How to apply for US federal loans

To apply for a loan you must follow the application process outlined below. You should only start the process once you have had an offer from UWE Bristol.

Please ensure that you apply in plenty of time as the approval process can take up to four weeks or longer if there are difficulties with your application. It is your responsibility to ensure that you submit a complete loan application in good time to meet any deadlines.

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.

Ensure you have used the correct school code for UWE Bristol on your FAFSA.

The UWE Bristol school code is: G21948.  

If you have not yet been allocated a place at UWE Bristol, please do not complete your FAFSA yet.

Step 2 – Complete your PLUS loan request (if applicable)

If you are intending to apply for a PLUS loan (or your parent will be applying for a Parent PLUS loan), you (or your parent) will need to complete a PLUS loan request on

Use the school code G21948  on the PLUS loan request. The US Department of Education may also request some applicants complete an online PLUS loan counselling module.

Step 3 – Complete your Master Promissory Note(s) (MPNs)


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


Complete up to two MPNs: one for the Unsubsidised loan and one for the Grad PLUS loan. MPNs are completed on Use the UWE Bristol school code G21948. 

As we are a foreign school, new MPNs must be completed for each year of study. Please complete an MPN for each type of loan you are taking.

Step 4 – 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 any institution, you do not need to complete this step.  

Complete your entrance counselling on 

Step 5 – Forward your MPN and entrance counselling to UWE Bristol

We are not automatically notified when a student has selected our institution on their FAFSA.  Therefore, once you have completed steps 1-4, please email us at with a copy your signed MPN and a screenshot of your complete entrance counselling and let us know you are awaiting a Cost of Attendance from UWE Bristol. 

Step 6 – Complete UWE Bristol's Cost of attendance (CoA) form

A Cost of Attendance (CoA) will be emailed to you once you have completed Steps 1-4 in the UWE Bristol Loan Application Process.

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 UWE Bristol is set by the University and is increased in line with inflation for each academic year. These educational costs relate only to you, the student. These costs cannot include costs for partners or children (other than childcare or nursery costs).

These broad based costs can be broken down as follows as a guide as to how much you may need for your year of study:


£ Per week

$ per week*


£ Per year

$ per year *

Room including utilities






Board including food/internet
























Tier 4 PBS charges (new students only)






Immigration Health Surcharge






Flights (two round trips)






1% origination fee charge on Direct Loans






Sub Total






  •  *Calculated at a conversion rate of £1 = $1.40
  • Please note the cost of attendance is an estimate of your maximum costs. Expenditure from student to student can vary greatly and it may be possible for students on a budget to spend significantly less.

If you are in receipt of scholarship or bursary funding, either from the UWE Bristol or another source, you must inform us so that this can be factored into your Cost of Attendance. Failure to do so will result in a recalculation and reduction of your loan later in the academic year when it is discovered you are in receipt of additional sources of funding.

Whilst your CoA can include Travel, we cannot issue loan payments before the beginning of the academic year (the first disbursement date will be in October) so you should not rely on your first payment to finance your travel to UWE Bristol.

While your costs may vary depending on where you stay in UWE Bristol, we expect your cost of attendance to be roughly in line with our estimates.

If you believe that your costs are significantly higher, please email explaining why you need more funds than indicated in your original cost of attendance and provide proof of these higher costs.

Step 7 - Proof of funding for visa purposes

Once your Cost of Attendance is complete and your federal loan(s) have been processed by UWE Bristol we will send you a 'Notification of Student Loan letter which will tell you how much you will receive in loans and when you will receive them.

This letter will be sufficient for proof of your loan amounts for the academic year for the purposes of applying for your visa.

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