The University of South Wales is  a participating institution in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Money is loaned by the US Department of Education directly to students via their schools.

If you are a US citizen, you may be able to take out a loan to meet the cost of your studies. Please read through the information on this page before starting your application process for US Loans in order to fully understand eligibility criteria, types of loans available, interest rates and fee charges, and responsible borrowing and repayment.

You must meet the criteria set by the US Department of Education to be eligible for US loans. The basic eligibility criteria are listed on the Federal Student Aid website Please see below for full eligibility.

Students studying at foreign schools are NOT eligible for Pell Grants.

The School Code for the University is: G35473

US citizens or permanent residents with a valid social security number may apply for Direct Loans. To be eligible to apply applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent qualification and must not have defaulted on any previous student loans. 

You must meet the criteria set by the US Department of Education to be eligible for US loans. The basic eligibility criteria are listed on the Federal Student Aid website. There are additional criteria for foreign schools, which is outlined briefly below: 

  • be studying an eligible, degree-bearing programme 
  • be enrolled and continue to be enrolled at least half time at the University of South Wales 
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Performance during your studies- see our SAP Policy for details 
  • undertake your study and or research within the UK (including your writing up period)  

The University of South Wales has been approved to certify federal student loans for degree programs ( Undergraduate degrees and Postgraduate degree). 

The University has not been approved to certify federal loans for students wishing to study:

  • Nursing degrees
  • HND/HNC or Foundation Degrees 
  • PGCE, PGCE PCET Courses and courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Certificate or diploma programs 
  • Top up degrees
  • Degree Apprenticeships
  • English Language programmes 
  • Professional Courses 
  • Courses offered at a Partner College
  • BSc (Hons) Football Coaching, Development and Administration (Route 1 and 2) 
  • A course where attendance is considered less than half time 
  • A course that is offered in whole or part as online or distance learning  

If the course you intend on studying has a work placement, study or work placement abroad, please contact [email protected]   in advance of applying for the degree so that we can identify the eligible institutions that you may attend. 

It is not normally possible for students in receipt of US loans to undertake any part of their study or research in the US. However, independent research conducted by an individual student in the United States for no more than one academic year is permissible if it is conducted during the dissertation phase of a doctoral program under the guidance of faculty, and the research can only be performed in the United States.

f any part of your programme includes anytime outside of the UK, please email the [email protected]  immediately as this may affect your eligibility for US loans.  

These rules and regulations are set by the US Government. The University does not have any discretion to change these regulations.

If you are not eligible for Title IV Federal Aid, you may be eligible for Private Loans.  

 To apply for a loan for the 2023-24 academic year, you must follow the application process outlined below. You should only start the process once you have had an offer from the University of South Wales. Although you can complete your FAFSA for 2023/2024,  please note that we will not start processing your loan application until May/June 2023 and we cannot certify any US Loans on the US systems until July 2023.  Please provide all documentation by 1st September in order for us to process your application before the first disbursement date. 

Step 1 – Complete your FAFSA

You need to have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)to determine your eligibility for federal loans. If you are a continuing loan student, you should have completed a renewal FAFSA.

You will need to include the University of South Wales’ School Federal Direct Loan Code G35473 on your FAFSA.

Once you have completed your FAFSA, this will produce a Student Aid Report (SAR) and this will be used by the University to determine your loan eligibility. Please send us a copy of  the Student Aid Report. 

Step 2 Complete your Master Promissory Note(s) (MPNs)

Undergraduates: Complete an MPN for the Subsidised and Unsubsidised loans, and, if applicable, your parent should complete a separate MPN for the Parent PLUS loan.

Graduates: Complete an MPN  for the Unsubsidised loan and, if applicable, one for the Grad PLUS loan.

Use the University school code G35473.

If you are intending to apply for a PLUS loan, or your parent will be applying for a Parent PLUS loan, you, or the parent, will need to complete the “Apply for a PLUS Loan” section.  This should automatically trigger a Credit Check.  Once approved by the system you will be able to view the Credit Check- please send us a copy of this of the outcome of the credit check.

As we are a foreign school, new MPNs must be completed for each year of study.

Step 3 Complete entrance counselling

You must complete entrance counselling if you are a federal Direct Loan first-time borrower who has not yet completed entrance counselling for a specific loan type (Unsubsidised/Subsidised loans, or PLUS loans). If you have completed entrance counselling in a previous year of study for a specific loan type at University of South Wales , you do not need to complete this step.  

