Federal Student Aid Programme for USA students University of Greenwich

Financial assistance is available for American students studying at the University of Greenwich through the US Government's Department for Education.

As a result of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act 2010 (HCERA) (Public Law 111-152) signed by Barack Obama on the 30th March 2010, FFE loans will be replaced for by the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

The University of Greenwich's participation number for this programme and our OPE IE Number is 036193-00.

Universities in the UK (Foreign Schools) complete the administration process for the Direct Loan Program including the assessment of eligibility.

Please note:

You should ensure that you have checked your eligibility to apply for Federal Aid on the Student Aid website. We will check your eligibility but you should be clear of the requirements to prevent disappointment.

You are required to have made an application to study with the university prior to being assessed for Direct Loans. Information relating to admission to the university is available here.

The first stage of the application process is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) report. Once you have submitted your FAFSA, it will automatically generate a Student Aid Report (SAR/ISIR). As long as you have listed the University of Greenwich as an institution you are applying to, we are able to access your SAR and so you are not required to send this to us.

Following completion of the FAFSA, you need to email the Direct Loan administration team on the details below to confirm you have been made an offer to study with us and to notify us that you have completed the FAFSA. Please provide your university ID number which can be located on your offer letter and starts 000 and your social security number in your email, as well as your full name.

The Direct Loan Administration team (DLA) will send you a welcome email providing you with further guidance and attaching a Cost of Attendance pro-forma that you must fully complete. The pro-forma is provided in Microsoft Excel format ONLY.

At this point you are also required to visit the Department for Education's Federal Student Aid Direct Loans website to learn more about the level of loans available, the terms and conditions under which your loan is offered and to familiarise yourself with the repayment requirements. In addition, at this site, you need to complete your 'Entrance Counselling' and e-sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Please note: you must return a copy of the confirmation of completion of 'Entrance Counselling' and the e-MPN along with your fully completed COA to the DLA team.

We will use the information you have provided on the FAFSA and the COA to determine your eligibility and the level of loan you can receive.

Determining your costs for the COA

The links below may assist you in determining actual and estimated costs for your COA. It is vital that you formulate a realistic budget for your study in the UK. There is a limit to the loans that you can take, unrealistic costs will not be accepted by the university.

Please note: you must also note that you need to bring sufficient funding with you to the UK to support yourself until the release of your disbursement.

Tuition fees*

A full list of the applicable fees for international students

Accommodation*

University Halls of Residence fees.

 Average rental costs in and around Greenwich can be found here. You can also search 'average rental costs in and around Greenwich' for more links.

Travel

Transport for London offers students discounted travel. More information is available here.

Maintenance and shopping

You can get a comparison and a rough guide to how much your weekly shopping may be here.

The university has also produced a number of resources to assist students to start to think about financing study and in producing a budget. Visit our Money Doctors pages.

* Tuition fees and university accommodation costs if you decide to live in halls of residence are deducted from disbursements by the university automatically prior to any payment being made to you. See the Disbursements section below for more information.

Once we have determined your eligibility and the level and types of loan available to you, you will receive a Loan Confirmation and Acceptance letter (Award Letter). The award letter will detail the amount of aid available and ask you to confirm how much you would like to borrow.

Direct Loans

The US DoE set maximum standard levels of Direct loans which are connected to your status as a 'Dependent' or 'Independent' borrower, as well as the level and year of study that you intend to follow. Details of these levels are available here.

We are not able to increase these levels.

PLUS Loans

These loans are available to provide additional financial support where it is required and identified on the COA. PLUS Loans are not provided for unlimited sums but are associated with the detailed costs listed in the COA. The University of Greenwich limits its aggregate loan level annually for all students to $50,000.

There are two types of PLUS Loan:

  • Parent PLUS
    Undergraduate dependent students can ask their parents to apply for a Parent PLUS loan. To be eligible, your parent must not have an adverse credit history. The student and their parent will need to work together to apply for this loan as additional documentary evidence will be required. The maximum level of Parent PLUS at the University of Greenwich, dependent on the level of Direct Loans, will be $44,500.

    Further support and guidance on applying for Parent PLUS loan is available here.
  • Graduate PLUS
      Graduate students are able to apply for themselves for this loan. To be eligible, you must not have an adverse credit history. Additional documentary evidence will be required. The maximum level of Graduate PLUS loan will be $29,500.

