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Federal Aid for US Students

The University of Exeter participates in the following funding schemes for US students:

  • William D. Ford Stafford Loan Program (Subsidised, unsubsidised and PLUS Direct Loan)
  • Private Loan
  • Americorps
  • Department of Veteran Affairs benefits (VA)*

*Please refer to Department of Veteran Affairs benefits (VA) section below

All of these schemes are administered by the Student Funding Team. The team can be contacted at or +44 1392 724724 from outside the UK or 0300 555 0444 from within the UK.

For information on fee payments, scholarships and general financial information, please see the Fees and Funding web pages.

To receive aid, including Federal Stafford Loans, a student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a student enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible programme at an eligible institution.
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time for the period for which the loan is originated
  • Must comply with the University's satisfactory academic progress policy
  • Must not be convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while receiving financial aid
  • Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
  • If male and age 18-25, must be registered for Selective Service
  • Must not be in default on an educational loan and must not owe a repayment on an adjusted federal grant


You cannot receive Federal Stafford Loans if you attend any of the following:

  • Any distance or blended learning Programs
  • Any Diploma Programs
  • Any Certificate Programs
  • In most cases where your program includes a period of study in the US. (This may be considered where a written agreement between the University of Exeter and an eligible host institution inside the United states is made, for no more than 25% of a student’s programme is in place. Please contact us for more information)
  • Study Abroad with a school that is not approved for Title IV (Federal) Aid. (This may be considered where a written agreement between the University of Exeter and host institution outside of the United states for no more than 25 percent of a student’s programme is in place. Please contact us for more information)


The following University of Exeter programs are ineligible for Federal Stafford Loans: 

  • all medical programmes
  • all nursing programmes
  • all PGCE programmes

If you do want to study any programme which is inelligible for Fedreal stafford Loans, please note that there are private non-governmental loans, for U.S. citizens that could fund these programs. 

As a foreign school, the University of Exeter is eligible to originate loan applications for Federal Stafford Loans.

Full information on these loans can be found at the Federal Student Aid webpage

Federal Stafford Subsidised Loan

A Federal Stafford Subsidised Loan is awarded based on financial need. The U.S. government pays interest on a subsidised loan while you are enrolled at university at least half-time and during deferment periods. Federal Stafford subsidised loans for undergraduate students will have an interest rate of 5.50% (from 1st July 2023 until 1st July 2024).

Federal Stafford Unsubsidised Loans

A Federal Stafford Unsubsidised loan is awarded regardless of need. The interest rate for Stafford Unsubsidised loans is fixed at 5.50% (from 1st July 2023 until 1st July 2024) for undergraduate borrowers and 7.05% (from 1st July 2023 until 1st July 2024) for graduate borrowers.

You are not required to pay the interest on this loan while at university but we recommend that you do. You will be charged interest starting at disbursement until it is paid in full. If the interest accumulates, it will be added to the principal amount of the loan and increase the amount to be repaid.

Fees: Origination fees of 1.057% will be deducted from the gross amount of the Stafford Direct Sub/Unsub Loans you borrow, so you may wish to take this into consideration when determining the amount you need to borrow

Federal Stafford Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependant undergraduate students can borrow a Federal Stafford Parent PLUS Loan to help pay for educational expenses at the university.

Parents can borrow up to the total Estimated Cost of Attendance minus all other sources of financial aid their student receives.

PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents and not the student.

A Parent PLUS loan borrower must meet the same citizenship and residency requirements as the student. The parent must not owe a refund on a Federal student financial aid grant or be in default on a Federal student loan.

A credit check is conducted when your parent begins the loan application process. Undergraduates whose parents do not qualify for a PLUS loan can borrow additional Federal Stafford Unsubsidised loan funds.

The interest rate is fixed at 8.05% (from 1st July 2023 until 1st July 2024) and repayment begins within 60 days after your loan is fully disbursed and lasts ten years.

Fees: Origination fees for Direct Parent PLUS loans are set at 4.228% 

Federal Stafford Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a Federal loan that graduate students with good credit histories may borrow to help pay their educational expenses.

A graduate student may borrow up to the total Cost of Attendance less all other financial aid received by the student.

They also must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Unsubsidised Stafford Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan.

The interest rate is fixed at 8.05% (from 1st July 2023 until 1st July 2024) and repayment begins within 60 days after your loan is fully disbursed and lasts ten years.

