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US loans

What is a US Loan?

The Direct Loan and Direct Loan Plus are educational loans borrowed from the US Department of Education (USDE), with terms set by the US Federal Government.

Middlesex University is licensed to administer and certify loan applications for the USDE Direct Loan programme on behalf of eligible US students. Our School Federal Direct Loan code is G21805.

Other funding options

Private educational loans are an option for US citizens who are ineligible for US Federal loans or as additional or alternative sources of funding to federal loans.

Sallie Mae is the only US lender of private loans available to US citizens studying at a foreign school.

US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funding is available to eligible US military veterans. Other funding such as US federal loans and/or private loans can be additional sources of funding.

COVID-19 update

We are committed to the health and wellbeing of our applicants, students, and staff. Read our response to COVID-19 as well as our plans for teaching and learning in the 2020/21 academic year.

Due to COVID-19, we are making plans for the first term of study in the September / October 2020/21 academic year. We are planning to start teaching through blended learning; a mix of online virtual (distant) education and face to face teaching. We want to give a great learning experience in a flexible way that works for our students and follows government advice around keeping safe and social distancing.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the US Department of Education permits any part of an otherwise eligible programme at a foreign institution to be offered via distance education 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.

US Loans and Sallie Mae Loans will therefore be available for students enrolled on an eligible programme taught through online virtual (distant) education or face to face teaching, or a blended learning mix of online virtual (distant) education and face to face teaching.

At the end of the public health emergency, major disaster or emergency, or national emergency related to COVID-19, and as soon as circumstances allow, enrolled students in receipt of a US Loan and/or Sallie Mae Loan will be expected to travel to the UK on a valid visa and commence, or return to, face to face teaching at Hendon campus.

Your eligibility

The eligibility criteria for US federal loans is determined by the US Department of Education. In addition to the criteria specified on the Federal Student Aid website, you must also:

  • Enrol and remain enrolled on an eligible, degree-bearing programme
  • Make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Study or undertake research in the UK

Students enrolled on Distance Learning programmes at international schools are not eligible for US Federal loans.

Undergraduate students

Loan typeDirect subsidised / unsubsidised loanParent PLUS loan
EligibilityEligible US citizens or non-citizens studying an eligible undergraduate degree-bearing programme
Dependent or independent student (as assessed by FSA) 
Parents and dependent students eligible for federal student aid studying an eligible degree-bearing programme
Federal loan maximum (2020/21)Year 1
Dependent: $5,500
Independent: $9,500
(max subsidised: $3,500)

Year 2
Dependent: $6,500
Independent: $10,500
(max subsidised: $4,500) 

Year 3+
Dependent: $7,500
Independent: $12,500
(max subsidised: $5,500) 
Outstanding balance after deductions from the Cost of Attendance

Postgraduate students

Loan typeDirect graduate unsubsidised loanDirect graduate PLUS loan
EligibilityEligible US citizens or non-citizens studying an eligible postgraduate degree-bearing programmeEligible US citizens or non-citizens studying an eligible postgraduate degree-bearing programme
Federal loan maximum (2020/21)$20,500Outstanding balance after deductions from the Cost of Attendance

Interest rates

US Federal student loans accrue interest and there are fees associated with the loan. The amount of interest and the fees will impact on the amount you repay.

The US Federal Government calculates and sets the interest rates for Direct Loans annually from 1 July.  The interest rate that applies to your loan is determined by the disbursement dates.

See the current interest rates and fees available

Cost of attendance at MDX

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is our estimate of the cost for you to attend Middlesex University for the academic year beginning 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021.

An individual assessment of the COA is calculated on submission of the individual Student Aid Report (SAR) to the Student Records Team. The COA includes typical borrowing averages per programme for one academic year:

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Tuition fees
  • Miscellaneous: other general costs associated with studying including books and supplies. For first year students this includes the cost of the initial visa, NHS fees, and other money that you will typically needs to assist with your general living costs
  • Transportation includes two round trip flights to your home country and transportation in the UK during the period of enrolment.

Individual fiance need

Individual financial need is determined by the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) at Middlesex University and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC amount is located on the top right-hand corner of your SAR.

The amounts listed are subject to change if the offer eligibility changes, additional aid from another source, or if there is a change in enrolment status.

Private loans are not subject to these restrictions.

Exchange rates for COA loan offers and disbursements

The COA is used to calculate a loan offer that is converted from sterling into dollars using an exchange rate fixed annually in the summer before the start of the academic year. The COA will not be re-calculated in the event of a fluctuating sterling-dollar exchange rate.

The fixed exchange rate used for 2020/21 COA loan offer calculations is 1.25%.

The exchange rate used by Western union to convert USDE loan dollars credited to their account to disburse to students may differ from the exchange rate used for 2020/21 COA loan calculations. Any fluctuation (high or low) will affect the amount of loan dispersed into a student’s UK bank account.

  • Undergraduate programmes

    USDE Loans are disbursed in two equal instalments from the dates shown below and are paid via electronic funds transfer into a UK bank account. Cheques are not available.

    First disbursement (payment)Second disbursement (payment)

    Friday 25 September 2020

    Monday 8 February 2021

  • Postgraduate programmes

    USDE Loans are disbursed in three equal instalments from the dates shown below and are paid via electronic funds transfer into a UK bank account. Cheques are not available.

    First disbursement (payment)Second disbursement (payment)Third disbursement (payment)

    Monday 28 September 2020

    Monday 25 January 2021

    Monday 24 May 2021

How to apply

Follow the below steps for applying for a US loan:

  1. Accept an unconditional offer for a place on an eligible on-campus degree-bearing programme at Middlesex University
  2. Sign up for selective service (male applicants only)
  3. Complete a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a Renewal FAFSA if previously applied to obtain the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR provides the data for eligibility assessment
  4. Email your Student Aid Report (SAR) to the Middlesex University Student Finance Team
  5. The Student Finance Team will assess your eligibility for a loan and calculate your Cost of Attendance (COA). You will receive an email confirming your Financial Assistance Package: your eligibility for a loan and the amount of loan you could borrow for the academic year 2020/21
  6. You can accept the offer amount or adjust the amount you wish to borrow or decline the offer, If you decide to continue with your loan application, follow the next steps
  7. Complete direct loan counselling and complete Plus Entrance Counselling if considering a Plus loan
  8. e-sign the Direct Subsidised and Unsubsidised Loans Master Promissory Note (MPN) contract agreeing to the loan terms
  9. Complete the Plus Request Process and e-sign the Plus MPN if applying for the Direct Plus Loan
  10. The Student Finance Team will post a letter to your home address confirming your US Direct loan for the purpose of applying for your UK Tier 4 student visa. This original letter is evidence you will have sufficient funds for studying in the UK as required by the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI). The UKVI will only accept original letters.
  11. Return of Refunds Policy
  12. Satisfactory Academic Progress

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