Important note

Undergraduate students, whether dependent or independent, are not eligible to apply for PLUS Loans in their own right. Therefore, a dependent student whose parents are rejected for a Parent PLUS loan will only receive the Direct Loan elements at the independent rate. No other loans are available through the Direct Loan Programme. The student may be eligible to apply for private loans.

Graduate students rejected for a PLUS may source an endorser for their application. If, however, this is not possible, only the Direct Loan element will be available. The student may be eligible to apply for private loans.

Applicants attending Foreign Schools are not eligible for Pell or other forms of grants.

International students are required to pay a deposit of £3000 towards their programme costs.

However, some US Nationals who are eligible and have agreed to take a sufficient level of loan through Federal Aid may not be required to do so.

Undergraduate students*

If you are an undergraduate student and have agreed to take the full Direct loan and the full Parent PLUS loan, you will have sufficient funds to enable the university to pay your full fee from your disbursements, you will not therefore be required to pay a deposit in advance.

However, if you are only entitled to receive the standard maximum Direct loans, and have not arranged a private loan in addition, you will be required to pay a deposit.

Postgraduate students*

If you are a postgraduate student and have agreed to take the full Direct and/or a full Graduate PLUS loan, you will have sufficient funds to enable the university to pay your full fee from your disbursements and will not therefore be required to pay a deposit in advance.

*In all instances, if you are not eligible or have not applied for sufficient funds to cover your tuition fee, a deposit must be paid. You can also choose to pay a deposit to reduce your tuition fee payment from your disbursements.

Following the return of your signed Loan Confirmation and Acceptance letter, and receipt of any applicable deposit, the team will request your CAS. You will receive an e-mail from the university International Admissions Team requesting that you confirm information about you and your programme of study. The standard CAS issued by the International Admissions Team will then be sent directly to you. This is required information to meet the regulations of UKVI's Tier 4 entrance guidance. You will also need to ensure that you provide a copy of your loan confirmation as part of your application to confirm you have sufficient funds throughout your programme of study.

If you are applying for a private loan in addition to Direct and PLUS loans, you will be required to submit information and evidence of that loan as part of your application for a Tier 4 student visa as well.

Disbursements of Federal Student Aid are made in three instalments. These are usually, October, January and April for students that commence their programme of study in September and for students that commence their programme of study from January, disbursements are made in February, April and October.

Disbursements are not released before you have fully registered with the university and cannot therefore be used to pay for Tier 4 student visa applications.

Upon full and complete registration and a minimum of 14 days attendance at the university, you will be eligible to receive your first of three disbursements.

You are required to ensure that by that time you have a UK bank account and have input your account details into the secure area of the student portal.

The university will receive your loan in US dollars which are then converted into sterling. The exchange rate you will receive will fluctuate and will be the rate applicable on the day the funds are received into our sterling bank account and are determined by our bank, Barclays. We do not have control over this rate. We are not able to confirm the value of a disbursement in advance, although you can estimate the value by searching the exchange rate on the web if you wish to start to plan your budget in advance.

Upon receipt of your loans in sterling, we will allocate funds to your student account. Payments will be deducted from your loan for your tuition fees, if they are not already paid and accommodation fees if you are residing in university halls of residence. This means each disbursement you actually receive into your UK bank account will be for your personal living costs, and should be budgeted accordingly to ensure they last until your next disbursement.

If you are residing in halls of residence you should ensure that you notify the Accommodation Office that your rent will be paid in three instalments via Federal Student Aid so that they can attach an appropriate payment plan to your student account.

All students at the university are required to make satisfactory academic progress through their programme of study. For US Nationals however, there are implications to your entitlement to Federal Aid if you fail to meet the academic and attendance requirements for your level of study.  Information about the university's regulatory requirements to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress, as well as other regulations relating to academic matters is available here. These policies and procedures apply to all students regardless of entitlement to Federal Aid.

Requirements for federal aid

Students in receipt of federal aid are expected to progress successfully through each academic stage without periods of repeat study. Where a student is unsuccessful in progression, a warning for federal aid suspension will be issued. Disbursement of aid for the next period will be made the following academic session with a monitoring flag denoted. If, by the next disbursement period, the academic progress is classed as meeting the university requirements, aid will continue. If, however, progress is not classed as being made to the required standard, aid will be suspended and no disbursement for the remaining period of repeat study will be made. Aid will only be reinstated once a student successfully progresses to the next academic stage.

