Applying for Direct Loans
There are a number of steps you will need to complete in order to obtain Direct Loans. We want to be sure that you have completed everything you have to do before we start to process your application because if the school starts origination of loans and your application is incomplete, or information is missing, then your loan origination will fail and this will delay your access to federal financial assistance.
Please take the time to read our guidance below carefully before you start.
When to apply for a loan
We are now accepting loan applications for the 2022–23 academic year. If you wish to apply, you can complete our Federal Aid Request Form. Before you complete this, please ensure you have completed the following steps.

Step one: complete FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an organised method of gathering information about you and your family’s financial situation. This information is then analysed according to US federal guidelines together with University guidelines. This ensures that all applications are treated fairly and equitably.
The results of this need analysis indicate the difference between what can be expected from the family and the cost of education. It shows the ability, not the willingness, of the student and/or their family to pay for their education. This is used to determine whether the student has a financial need.
To be considered for financial aid, you must complete a FAFSA online. You will need to make sure that your web browser is compatible.
Applying online is the best method because your results are processed quicker and there are checks to ensure your information is submitted correctly. If you wish to apply via paper, you will need to contact FAFSA directly.
After you initially submit a FAFSA, each year thereafter undergraduates who completed a paper FAFSA will receive a renewal FAFSA and graduate students or students who completed the FAFSA on the web will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) mailer. For those who have applied for Financial Aid previously, the renewal FAFSA has most of your information pre-printed, and typically only your income information needs to be updated (and your parents', if you are a dependent student).
Students are reminded to obtain the necessary PIN (parent(s) and students must each have a PIN) to validate the signature before electronically sending the application to be processed.
One of the final steps in completing the FAFSA is supplying the University's US Department of Education Federal University/School code.
Federal School Code: G23521
OPE-ID: 02352100
After completing the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). This document lists the information you and your family have provided and tells you what your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is for the year you are applying.

Step two: Check your Student Aid Report (SAR)

Please check that the information on your SAR is correct as we will use this to confirm your eligibility for a loan.

Step three: Complete a Master Promissory Note(s) (eMPN) 

Please visit the StudentLoans.gov website and complete a Master Promissory Note for each loan type you are taking out. This is a legal document that explains the terms and conditions of your loans and goes through what you promise to repay your loans.
If applying for a PLUS loan (Graduate or Parent) then you, your endorser or your parent(s) must also pass a credit check as part of the loan application.  If you/they have an adverse credit history, then you may not be eligible to apply for a PLUS loan.
Master Promissory Notes must be signed for every award year: if you are continuing your studies at the University, you must repeat this process annually.

Step four: Direct Loan Entrance Counselling

Federal law requires all new students to complete entrance counselling at the appropriate grade level (undergraduate or postgraduate) for the appropriate loans (Direct Stafford Loan, and/or Direct PLUS Loan) prior to any loan origination.
If you are continuing into a further year of study on the same programme at the University, then you do not need to complete entrance counselling again.
Loan counselling will inform you of your rights and obligations. If you do not complete entrance counselling, we will not be able to originate your loan(s). You must complete entrance counselling by visiting the StudentLoans.gov website.

Step five: Notify the University

Once you have completed the steps above, then please complete our Federal Aid Request Form
Once this is received the University will verify the information you have provided. Your tuition fees will be confirmed by the Student Funding Unit. The amount you can borrow will be determined by the Cost of Attendance (COA) and this is set by the University. We will complete the COA on behalf of the student.
You will receive written confirmation of the loan amounts that you are eligible to borrow. Once you confirm the amounts that you wish to borrow, and the University is satisfied with your eligibility and loan entitlement, your loan(s) will be originated. Information about how, and when, funds arrive is available from our page about receiving funds
You will then be sent an Award Letter that confirms the approved loan amounts (after deduction of origination fees) and anticipated disbursement dates. The letter will be sent to you as a PDF on official University letterhead.
Please note that the University is required to supply the details of any loans originated for eligible students, and the details of the enrolment of those students, to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Cost of Attendance
The Cost of Attendance is an estimate of your educational costs for the academic year that you are here. It will calculate the maximum amount you are eligible to borrow in federal aid minus any other aid such as scholarships or bursaries that you may be receiving. 
The COA we apply is based on local costs. If you are in receipt of any bursaries, scholarships or other aid you must inform us so we can factor this into your COA. Your cost of attendance will be calculated by the University and standard maximum costs are used. Attendance is calculated over the following periods:
  • Standard undergraduate: 36 weeks
  • Postgraduate taught: 52 weeks
  • PhD: based on length of course 
Please note that we encourage all borrowers to only borrow what they need.

