes are available on the First York website. If you're living away from York, the costs for travel will be higher. Cost of travel between campuses is free, but this does not include travel for students studying at King's Manor (for undergraduates, this is primarily if you're studying Archaeology).

7. You may need a TV licence if you watch television (whether through a television or on a computer or laptop) in your accommodation (even if living on campus). Find out more about getting a TV licence. 

8. Visa costs are only included in cost of attendance calculations for the first year of your course. £1175 is provided for visa costs and the cost of any flights required to attend interviews. NHS surcharges vary depending on the length of your course.

9. The PC and printer amount is only included in cost of attendance calculations for the first year of your course.

10. Your cost of attendance includes the actual tuition fees for your programme of study for the relevant year. The cost of non-standard fees may be more or less than indicated here. Loan origination fees are calculated based on your actual total cost of attendance including tuition fees, and takes into account your borrowing level and annual loan limits. 

11. We determine a fixed exchange rate once a year and apply it to all cost of attendance calculations. We don't revise our calculations throughout the academic year to account for small fluctuations in the commercial exchange rate.

You will need to make a separate application for each academic year you need a loan. Applications for each academic year usually open in May.

If you wish to apply for a loan for the current academic year please email

You can also manage your loans and make any changes to existing ones.

When are applications open?

3 June 2024

How much can I borrow?

That depends on many factors, such as whether you are studying undergraduate or postgraduate, how long your course is and whether you are receiving financial aid from elsewhere (e.g. a scholarship). You can see an example of how we calculate your loan above.

When should I complete my application/documentation?

Applications for FAFSAs are open so you can complete that now.

For Private Loans, the University of York online application form opens on 3 June 2024.

Remember to keep us informed of any changes to your plans.

Have you received my FAFSA?

Check to make sure you have added the University of York to your FAFSA application. If you have, it will take at least 3 working days before we are notified. We will begin processing for the new academic year on 3 June 2024 so you may not hear from us before that date.

When will you approve my loan?

Once we have received all the information and documentation we need, we will start originating loans 3 months prior to the start of your course, which will be around the middle of June.

Do I need to borrow the full cost of attendance?

No - you can borrow any amount up to and including the maximum amount available to you. If you borrow less than the amount you owe the University in fees/tuition then you will be personally responsible for paying any balance owing.

What happens if I/my parents don't pass a credit check?

If you can find someone who is willing to act as your endorser (similar to a co-signer) that can pass a credit check then you/your parents can apply for a Plus Loan with an endorser. If you do have an endorser, please let us know.

When will I get my first payment?

After the start of your course. Your loan won’t be released before you’ve arrived for the start of the academic year. The first personal disbursement is usually up to 3 weeks after the start of the course so you must make sure you have sufficient funds to keep going for a few weeks before you arrive.

Do I need a UK bank account?

A UK bank account is preferable as it reduces the number of times your money will be subject to exchange rates.

How do I pay my fees/university accommodation? Should I set up a Direct Debit?

No, do not set up a direct debit if you are receiving US Federal Aid. After term starts, students receive an invoice for tuition/accommodation fees. This is for information only. If you receive US Financial Aid, you will be put on an alternative payment schedule in line with the US Loan disbursement dates (so you will pay your fees in September and February if you are an undergraduate student, and in September, February and June if you are a postgraduate student).

What happens if I don't borrow enough to fully cover my tuition/accommodation fees?

If you don’t borrow enough to cover the whole of your tuition/University accommodation fees, you are responsible for paying the balance.

You can pay the balance at any time. Exchange rates for each disbursement change throughout the year so only after the final disbursement has been paid will we know exactly how much the balance will be. 

Some students choose to pay an amount up front, using a best guess on exchange rates. If you inadvertently overpay (which will only be clear after the final disbursement in February/June) then any overpayment will be paid back to you once the exact amount is known.

Can I receive a Pell Grant?

Unfortunately, Pell Grants are not available while studying at a ‘foreign school’ like the University of York. They are only available to American Students studying in America. Further information on Pell Grant eligibility can be found in the FSA Handbook.

I have been offered a scholarship/funding, will this impact my loans?

Any scholarship or funding from another provider will impact the amount of loan available to borrow, dollar for dollar. You will be asked about this when we contact you about other funding, and you will need to provide us with evidence of the amount and source. 

Note: This relates to funding from scholarships, bursaries or other loan providers. It does not relate to funding you are receiving from your family, your own personal earnings, or funding from Americorps or Veterans Affairs.

What about Canadian Loans?

We are not involved in the processing of Canadian loans and therefore are only able to provide a brief overview. Canadian loans are means-tested, so you are required to demonstrate financial need to qualify. Applications are made through the provincial/territorial student assistance office or website and the provincial/territorial Student Aid Service then advises on what steps to follow.

What is the VA/GI Bill process and can I use it?

Veterans/dependents who are entitled to VA benefits can use these at the University of York on a VA approved course, in-person only and not for courses including a study abroad/placement year. 

VA benefits do not impact a student's ability to apply for or receive US Federal Aid and do not reduce the amount of US Federal Aid a student can borrow. 

Students must contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs directly to see if they are eligible; then contact and submit their certificate of eligibility. 

For approved courses, can certify enrolment for semester 1, once the student’s attendance has been confirmed. 

If a course needs to be approved by VA, please note, this can take up to 6 months. The Student Records Team will need to request approval for courses not already approved by VA. More information is available on the University Veterans Affairs webpage.

Can I adjust my loan mid year?

Yes - you can decrease your loans if you want to, you can cancel a disbursement altogether if it’s not needed, and if you haven’t borrowed the maximum amount available to you, you can increase your loan up to the maximum amount as well. You will need to email us to request this - more information is available on the Changing your loans webpage.

Can I study or work outside the UK?

Any periods of study or work placements outside the UK can adversely affect your loan eligibility for the time you are away, even if you have academic approval. You must contact us if this applies to you. Please send your email to

Can I complete any of my studies in the USA?

Periods of study in the USA during your course will adversely affect your loan eligibility for your entire course, even if you have academic approval. You must email us if you intend to return to the USA for any period of study. Please send your email to

Can I use US Federal Aid for Online or distance learning courses?

Unfortunately students cannot use US Federal Aid for courses held online or via distance learning. Private Loans may be an available alternative.

Can I defer payment of my existing loans?

If you apply for a Direct Loan to fund your studies then repayments on existing loans will be deferred automatically while you are at the University of York. This is done after the start of the academic year in early November.

If you're studying at York but not applying for a new loan, you can still defer your payments - please email us at and ask us to report your enrolment. We report your enrolment on the American National Student Loan Data System so you should direct your lender to that system after early November (if you are taking out loans this year) or once we have confirmed that we have reported your attendance (if you are not receiving loans this year) for confirmation of your enrolment so you can defer your loan repayments.