In line with the requirements of the US Department of Education, students are eligible for federal aid for 150% of the usual duration (credit limited) of a programme.  Therefore, due to the structured nature of programmes at the University of Greenwich:

  • undergraduate students studying a full degree from level 4, can receive aid on a warning for one repeat academic session only dependent on the number of credits. Direct entry students may not be able to receive aid if the repeat credits exceed the permissible credit level.
  • postgraduate students can receive funding for 1 semester only.

These periods are pro-rata for students classed as part-time where a minimum of 50% of the full-time equivalent programme of academic study and attendance is required.  Any student studying and attending less than 50% of the full-time equivalent programme will not be eligible for federal aid.

Students whose aid is suspended or whose study and attendance falls below 50% can continue their study under their own financial means. The loss of entitlement to federal aid does not affect the student's registration status at the university.

It should also be noted that tuition fees, where applicable, will remain chargeable and due for all periods of registration regardless of the standing of federal aid.

Appealing a decision of suspension

Appeals for reinstatement of federal aid will only be accepted where there is extenuating circumstances directly affecting a student's ability to meet the academic and attendance requirements.

The statement of appeal must be received along with clear evidence of the change of circumstances and a statement from the personal tutor or other advisor (such as counsellor) by the Primary Destination Point Administrator (see Contact Us section below) within 28 days of notice of the suspension being given. A decision will be communicated by e-mail to the students university e-mail address within 10 working days. The decision is final and no further appeal will be considered.

Federal Aid recipients are required to attend programmes of study on a university campus for their programme of study. Federal aid is not available to students that accept to study a programme offered by a partner, network or systematic institution of the university. Additionally you are not permitted to study a programme through a Distance Learning route.

All international students are required to attend as a requirement of their Tier 4 Student Visa. Attendance confirmation is collected via your student ID card. We suggest that for successful progression and completion of your programme of study, you should be in attendance for a minimum of 95% of the specified programme requirement.

Detailed information about the attendance requirements for Tier 4 International students is provided here.

Attendance and Federal Aid

If you change the mode of attendance you are studying in, this will effect your entitlement to Federal Aid. You must notify the Primary Destination Point Administrator before you change your mode of study so that you can make an informed decision about the proposed change.

If you choose to study part-time, you must study for a minimum of 50% of a full-time equivalent programme. This is referred to as at least 'Half-time'.

Study Abroad and Erasmus

The university accepts students from US schools to study for short periods or full academic sessions, known as Study Abroad. Entitlement to federal aid for these periods is maintained at your actual school of attendance in the US. Your school will require us to confirm to them the costs of the study for the relevant period so that they can assess your eligibility to federal aid.

Students registered with the University of Greenwich who opt to participate in an Erasmus year as part of their degree are eligible for federal aid for Erasmus study programmes where registration and attendance with an EU higher education institution is required and that EU HEI is also registered for the administration of Federal Aid with the Department of Education only.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

It is the responsibility of all Federal Aid recipients to inform the Primary Destination Point Administrator immediately if there is a change in circumstances or a student is considering withdrawing or interrupting their studies.

The details provided below form part of the terms and conditions of the loan acceptance that you will need to sign prior to your loan being disbursed.

If you withdraw or interrupt from your studies your eligibility to Federal Aid is affected. The aid you are provided with is calculated on a daily basis and so any change to your registration status within a particular payment period which results in an unearned element having been paid, will need to be returned to the Department of Education (DoE) by either the university through a G5 return or by you direct to your loan servicer.

Your loans are assessed and reduced inline with the percentage of payment period assessment in the order of unsubsidised, subsidised and then PLUS. The assessment is completed using a pro-forma provided by the US DoE. You will be assessed as having earned 100% of the annual award amount if you have attended 60% or more of your programme. Therefore, if you attend, for example 25% of the programme you will have earned 25% of the loan. If you attend 70% of the programme, you will have earned 100% of the loan. Depending on the date of your withdrawal or change of circumstances, you may or may not receive further disbursements.

The university charges a pro-rata fee for students that interrupt or withdraw. These are as follows and differ from the standard university policy for Charging and Refunding due to the way the assessment is required to be completed by the US DoE:

  •             From the 30th day following registration until 31 December – 25% fee
  •             1 January until the 31 March – 50% fee
  •             1 April until the end of term – 100%

If you withdraw or interrupt within the first 30 days you will not be charged a fee and will not be eligible for any loans. The amount of 'earned' loan eligibility you receive if you withdrawal or interrupt after the first 30 days will depend on the actual date the withdrawal or interruption is completed through the University of Greenwich Withdrawal and Interruption form online. The date of your last day of attendance will be recorded as the date given on your withdrawal or interruption form by your Faculty. This may mean that you have a balance of fee to pay that is not covered by the level of loan you are eligible for.