Undergraduate (36 weeks)

Cost type Weekly amount Total academic year
Room (rent) £180 £6,480
Board (power & food) £100 £3,600
Course costs £15 £540
Local travel £30 £1,080
Personal £90 £3,240
Flights ×2 £1,400
Visa application (first year only) £363
NHS surcharge (£470 per year) Up to £1,880
PC & printer (first year only) £530
Loan origination fee* £900
Maximum COA for living costs** £20,013

Postgraduate (52 weeks)

Cost type Weekly amount Total academic year
Room (rent) £180 £9,360
Board (power & food) £100 £5,200
Course costs £15 £780
Local travel £30 £1,560
Personal £90 £4,680
Flights ×2 £1,400
Visa application, NHS surcharge (first year only) £833
PC & printer (first year only) £530
Loan origination fee* £900
Maximum COA for living costs** £25,243
* The loan origination fee is an approximate amount and we allow up to £900. Actual origination fees will vary with type and value of loan. 
** The maximum Cost of Attendance is a guideline of what you may be able to borrow. Other factors such as tuition fees, scholarships and course length will be taken into account and applied to your final Cost of Attendance. 
Notes about items in tables listed above:
  • Tuition fees will also be included in your Cost of Attendance and will be set at the actual amount that you are required to pay.
  • Please note that the Cost of Attendance uses a theoretical exchange rate, which is reviewed annually. The funds you receive will vary according to the exchange rate at the time of each disbursement. 
  • A conversion rate of 1.4% will be applied to convert your Cost of Attendance from pounds to U.S. dollars.
  • Room and Board cover food and housing for the period of study only. 
  • Other general costs associated with a student at the University have been included such as personal (socialising) and course costs (books and supplies). For first year students this includes the cost of the initial visa, NHS fees, and other money that the typical student needs to assist with their general living costs, for example a computer and printer. 
  • Loan fees are based on typical borrowing averages for students in your programme. 
  • Transportation includes two round trip flights to your home country and transportation in the UK during the period of enrolment. 
If you have any other financial assistance, such a scholarship or other aid, you must notify us as this will affect your Cost of Attendance. 

Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment

Students are encouraged to complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment process, which shows student and parent borrowers how much they currently owe in federal student loans.

Study Abroad

You must undertake all academic activity in relation to your studies in the UK. If you do not do so, you may lose eligibility for Direct Loans for your studies. Exemption to this is set out below.
If your course includes a period of study at an academic institution outside the UK, you may still be eligible for federal loans. Your time abroad must:
  • not be more than 25 per cent of the total length of your course
  • be at an academic institution that has a written arrangement in place with the University of Plymouth.
If you intend to take a year of study abroad, please notify us at your earliest convenience studentfundingadvice@plymouth.ac.uk

What next?

The University will verify the information you have provided. Your tuition fees will be confirmed by the Student Funding Unit.

If any information is incomplete or incorrect then this will almost certainly delay the origination of your loans.

You will be notified of any adjustments to your loan eligibility and the amounts which will be originated by the University.

Once the University is satisfied with your eligibility and loan entitlement your loans will be originated. Information about how, and when, funds arrive is available from our page about receiving funds

Please note that the University is required to supply the details of any loans originated for eligible students, and the details of the enrolment of those students, to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).