Fees: Origination fees for Direct Graduate PLUS loans are set at 4.228% 

Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan and the first payment is due within 60 days after the date the loan is fully disbursed. A Graduate PLUS borrower may receive a deferment while he or she is enrolled on at least a half-time basis at an eligible school. Upon dropping to less than half-time enrolment status, the borrower is not entitled to a grace period on his or her PLUS loans.

The amount in Federal Stafford Direct Loan funds that you are eligible to borrow each academic year is limited by your grade level; whether you are a dependant or an independant student; your financial need; and your cost of attendance.

You cannot borrow more than your financial need or the cost of attendance.

The following annual and aggregate loan limits apply to Federal Stafford Loans:

Undergraduate Dependant Students



FIRST-YEAR UNDERGRADUATE $3,500     $2,000     $5,500    
SECOND-YEAR UNDERGRADUATE $4,500     $2,000     $6,500    
THIRD-YEAR AND BEYOND UNDERGRADUATE $5,500     $2,000     $7,500    


Undergraduate Independant Students


















Postgraduate Students










Stafford Loan Aggregate Loan Limits













Federal Stafford Subsidised and Unsubsidised Loans are available to eligible students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web.This Federal student aid is made available through the William D. Ford Federal Stafford Loan Program to help pay for educational expenses.

For undergraduate students Stafford Subsidised or Stafford Unsubsidised Loan, or a combination of both loans, are based on your financial need.

The information you report on your FAFSA is used to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a calculated formula that allows the University to determine your financial need. To determine your financial need, your EFC is subtracted from your cost of attendance (COA) for need based awards. The University will also deduct any other aid paid to you or on your behalf for educational expenses. This is referred to as Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA).

Each academic year, the university establishes standard student budgets that use cost of attendance (COA) estimates for awarding financial aid funds.

The budgets reflect typical student expenses and consist of two basic components:

  • Direct educational costs - tuition, fees, books and supplies
  • Indirect (maintenance) costs - accommodation, board and travel

While your costs may vary depending on where you stay, we expect your cost of attendance to be roughly in line with our estimates. If you believe that the costs relating to your education are significantly higher than those we have estimated, you may contact The Student Funding Team to review those costs.

Cost of attendance

Your cost of attendance is calculated by the University having standard maximum costs and using attendance of 52 weeks for postgraduate research courses, 45 weeks for postgraduate taught course, and 31 weeks for undergraduate courses. 

Average cost of living                            GBP (£)
Room rent  £200 per week
Board, food and power  £110 per week
Travel  £30 per week
Books and copying  £20 per week
Flights  £1,100 per annum
Visa application, NHS surcharge
and flights to interviews (1st year only)
 £1,333 per annum
PC and printer (1st year only)  £620 per annum
US Student Loan fees  Full cost depending on loan amount

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.

We would not allow you to borrow over the calculated cost of attendance. However, please contact the Student Funding Team if you believe your actual costs are higher than those stated above as we may be able to make some adjustments to your Cost of Attendance, however please note that you will be required to provide documentary evidence in support of this and may be asked to justify the additional cost.

The University of Exeter’s school code (OPE) is G09442.


1. Complete your FAFSA

The first step in applying for a US Federal Stafford Loan is to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The Federal School Code for The University of Exeter is G09442. To apply electronically, you must have an FSA ID. Start the application process.

2. Student Information Form - You are also required to complete and sign, the Student information form 2023_4‌‌

As soon as you have submitted your FAFSA & filled in the Student Information Form, please inform us about your application, attach the information form and send to

3. Student Aid Report is generated

Once your FAFSA is completed and processed, it will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR). This is used by the University to determine your eligibility for a loan as stipulated by the U.S. Department of Education.

4. Complete your Entrance Counselling

Except for parent Stafford PLUS Loan borrowers, if you have not previously received a loan, you must complete entrance counselling before the University of Exeter can make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you to understand your responsibilities regarding your loan. You will be able to complete your entrance counselling online.

Complete Entrance Counselling

5. Award Letter is sent to you

After the University receives your SAR and the entrance counseeling is complete, you will receive an Award Letter before the beginning of the semester. The letter details the amount of loans you may be eligible for based on such elements as your Cost of Attendance, your year of study, need and other financial assistance.

You will be required to sign and return an Award Notification letter before any loans can be set up and disbursements made.

6. Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Once you have accepted and returned your Award Notification letter, you can go on to complete the applicable Master Promissory Notes (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loans and any accrued interest and fees to the US Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans.