For disbursements made to you, the assessment may demonstrate that your loan amount is lower than the value disbursed to you (after any tuition fee due is reconciled), in this case any excess in disbursements made to you must be repaid to the university immediately.

We will notify you by email to the preferred email address you have provided on your student record. You should ensure that you check the information provided in the email and, where relevant, respond, make payment or make any query immediately following receipt. We will also email you to confirm, where relevant, that we have made a refund to the DoE through G5 and confirm the value of the refund.

We will return any unearned loans to the US Department of Education within 45 days where there is no excess payments made to you from a disbursement and where relevant. You must return any excess disbursed loans you are liable to repay directly to your loan servicer also within 45 days.

Interruption of study (formal leave of absence) is permissible for a maximum of 180 days. Therefore, your attendance will be returned to NSLDS during this period so that you do not enter repayment prior to your intended return to study where this is within the 180 day period. If the period of interruption will be longer than 180 days your attendance will be recorded as withdrawn with NSLDS.

Further information about the Grace Period permissible once you cease registration or attend below half-time are available here.

Important note-

You should ensure that you also read the university's standard withdrawal and interruption policy for information on completing the process. You should not complete the university withdrawal or interruption form until you have consulted with the Primary Destination Point Administrator.

You MUST also seek advice from an International Advisor and your personal tutor BEFORE you complete the withdrawal and interruption form.

You have the right to cancel your loan but this must be done within the time frames given below.

Prior to registration

You can notify us that you wish to cancel your loan at any time prior to Full Registration at the university or by the first day of term, whichever is first.

Cancellation prior to registration will fully cancel all loans applied for at no cost to you.

The Administration team will notify the International Office that you have cancelled your loan. If a CAS has been released, this information will be provided to UKVI who may therefore rescind your tier 4 student visa.

After registration

The first payment liability date for Federal Aid is either the day you complete part 2 registration fully, with all registration holds removed from your account, or the first day of term, whichever is first.

Once you have completed registration fully, or the first day of term is reached without a cancellation being received, you are liable for a minimum of £3000 tuition fee and cannot therefore cancel this element of your loan, unless you wish to pay the tuition fee independently. You can however, if we are notified within 14 days of the date of your full registration, cancel the remaining part of your loan. Loans are not disbursed to you for living costs until you have fully registered and have been in attendance at the university for 30 days.

After disbursement

Whether or not you can cancel part of your loan after a disbursement has been made, whether or not the request is in relation to a withdrawal or interruption, will depend on the date you make the request in line with the assessment of the number of days you have attended for. You can however, return part or all of a disbursement made to you directly to the DoE.

Contact the Primary Destination Point Administrator for further advice.

Repaying your Federal Aid Loans

Once you have completed your programme of study you will need to repay the loans you have borrowed. Loan repayment is an obligation you will have considered when you first took out your loans. As an institution, we are adversely effected when students default on repayment. The tools provided to you are designed to assist you throughout your repayment period and assist you in maintaining a healthy compliant loan account. We appreciate that circumstances change over the years and things do not always go the way we have planned them, however, maintaining contact with your loan servicer is legal requirement.

Exit Counselling

Just like when you start your programme of study and are asked to complete Entrance Counselling, just before you are due to complete your programme of study we will ask you to complete Exit Counselling. This is a vital part of the loan process and will allow you the chance to consider what your repayment options are as well as provide you with information that will assist you in the future as your life changes.

We will email you to request that this counselling is completed. Failure to complete it may mean that you are not permitted to attend your graduation ceremony and may mean that we withhold your hard earned degree certificate.

It is important that you realise that defaulting on loan repayment jeopardises the opportunity for others to have access to Federal Aid funding.

If you would like to know more about repayment now, you can learn everything you need to know on the FSA website here.

Default Management

As well as the measures above designed to assist you avoiding becoming a delinquent borrower, we will -

  • Encourage you to limit the amount of loan you borrow throughout your programme of study and provide you with practical tips to ensure you are able to manage a budget whilst studying.
  • Regularly remind you of the tools that are available through both the studentaid.ed.gov and studentloans.gov websites.
  • continue to monitor your loan repayment records through NSLDS and will contact you if you appear to be having problems.
  • Provide you with information about your loan servicer and encourage you to review your position and seek further advice as to what options you have available to you.
  • Provide any known details we have about you with your loan servicer with a view to them also contacting you in this regard.

