Loans for the 2013/14 academic year
Due to changes in origination fees, the US Department for Education's software is being revised such that loans for 2013/14 cannot be processed before 1 July. If you completed your PLUS loan credit check before April, you will have to do it again just before sending your complete loan application documents us.
Personalised calculated costs of attendance are in the process of being sent out. Please check your junk email folder as sometimes (especially with Gmail accounts) our email ends up there. We cannot certify loans until 1 July but please do return your completed applications as soon as possible.
All loans are handled by the Student Funds Team in the Student Life Centre.
Study Abroad students
Students here on a Study Abroad programme who are registered at a US university are not eligible to apply for financial aid through Kingston University. You should instead apply to your 'home' university.
All other students
Please note that there are some Kingston University courses that are not eligible for Federal Aid. View the list of ineligible courses (PDF).
Please contact the Student Funds Team in the Student Life Centre as soon as possible by emailing us if you will be using Post 9/11 GI Bill or any other funding from the Department of Veterans' Affairs. We need to request individual programme approval for each student which can take several months.
1. Fill in a FAFSA application via www.fafsa.ed.gov
You will need the Kingston University school code when filling in the FAFSA application, which is G10816.
2. Check your Student Aid Report
Once FAFSA has processed your information you will be emailed a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). Please review the information carefully and ensure that it includes an EFC (estimated family contribution) and the details of any previous loans.
If any information is missing or there are comments stating further information is required, you will need to make corrections and re-submit your application. If there is a C shown next to the EFC, further information will be required. Check the comments codes and make any necessary corrections. In some cases we may need to ask you to provide documentary evidence (such as proof of US citizenship).
We are now able to retrieve electronic SARs so there is no need to request a paper copy. Please let us know once you've submitted your FAFSA so we can locate it.
Calculated cost of attendance: we check for new Student Aid Reports each week. If you have been offered a place on a course a Kingston University and have firmly accepted the offer, we will send you a calculated cost of attendance and details of the loans for which you are eligible, along with instructions on what you need to do next. Please be aware that we will not be issuing cost of attendances to students who have not accepted our offer of a place.
The loans available are:
(undergraduate students only)
|Fixed, maximum value; no interest charged while in school||Origination fee of 1.05% deducted at disbursement|
|Unsubsidised||Fixed, maximum value; interest charged while in school||Origination fee of 1.05% deducted at disbursement|
|PLUS Loan||Max value set by Kingston University in the calculated cost of attendance; interest charged while in school||Origination fee of 4.204% deducted at disbursement|
The maximum amount of subsidised and unsubsidised loans is as follows:
Dependent undergraduates (Students aged 24 and under):
|Year of course||Subsidised loan||Unsubsidised loan||Maximum loan|
|3 and later||$5,500||$2,000||$7,500|
Independent undergraduates (students aged over 24 or those whose parents are refused a Parent PLUS Loan):
|Year of course||Subsidised loan||Unsubsidised loan||Maximum loan|
|3 and later||$5,500||$7,000||$12,500|
Graduate and Professional Students:
|Year of course||Unsubsidised loan||Maximum loan|
The lifetime aggregates remain $65,500.00 (subsidised) and $138,500.00 (combined subsidised and unsubsidised). You may not borrow more than this total amount.
Federal Direct Parent and Grad PLUS Loans may be used as supplemental funding when subsidised and unsubsidised loan maximums are reached. As always, the total amount you may borrow in student loans for any academic year is limited to your annual calculated cost of attendance minus all other sources of funding.
3. Confirm the amount you wish to borrow and complete the loan application/s and entrance counselling and credit check (for PLUS loans)
Return the calculated cost of attendance to us, confirming the amount of each type of loan you wish us to originate, along with:
- a Master Promissory Note for Direct Subsidised/Unsubsidised Loans;
- a screenshot confirming you have completed Entrance Counselling (please be aware that 'Financial Awareness Counselling' is NOT acceptable) even if you have done it in a previous year – it is good practice to do this every year as it reminds you of your responsibilities in the Direct Loan Scheme; and
- a PLUS Master Promissory Note and screen shot of the credit check acceptance if you will be using a PLUS Loan,
You do all of this online at http://studentloans.gov. You sign into this site using the same PIN that you used to sign your FAFSA.
If you do not send everything we need, we will not be able to originate your loans.