The MPN is a binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It is important to read and save your MPN because you’ll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferments or forbearances.

*PLEASE NOTE – There are separate MPN’s for the Subsidised/Unsubsidised & Plus loans*:

For the Subsidised/Unsubsidised loans, the two references you provide must have different addresses to each other; however ONE address can be the same as the student.

For the Grad/Parent Plus, the two references you provide must have different addresses to each other AND different from the student (so THREE different addresses in total).

Complete MPN

7. Complete your Entrance Counselling

Except for parent Stafford PLUS Loan borrowers, if you have not previously received a loan, you must complete entrance counselling before the University of Exeter can make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you to understand your responsibilities regarding your loan. You will be able to complete your entrance counselling online.

Complete Entrance Counselling

According to US regulations, the University of Exeter is required to disburse your loan funds in multiple instalments that coincide with the allocated payment periods dependant on your level of study (for example, Postgraduate Taught, postgraduate research or Undergraduate) 

The disbursement dates for Federal Aid loans will vary depending on your level of study.

The actual amount in GBP (£) you receive will vary depending on the exchange rate from USD ($) to GBP (£) at the time of disbursement.

The following disbursement dates are when the Stafford Direct loan funds are requested from the Department of Education by the University of Exeter

Undergraduate (UG):

3rd October 2023

30th January 2024

Postgraduate Taught (PGT):

3rd October 2023

30th January 2024

18th June 2024

Postgraduate Research (PGR):

3rd October 2023

26th March 2024

When will you receive your disbursements?

You will receive each disbursement within 7 working days after the listed disbursement dates above.

All disbursements are subject to the following conditions

  • You are making satisfactory academic progress
  • You are enrolled at least part time
  • You are not in the USA
  • You have not violated any federal compliance regulations (repayment default, fraud, drugs)

Following each disbursement, you will receive an e-mail with a disclosure statement attached advising you that a disbursement with an amount in USD ($) is due. The disclosure statement will give instruction on what to do should you choose to cancel or reduce the loan amount disbursed. Please email the student funding team at as early as possible to advise us if this is something you would like to do, clearly stating you wish to cancel or reduce your loan.

If you do not give notice in advance that you no longer require the loan disbursement, then you will be responsible for all interest charges and for its repayment as per your MPN.

It is advisable that when you arrive in the UK, you have sufficient funds to cover your immediate living costs while your loan disbursements are pending. Depending on the scheme you have applied for, it can take up to 10 working days for your loan proceeds to be made available to you.  You must be registered with the University for a loan to be disbursed.


To prevent delays in the drawdown of your first loan disbursement, please complete and submit the Student information form 2023_4 and send to by 31st August. Any applications received after this date will still be reviewed but may result in a delay to your loan being available for the dates listed above.

How your loan funds will be received

The University of Exeter will receive your loan proceeds, and the funds will be applied to your student account to offset any charges applicable for that payment period. These charges can include University owned accommodation and tuition fees. Convera (formally Western Union Business Solutions), will return any surplus proceeds of your loan as a refund direct to your UK bank account in GBP (£) on behalf of the University of Exeter.

Convera will contact each student who has indicated to the Student Funding Team that they will be receiving funding from America by either direct or private loans. A password protected email will be sent to you, asking you add a UK sort code and account number into a Convera online portal. This account will be used for any applicable refund of US loan funds only.

If you do not have a UK bank account when the email is sent, you can visit a high street bank with identification and proof of address and request an account in your name. Once you have a bank account, please let the student funding team know and we can initiate a new email to be sent so you can add your bank account information.

You will be informed of the amount your loan has raised in GBP (£) via a notification email provided by Convera.

If your loan disbursement is not enough to cover the charges on your account applicable for that disbursement there will be no refund to your bank account and you will need to arrange to pay any outstanding balance. Please do this by opening a SID enquiry for the attention of the Accounts Receivable team. 

Opening a UK Bank Account

It can take up to 10 days to open a bank account in the UK and you cannot open an account until you have registered as a student and have a verifiable address. For more information on how to open a bank account, please see the international student support pages.

How much money you will get and in which currency

The US Government deducts an origination fee from each disbursement which is currently 1.057% from both subsidised and unsubsidised loans, and 4.228% from PLUS loans. The amount after the origination fee that you are going to receive will be detailed in the disclosure statement the University sends you with each disbursement.