Students who are not eligible to borrow funds to a sufficient level to cover the costs detailed in the Cost of Attendance pro-forma, can, if they choose, apply for education loans from private lenders.

Private loan agreements are made between you and the lender and are not assessed or administered by the university. We will support your application if necessary in that we are prepared to provide attendance confirmation and progression reporting responsibilities. We will also accept payments from authorised lenders where this will enable the university to credit funds to your tuition fee account prior to any excess funds being disbursed to you ONLY.

A private lender will require you to complete a Private Loan Applicant Self-Certification form prior to disbursing funds to you. The information required for the form is available through your completed COA and Loan Offer Letter however, you can contact the Administration team for assistance if you are unclear what information is required.

You will need to research possible lenders and we do not make recommendations of providers.

We are currently registered to administer loans provided through Sallie Mae.

The University of Greenwich is required by various agencies to collect personal and other data about you for the purposes of reporting and on occasion, disclosing information to the relevant organisations we work with for various reasons. Full detailed information about the University Data Protection Policy and who and why we share information is available here.

For the purposes of US Federal Student Aid, when you apply for aid completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Within section C of the MPN there are details of the waivers you agree to in relation to the sharing of information to the United States Department of Education and other government agencies, such as the Office of the Inspector General. It is important that you are clear on these waivers prior to signing the MPN in section G. Section C clearly states that your information will be released upon request to any relevant investigative agency of the US Government for the purposes of identification and fraud prevention.

The University of Greenwich has a Programme Participation Agreement that allows us to administer Federal Aid and provide students with the funding they need to attend our university. Relevant personal information and data relating to your loan may be shared with the US Department of Education and other relevant agencies where fraud, waste, false information provision relating to the abuse of Department funds or other criminal activity is alleged or suspected.

Should you require further details regarding the sharing of information with relevant US Agencies prior to applying for federal aid, please contact the Primary Destination Point Administrator.

Additional Important Information

Here you will find links to information, policies and procedures, as well as other important information you need to make an informed decision about your study with the us and your responsibilities when requesting a Federal Title IV Direct Loan.

Tuition Fees

  • Tuition Fee rates for International Student - Rates of fees are set each year for programmes of study. You should note that if your programme of study is longer than 1 year you may be liable for an increase in fees for subsequent years. The information on the Tuition Fee rates for International Students provides guidance on how this is applied.
  • Paying your Tuition Fees - International students are required to pay their tuition fees in a slightly different way as 'Home' students. There are some differences for those that take government provided loans, including Federal Aid. You should refer to the section above 'Tuition Fee Deposits', for further information as well as the link given here.

  • Charging and Refund Policy - The information in this policy applies to all students. You should read this policy along with the information on the 'Withdrawal, Interruption and the Return of Title IV funds' section above for information relating to the return of funds to the DoE.
  • Policy and Procedure for the non-payment of Tuition Fees - You are responsible for the payment of your tuition fees whether this be through Federal Aid or by other means. If your loans amount is not sufficient to pay the full fee due, you will need to ensure that you pay the remaining balance. You should also read the 'Tuition fee deposits' section above.
  • Attendance Monitoring Regulations - Failure to attend regularly has severe consequences on your studies, your loan entitlement and your requirements to maintain your Tier 4 student visa. See the 'Attendance' section above and well as this policy for detailed information.

Other Student Policies and Procedures

You can view the Student Regulations, Policies and Procedures such as The Learning and Teaching Assessment Strategy and our Drug and Alcohol Statement in our dedicated Regulations section here.  

Accommodation Information is available here.

University Governance Policies

We have policies and guidelines covering everything from academic procedures to achieving the best value for money in all university projects.

You can view our policies relating to Governance, Academic, Human Resources, Equality, Finance and other areas here.

Get Stats and Facts

If you would like to view information relating to student satisfaction, study, entry and more, visit Unistats.

To notify us that you have accepted an offer and have completed your FAFSA, or for any further information and advice regarding US FSA, please contact the Direct Loan Administration Team at:

Email: USFSA@gre.ac.uk

Tel: 020 8331 8055

If you have any comments, complaints or queries regarding application, our service provision or the administration of the Federal Loan Program please contact:

Claire Evenden
Primary Destination Point Administrator
Senior Finance Manager Advisor
University of Greenwich
Funds Awards and Bursaries Team
B109 Bronte Building
Avery Hill Road
Eltham
London
SE9 2UG

Tel: 020 8331 8187