am i eligible for a us federal loan?

Page last updated:
06 Sep 2021

Check the personal and programme criteria for US Federal Loans to see if you qualify to apply for one.

On this page you will find eligibility requirements for US Federal Loans, information on study abroad and an introduction to private loans for students who aren’t eligible for a Federal Loan.

Am I eligible for a loan?

To be eligible for a Federal Loan, you must:

  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid social security number
  • Hold a high-school diploma or equivalent
  • Not have any previous convictions for drug-related offences
  • Not be in default on any prior student loan or owe a refund on any grant
  • Be registered for Selective Services if you are male (or be exempt from registering)
  • Be accepted on to at least a half-time (part-time) programme of study and hold a valid student ID number
  • Not be undertaking any amount of study or research in the US during part of your programme

Before you consider applying for Federal Loans, you need to think about whether you can afford to make the repayments. A repayment estimator is available to assist with looking at available repayment options and to help you plan your Federal Loans.

You can see the full criteria on the studentaid.gov website. In addition to this criteria, students must also be studying an eligible, degree-bearing course and make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) throughout the course.

All degree courses are eligible with the exception of:

  • Nursing

Programmes of study for which we cannot certify US loans are:

  • Distance learning and correspondence programmes
  • Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
  • Programmes which have compulsory periods of study abroad
  • Foundation programme (unless an integral part of the degree programme)
  • Diploma and certificate programmes

Please note, under the CARES Act the US Department of Education will allow funding through the loans programme, for any part of an otherwise eligible programme at a foreign institution to be offered via distance learning education, if the foreign institution’s government has declared a public health emergency related to Covid-19.

For courses where there is a compulsory Erasmus / study abroad then the whole course is not eligible for Federal Funding and only a private loan can be taken out.

If a student chooses to have a period of study abroad and the institute where the course is being taught is not certified to administer the US loans programme, then the student is not eligible to take Federal Loans out for the duration of the time abroad and will only be entitled to Federal Loans to cover the period of time studied at Leeds Beckett.

If the institution abroad is part of the Title IV US Loans Programme, the student can apply to that institute for their Federal Funding, for the time they are studying there and then to Leeds Beckett for any remaining period of study undertaken at Leeds Beckett.

A student who is enrolled on a programme at Leeds Beckett will not have the opportunity to complete any part of the programme with one of our overseas collaborative partners.

For more information please see our full list of ineligible courses

Programmes which involve any credited study in the United States (US) are ineligible for Federal Student Aid.

PhD candidates that are intending to perform research in the US should contact the US Loans Office for advice before making any arrangements. The basic rule is that independent research done by an individual student in the US for less than one year is permitted, if it is conducted during the dissertation phase of a doctoral programme under the guidance of faculty, and the research can only be performed in a facility in the US and nowhere else outside the US.

All degree courses are eligible with the exception of:

  • Nursing

Programmes of study for which we cannot certify US loans are:

  • Distance learning and correspondence programmes
  • Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
  • Programmes which have compulsory periods of study abroad
  • Foundation programme (unless an integral part of the degree programme)
  • Diploma and certificate programmes

Please note, under the CARES Act the US Department of Education will allow funding through the loans programme, for any part of an otherwise eligible programme at a foreign institution to be offered via distance learning education, if the foreign institution’s government has declared a public health emergency related to Covid-19.

For courses where there is a compulsory Erasmus / study abroad then the whole course is not eligible for Federal Funding and only a private loan can be taken out.

If a student chooses to have a period of study abroad and the institute where the course is being taught is not certified to administer the US loans programme, then the student is not eligible to take Federal Loans out for the duration of the time abroad and will only be entitled to Federal Loans to cover the period of time studied at Leeds Beckett.

If the institution abroad is part of the Title IV US Loans Programme, the student can apply to that institute for their Federal Funding, for the time they are studying there and then to Leeds Beckett for any remaining period of study undertaken at Leeds Beckett.

A student who is enrolled on a programme at Leeds Beckett will not have the opportunity to complete any part of the programme with one of our overseas collaborative partners.

Programmes which involve any credited study in the United States (US) are ineligible for Federal Student Aid.

PhD candidates that are intending to perform research in the US should contact the US Loans Office for advice before making any arrangements. The basic rule is that independent research done by an individual student in the US for less than one year is permitted, if it is conducted during the dissertation phase of a doctoral programme under the guidance of faculty, and the research can only be performed in a facility in the US and nowhere else outside the US.

What if I'm not eligible for Federal Loans?

If a student is ineligible for Federal Loans, students can look into whether they are eligible to apply for a private loan. Private loans can also be an option for students who enrol on programmes of study that do not qualify for Federal Funding.

Our university does not recommend any private lender. However, as far as we are aware there is only one private lender that makes loans available to US citizens. Find out more information on the Global Education Management Services website.

Code of conduct concerning loans

In order to prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an agent with respect to private educational loans, all agents at our university with the responsibility for US loans are prohibited from:

  • Revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender
  • Receiving gifts from lender, a guarantor or a loan servicer
  • Contracting arrangement providing financial benefits from any lender
  • Directing borrowers to particular lenders or refusing or delaying loan certifications
  • Offer of funds for private loans
  • Advisory board compensation

contact the us loans team

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