Step 4 Email us at [email protected]

We are not automatically notified when a student has selected our institution on their FAFSA.  Therefore, once you have completed steps 1-3 please email us at [email protected]

with a copy of:

  1. your offer letter from the University, 
  2. your SAR
  3.  your signed MPN(s) 
  4.  a screenshot of your complete entrance counselling
  5. Evidence of credit check (if applicable)

Step 5 Wait to receive your cost of attendance

From June onwards, the Federal Student Aid Officer at the University of South Wales will email you a Cost of Attendance to inform you of the amount of loan you can borrow and the types of loans you can borrow. 

Step 6 Return your completed funding offer form

Once you have received your Cost of Attendance, please confirm the types and amounts of loans you would like to borrow by completing the Funding Offer form and returning it to [email protected]

Step 7 loan Certification

If steps 1-6 have been successfully completed, the University will originate your loan on the US systems. We are not able to certify your US loans on the US Systems until early July. You will receive a notification letter from us outlining the amount of loans you will receive, your disbursement dates, and the period / academic year your loan relates to. The wording and format of this letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration as acceptable proof of funding for visa applications.

This loan notification letter will be emailed to you. 

A Cost of Attendance (CoA) will be emailed to you once you have completed all the application process steps. The CoA is an estimate of your educational related costs for the academic year. The CoA will specify the total amount you may borrow through federal loans minus any other aid you may be receiving for that academic year such as bursaries or scholarships. If you are eligible for a Subsidized loan, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will also be deducted from a CoA figure to establish your ‘financial need’.

The CoA for students studying at the University of South Wales is set by the  Student Money Advice Team. These educational costs relate only to you, the student. These costs cannot include costs for partners or children (other than childcare or nursery costs). We will take the average cost of the following in to consideration for calculating your costs of attendance

  • Tuition Fees
  • Accommodation and Living Costs
  • Course costs
  • Visa and Healthcare
  • Transportation (2 return flights)
  • Transportation (2 return transfers to London)
  • Loan fees

Please note, whilst your CoA can include Travel, we cannot issue loan payments before the beginning of the academic year so you should not rely on your first payment to finance your travel to the University of South Wales.

While your costs may vary depending on where you stay in South Wales (Cardiff/Treforest/Newport), we expect your cost of attendance to be roughly in line with our estimates. 

The University uses a standardized exchange rate to avoid fluctuations. The U.S. Department of Education states that students attending foreign (those outside of the United States) schools will have to tolerate such fluctuations.  

There are different loans available depending on whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student.

Any loans that you take plus any additional financial aid (awards, bursaries, scholarships etc..) must not exceed the yearly cost of attendance (US regulations).

SubsidizedLoans and unsubsidized loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. The U.S Department of Education pays the interest on subsidized loans while a student is in school for at least half time, whilst in the grace period (the first 6 months after you leave school) and during a period of deferment.

 Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students and there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.  Students are responsible for paying the interest on an Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.

To receive either type of loan, you must be enrolled at least half time on to an eligible program of study.

Direct PLUS Loan

A Direct PLUS Loan is referred to as a Parent PLUS loan when made to a parent and as a Grad PLUS loan when made to a graduate or professional student

Parent PLUS Loan

Parent PLUS Loans are available for parents of undergraduate students who are classed as dependent. Parents can borrow up to the total estimated Cost of Attendance as issued by the University of South Wales.  A credit check will be performed as part of the application process.  Parent PLUS loans are the responsibility of the parent and not the student.

Graduate PLUS Loans

Grad PLUS loans are available for postgraduate students (graduates). A graduate student may borrow up to the total estimated Cost of Attendance as issued by the University of South Wales. 


Private Loans

Students who are unable to take out Federal Student Aid  or who do not meet the criteria for a Federal Student Aid can borrow from private lenders in the US.

We advise that if you are eligible for US federal loans, you investigate these before applying for a US private student loan, as federal loans are often cheaper and most American students are eligible for them. Note that US private student loans do not enable you to borrow more funds than Federal Student Aid.

The University will work with whichever private lender you decide to use, however be aware that Sallie Mae is the only lender we currently work with. To apply for a private loan, you must apply directly to the lender and then send a copy of your e-signed Promissory Note to the US Loans Administration Team.

You are advised to compare the terms, charges, and interest rates before taking out a private loan.

  • Loan Amounts

  • The maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loans is as follows:

    Dependent undergraduates (students aged 24 and under)

    Year of course     Subsidized loan     Unsubsidized loan    Total loan maximum

    1                                $3,500                       $2,000                             $5,500

    2                               $4,500                       $2,000                             $6,500

    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     Subsidized loan     Unsubsidized loan    Total loan maximum

    1                                $3,500                       $6,000                             $9,500

    2                               $4,500                       $6,000                             $10,500

    3 and later             $5,500                       $7,000                             $12,500

    Graduate students

    All years Unsubsidized maximum of $20,500

    The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive for an academic year is determined by your cost of attendance. This is determined by your school and may be less than the maximum annual amount shown above. With a Direct PLUS Loan, a graduate/professional student can borrow up to the cost of the student's attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives, including the amount above.