4. Loan certification
When you have completed steps 1 to 3, we will mail you a US Federal Direct loan certificate. We strongly advise that you complete your application no later than 19 July 2013 in order to ensure that your loan certificate can be mailed in time for you to apply for a visa to study in the UK.
We use Royal Mail Standard International Delivery to issue loan certificates, which can take 10 working days to reach you in the USA. Please bear this in mind when making your applications.
5. Disbursing (paying) the loan
- Undergraduate students will receive three disbursements (one per term).
- Postgraduate students will receive four disbursements (one per term and one at the start of the summer).
For students on a standard, September start, academic year, the earliest payment dates will be as follows:
|Disbursement 1||Disbursement 2||Disbursement 3||Disbursement 4|
|Undergraduate students||7 October 2013||13 January 2014||21 April 2014||N/A|
|Students on graduate and professional courses||7 October 2013||13 January 2014||21 April 2014||14 July 2014|
From each disbursement we will deduct an amount towards tuition, accommodation (if you are in university accommodation) and any other charges incurred, and the remainder will be forwarded to you. You will need to open a UK bank account to avoid having to pay two foreign exchange charges.
You will receive an email notification approximately 14 days prior to the disbursement, in line with Federal regulations concerning your right to cancel.
Once the disbursement has been made, we will email a further notification informing you of the amount of any charges deducted from the loan and the remaining balance that has been paid to you.
We work with a Foreign Exchange Provider and secure an exchange rate for the whole academic year in September. This protects you from any major fluctuations in the pound / dollar exchange rate.
Frequently asked questions about Direct Loans
- If I borrowed Federal Stafford and/or PLUS loans in prior years and I borrow loans for 2013/14, will I have to repay two different servicers?
- How can I find out who services my federal loans?
- What are the interest rates and fees charged?
- Will the Stafford and Parent/Grad PLUS Loans I borrowed through my lender in prior years still be eligible for in-school deferment?
If I borrowed Federal Stafford and/or PLUS loans in prior years and I borrow loans for 2013/14, will I have to repay two different servicers?
You may be repaying your federal loans to multiple servicers. You will receive correspondence and payment information from both the Department of Education and your prior lender(s) and/or servicer(s).
If you prefer a single payment, when you begin repayment you can consolidate your old FFEL loans with your new Direct loans with the US Department of Education. For more information regarding Direct Loan Consolidation, please visit the US Department of Education's Loan Consolidation website.
Information regarding your federal loan debt can be accessed via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov. Note that any private alternative loans (ie DEAL Loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan) you have borrowed will not appear in the NSLDS.
Interest rates and fees for 2013/14 are:
|Direct Loan Programme||Interest||Fees*|
|Subsidised Federal Direct Stafford Loan||6.8%**||1.05%|
|Unsubsidised Federal Direct Stafford Loan||6.8%||1.05%|
|Federal Direct Parent/Graduate PLUS Loan||7.9%||4.204%|
Will the Stafford and Grad PLUS Loans I borrowed through my lender in prior years still be eligible for in-school deferment?
Yes. If you are enrolled at least half-time (60 credits per academic year), your prior federal loans will continue to be deferred. The Direct Loan Programme offers the same deferment and forbearance provisions as the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programme.
Please note that you are not able to borrow more than your total estimated costs of attendance (CoA).
Undergraduate courses typically have a 40-week academic year.
Postgraduate (graduate and professional) courses typically have a 52-week academic year.
|Academic year 2012/13||Weekly||40 weeks||52 weeks|
(based on an en-suite room in Clayhill or Seething Wells for undergradutes and an en-suite room in iQ-Wave for postgraduates)
|£120 for undergraduate/£178 for postgraduate||£4,800||£9,256|
|Books and course costs||£16||£640||£832|
(based on the cost of a London Bus Pass at student discount rate, with the £10 student Oyster card cost)
|Annual cost of £548 plus £10 for the student Oyster card||£558||£558|
|Sub-total living costs||£274.95 for undergraduate/£329.73 for postgraduate||£10,998||£17,146|
|Tuition fees (variable)||£11,950||£11,950|
|Flights (two return flights)||£1,500||£1,500|
|Application costs for a visa to study in the UK||£800||£800|
|Total cost of attendance (£)||£25,748||£31,896|
|Converted to US $ (£=$1.70)*||$43,772||$54,223|
This is an estimated cost of attendance for your course once we have received your Student Aid Report. The tuition fees shown above are for illustration only and will vary depending on your course. The accommodation and travel costs are based on students living in University accommodation or in the Kingston upon Thames area.