The money is transferred to the UK and converted into GBP (£). The University/Convera are not allowed to charge any fee or receive any commission for processing your loan, so the money received by you is exactly what the University/Convera received in GBP (£).

The University will deduct tuition fees and your University owned accommodation charges (if due) for the payment period from each disbursement. Please note if you have a private rental agreement with an agency or landlord outside of the University, it will be your responsibility to pay the accommodation charges

Any credit balance is paid to you in GBP (£) directly into your UK bank account.

If the value of your disbursement does not cover all the deductions, you will not receive a refund. It will be the student’s responsibility to pay any shortfall in tuition and any accommodation fees.


Fee instalments and paying the remainder of your fees

Your tuition fees will be split into a number of instalments equal to the number of loan disbursements you are due to receive, with corresponding due dates. When your loan disbursements are received, they will be allocated to your tuition and University accommodation fee instalments before the remainder is refunded to you, unless you request otherwise.

If your loan disbursements do not cover your fees in full, you will need to pay the remainder of your fees. Please ensure that you check your student statement regularly after a loan disbursement is released to see if any remaining fees need to be paid.



If you have previous loans and need repayment deferment you will need to request or obtain an in-school deferment form from your previous lender and send this to the Student Funding Team by email to

We are not able to sign any deferment forms until you have registered.

The completed form will be returned to you online via the Student Information Desk (SID)

Withdrawing or Interrupting from your Studies

If you withdraw or interrupt from your programme you must inform the Student Funding Team by e-mail ( and complete the University interruption or withdrawal request form. You can obtain the request form from the Faculty Hub desks.

It is a requirement of the University to complete a return of Title IV calculation to determine if any portion of the loans you have received up to the point of your interruption or withdrawal will need to be returned to the US Department of Education. The Student Funding team will notify you by email if any funds need to be returned, and how this will be actioned.

Please view our Return to Title IV policy for further details.

Entrance Counselling

Before your loan application can be completed, you must complete Entrance Counselling. This ensures that you understand the terms and conditions of your loan and your rights and responsibilities. 

Entrance Counselling

Exit Counselling

Before you withdraw, graduate, or drop below half-time attendance (regardless if you plan to transfer to another school), regulations require that you complete an exit counselling session for your Stafford Direct Subsidised and Unsubsidised Loans. The counselling session provides information about how to manage your student loans.

Begin Exit Counselling.


We are required by US federal law to define and enforce standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

The SAP policy applies to all students taking Federal aid loans with the University, specifically Direct Subsidised, Direct Unsubsidised, Grad Plus and Parent Plus loans.

Satisfactory Academic progress will need to be met before disbursements 2 (all study levels) & 3 (PGT students only) of loan funding can be released and is measured by Qualitative and Quantitative standards.

If a student fails to meet SAP, then the Student Funding Team will reach out to individual students and advise what the next steps should be: providing details of warning and probation status.

Full details of the SAP process and the procedures to be followed if a student fails to meet SAP are detailed within the University's Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Return of Title IV funds

If you receive financial aid and then withdraw from your course or drop below the half-time enrolment requirement, the University must determine whether any of the money you have received in Title IV funds must be returned to the US Federal Aid Programme.

The amount of Title IV programme assistance that you have earnt up to the point of your withdrawal is determined by a specific formula using worksheets and software provided by the US Department of Education.

You may be required to pay back money to your loan provider from the Direct Loans you have received. The University may also have to repay funds to the US Department of Education, and when this happens, we may raise an invoice to the student and request payment. 

The student funding team will reach out to any student in receipt of US Federal loans following a notification of interruption or withdrawal with guidance on what the next steps will be.

Full details of the process for withdrawing, how we calculate the amount of funds to be returned, further details on leave of absence and what happens to your loans when you return are detailed within the Universities return to Return to Title IV



An interruption in a student's program of study in the context of Title IV funds refers to the specific period during a program when a student is not in attendance and will return to complete the program. 

Official Withdrawal

A “withdrawal” refers to a student’s intent to completely terminate studies at the University with no expectation of return. Students who subsequently decide to return to their studies must re-apply for admission through the University’s Admissions Office.

Unofficial Withdrawal

An unofficial withdrawal is one where the University has not received notice from the student that the student has ceased or will cease attending their program of studies at the University.