  • Aggregate loan limits
     Below are the aggregate (total) limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans:

    • $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)

    • $57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)

    • $138,500 for graduate or professional students (no more than $65,500 may be subsidized; includes loans for undergraduate study)

  • There is no limit for PLUS loans.

  • These aggregate limits include both Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and any Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans previously received through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. You cannot borrow over your aggregate loan limit.

  • Repayments

    It is important that you understand your rights and obligations when borrowing Federal US Loans. Students are advised to fully research and understand responsible borrowing and repayment before requesting Federal Student Loans. The FederalStudent Aid web page has an estimate calculator where you can calculate your estimated loan repayments.

  • Interest rates

    If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest. It is important that you understand how interest is calculated and the fees associated with your loan. The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and (for most types of federal student loans) the first disbursement date of the loan.


    Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received

    The first disbursement of loans will not be paid until students are enrolled at the University of South Wales.  In case of any unforeseen events, please ensure you have personal funds in place to cover your living costs before you receive your first disbursement.


    Federal Loans

    The disbursement dates for the 2023/24 academic year for both undergraduate and postgraduate students are:

    Undergraduate September 2023 courses

    • Disbursement 1: 6th October 2023
    • Disbursement 2: 9th February 2024

    Postgraduate September 2023 courses 

    • Disbursement 1: 6th October 2023
    • Disbursement 2: 9th February 2024
    • Disbursement 3:  14th June 2024

    The actual amount of each disbursement in GBP(£) will be dependent upon the exchange rate used to convert USD($) to GBP(£) on that date

    Once you have enrolled at the University of South Wales , from each disbursement (after it has been exchanged into £ GBP) 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 and we have deducted your fees, you will receive a further confirmation of any refund that will be deposited into your bank account.

    Please note that it can take up to 14 days after the disbursement date for you to receive your refund. For example, for a disbursement date of 7th October any refund will be paid to you by 21 October.  It is  recommended that you have personal funds to support your living costs until the funds clear in to your account. 

    We use Western Union to make our payments, it will be necessary that you set up an account with them with your UK bank details.  You will be sent information from Western Union before your first disbursement. 

    Private Loans

    The US Loan Administration Team will certify your Sallie Mae loan application once you have enrolled at the University of South Wales. We will request the loan to be payable in one instalment. The University will allocate any Tuition Fees and Accommodation Fees to be paid from the private loan, and pay the you  any remaining funds via Western Union. You will be sent information from Western Union before your payment.  It is  recommended that you have personal funds to support your living costs until the funds clear in to your account. 


    The University of South Wales is required, in accordance with Federal Regulations, to report your enrolment status to the US Department of Education via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) every month. Reporting students as studying full-time or half-time at USW will defer any previous Federal US Loans taken out before you started your studies at the University of South Wales .

    If you are not taking out Federal US Loans during your study at the University of South Wales, but you wish to defer your previous US Loans as you are now studying, please email [email protected]

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    To remain eligible for Federal US Loans during the academic year, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and this will be measured before each disbursement of your loan. Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the SAP policy.

    Exit Counselling 

    Students coming to the end of their studies are required to complete Exit Counselling for each type of Federal US Loan borrowed. This is a condition of your loan terms.

    The Student Money Advice Team will email you to remind you to complete Exit Counselling 

    You are required to complete Exit Counselling if you drop to less than half-time, withdraw from your studies or complete your studies.

    You can complete Exit Counselling on the website.

    It is essential that you email [email protected] if you change the status of your studies as follows:

    • Suspend
    • Withdraw
    • Transfer course
    • Upgrade / downgrade
    • Change from full-time to half-time or less than half-time

    Under US federal law, the University is required to report any changes to your enrolment within tight timescales. For students who withdraw from their studies, suspend their studies for more than 180 days, or complete their studies earlier than expected, it may be necessary, to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation, and arrange for the return any ‘unearned’ funds to the US Department of Education. Further information can be found in the Return of Title IV Funds Policy 

    If you are thinking of changing the status of your studies and want to know what your US Federal Loan entitlement will be, please email [email protected]

    It is the requirement of the U.S. Department of Education that Schools must provide a notice of the availability of all consumer information.  Please download a copy of the Consumer Disclosure Information here

    If you have any queries regarding this information  please contact the University US Loans Administration Team