We will advise you of the estimated cost of attendance for your course at the start of your application.
Loan origination fees can also be included in the cost of attendance (we include them automatically in the information we will send you).
* Please note that the exchange rate shown is for illustration only and is set once a year (normally in May).
Please note you are not able to borrow more than your total calculated cost of attendance (CoA).
You may want to apply for a private education loan to cover the cost of education not met by Direct Subsidised/Unsubsidised and Plus loans. If you are over 24 and studying an undergraduate course, PLUS loans are not available so private education loans may be your only other option. Private education loans are not part of the Direct Loan scheme and not covered by Federal Student Aid Regulations.
We are happy to work with any lender who you choose to use who will lend to US students who study internationally. However, since the ending of the FFELP loan scheme, many of the lenders have withdrawn from the student loan market, especially for those US students who wish to study overseas.
Smart Option Student Loan – the Smart Option Student Loan is a private, credit-based loan for undergraduate and graduate students. Designed to reduce the overall loan costs and help shorten the amount of time it takes to pay off the loan, the Smart Option Student Loan features interest-only payments while in school and repayment terms based upon the cumulative outstanding Sallie Mae-serviced private student loan balances and the borrower's academic grade level.
The Smart Option Student Loan is available through Sallie Mae.
Please note we are unable to issue a loan certificate for private loans so you will have to ensure your lender can provide such a letter if you are required to prove evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living costs when you apply for a student visa.
In order to secure entry clearance (a student visa) for the UK, you must provide proof that you are able to pay for tuition and living expenses (accommodation, course costs, food etc). For more information about obtaining entry clearance, visit UKCISA's website or contact the University's International Student Advisory Centre.
Satisfactory academic progress
While in receipt of Federal loan funds for the loan period outlined on your loan application, you are required to be enrolled on your programme of study and to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress means maintaining an average of at least C grades over the current academic year. Please note that this is a higher standard than the University's pass mark for undergraduate students. We will check your progress before releasing loan funds.
If you fail to meet the required standard in any period, you will be placed on 'Financial Aid Probation' for a period of one semester, or until the next available opportunity to undertake these assessments. If after this period you do not reach the satisfactory academic standard, your eligibility for Federal loans (Stafford and Plus loans) may be terminated. The Student Funds Team would confirm any probation or termination of eligibility with the individual student should this situation arise.
Withdrawal from your course
If you withdraw from your course, you must inform the Student Funds Team in the Student Life Centre no later than five working days after withdrawal in addition to notifying your course office.
If a student who receives financial aid withdraws from their course, we will recalculate your financial aid eligibility based on your period of attendance. This could mean that you have to pay back money received from Federal Stafford or Plus loans you may have received. The University may also have to repay funds received for tuition and/or accommodation to the US Federal Government. In this case you may become liable for additional fee payments to the University in order to replace these funds.
Any calculation will be undertaken in line with the rules set by the US Department of Education and cannot be amended in any way.
It is a legal requirement that all students who have received Federal loan(s) and have graduated or withdrawn from their programme of study complete exit counselling. This is done through Studentloans.gov. Please go to the site and follow the instructions for Stafford Loan and /or PLUS Loan exit counselling.
Repaying your loan
It is your responsibility to repay your loan. If in doubt about the terms of your loan, please contact your loan servicer.
We realise that the student loan process can be confusing. If you require further clarification, please do not hesitate to email us.
Disclosures required by US Department for Education – the US Government requires us to give certain information about programmes that lead to "gainful employment". We have two such programmes – Architecture Graduate Diploma and Law PG Diploma. View the Federal Disclosure Requirements (PDF) for further information.
Facts and figures – for information about the University's Sustainability Policies and facts and figures about the student population of Kingston University, visit the About the University section of the website.
Policies, procedures and regulations – visit www.kingston.ac.uk/policies for information on:
- general student regulations;
- academic misconduct procedures (including peer-to-peer file sharing and plagiarism);
- our General Admissions Policy;
- our Substance Use and Misuse Policy (including drug and alcohol abuse prevention);
- student disciplinary procedures; and
- our Safety and Security Statement (more detailed information on safety and security in halls of residence will be available on My Kingston (our student intranet) once you have enrolled on your course).
See what scholarship opportunities are available at Kingston.