For full information regarding Interruptions and Withdrawals, please view the University TQA manual

If you withdraw or interrupt from your programme you must inform the Student Funding Team by e-mail: 

  • Completion/Graduation Rates

You can find out more about progression rates, qualifications, graduate survey data and more via the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA). Our regulatory body, the Office for Students, provides information and reports on the teaching, learning and outcomes for our students and our course provision at Exeter.

For full and independent details of all campus crime, go to or and enter the school’s postcode or the postcode of your residence to see details of all crimes in those areas.

Exeter University is recognised as a higher learning institution degree-awarding body as listed by the UK Department for Education.

  • Student services or Student services Directory

Exeter University can provide information and support for all students with disabilities. Information about the service, including contact details and their policies, can be found on their webpage.

To prevent a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an agent with respect to private education loans, all staff at the University with responsibility for Federal and private education loans from the USA are prohibited from:-

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • Receiving gifts from a lender, a guarantor, or a loan servicer
  • Contracting arrangements providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender
  • Directing borrowers to specific lenders or refusing or delaying loan certifications
  • Offers of funds for private loans
  • Call centre or financial aid office staffing assistance
  • Advisory board compensation

The University does not recommend any private lender, however to our knowledge there are limited private lenders that makes loans available to US citizens receiving their degree at a foreign school.

For further information on private loans, please see GEMS Smart Option webpages.

  • Vaccination policy

Although Exeter University does not require students to be vaccinated, the UK Department of Health recommends that international students be vaccinated for the following diseases before beginning their studies in the UK:

  • Meningitis (ACWY)
  • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella also known as German measles)
  • Diphtheria
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Tuberculosis

Prospective students should check with their local medical practitioner to ensure that their vaccinations are current, and for up-to-date information relevant to the UK.

  • Net Price Calculator: The net price of your tuition fees is the price stated on the Table of Fees. The cost of living including your tuition fees and conversion to US dollars is by use of the University's ‌ which you can download and complete.

The details of all disbursed Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Graduate/Parent PLUS Loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is maintained by the US Department of Education. This information will be accessible to guarantee agencies, lenders, and schools, determined by the US Dept. of Education to be authorised users of the data system.

  • Entrance and Exit Counselling for Student Loan Borrowers

Prior to any origination of Stafford Direct Loans, applicants (where applicable) are required to complete Entrance Counselling which is conducted through the website. The counselling procedure contains information about the rights and responsibilities of students and schools under Title IV, HEA (Higher Education Act 1965) loan programs.

Exit counselling provides important information to prepare the student to repay their federal student loan(s).

Students who have received a Stafford Subsidised, Unsubsidised or Parent/Graduate PLUS loan under the Stafford Direct Loan Program, must complete Exit Counselling on the website each time they drop below half-time enrolment, graduate, or leave school. This counselling complies with all Federal Exit Counselling requirements.

Federal Copyright law does not apply in the UK; however, the UK is covered by its own Copyright law (the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) of similar standing, enforcement and penalties. This can be found at the UK Government website.

The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Gramm-Leach Bliley (GLB) Act does not apply within the UK. However, the UK Government has similar legislation designed to protect personal data called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (as amended).

In early 2022, we were made aware that the policy surrounding Veteran Affairs (VA) funding had changed.

Although the University of Exeter is approved to administer VA funding to our registered students, the VA need to approve each programme an eligible student enrols on.

In late 2021 the process was reviewed by VA and significantly revised. The new process now requires Universities to complete a 24 step checklist for each new programme request.

The University is looking at this checklist and are sourcing the information required to determine if we can satisfy each requirement set by VA.

We have also been advised that the current turnaround time by VA for new programmes to be approved is approximately 12 months. Until approved, funding will not be guaranteed

The guidance we would therefore like to offer our students who are eligible for VA funding and would like to attend University of Exeter, is that you should not be reliant on the VA funds to cover your expenses, as we are unable to confirm at this time when and if your funding will be received.

If you have individual questions surrounding VA benefits, then please log an enquiry with the Student information helpdesk (SID), and where we can, we will provide you with the most recent update. Otherwise, you may wish to contact your VA representative directly to enquire on wait times for funding.

Please be aware that proceeds from VA will be received in USD and converted to GBP at the daily exchange rate. The funds will be applied to your student account to offset any outstanding University charges. Where the amount of VA benefits does not cover the outstanding university charges in full, it is the responsibility of the student to clear any outstanding balance. The University are unable to request additional funds over and above the cost of advertised tuition fee costs to compensate for fluctuations in exchange rate.