Student Life Centre

How You Apply

Secure Email Service 

It is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education that the University uses a secure email service to protect sensitive information. The University uses a secure email service called Egress Switch. The easy-to-use encryption ensures that sensitive information is protected, controlled and exchanged securely.

All Direct Loan applicants will need to use this service to submit all Direct Loan application documents and to contact the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will be unable to accept applications from or correspond with applicants who are not using this secure email service due to data protection restrictions.

To create your free email account please click on the “create it for free” link in the Switch Secure Data Exchange Web Access Sign In web page.

Applications Open

2017/18 Academic Year
The Financial Aid Office will be accepting loan applications for the 2017/18 academic year from 2nd May 2017.

To apply you will need to send a secure email with the attachments detailed in the application flowchart to usfinancialaid@sussex.ac.uk. Attachments must be submitted as PDF files.

Applications will be processed in strict order of receipt.

Applications Close

2017/18 Academic Year
The deadline for loan applications to be submitted to the Financial Aid Office for the 2017/18 academic year is 15th June 2018. (The 2017/18 academic year starts in September 2017).

2016/17 Academic Year
The deadline for loan applications to be submitted to the Financial Aid Office for the 2016/17 academic year is 16th June 2017. (The 2016/17 academic year started in September 2016).

Responsible borrowing

Watch this video to learn about your responsibilities as a borrower and what you should consider when taking out loans for University.

Which federal loans are available?

Graduates

Direct Unsubsidized Loans
As a graduate you will typically be eligible to borrow up to a maximum of $20,500 each year through a Direct Unsubsidized Loan

You are not eligible for a Direct Subsidized Loan as this type of loan was eliminated for graduates in July 2012.

The amount you are entitled to borrow will be determined by the information from your Student Aid Report (SAR) and whether you will be receiving any other funding. The maximum total debt you are allowed from Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans over the duration of your studies is $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of this amount may be in Subsidized Loans). This aggregate limit includes all federal loans you received as an undergraduate.

You will be charged interest on your Direct Unsubsidized Loan while in school and there is a loan fee. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each of your loan disbursements. The percentage varies depending on when your loan is first disbursed. You can find loan fees and interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website.

Direct PLUS Loans
As a graduate you must borrow through a Direct Unsubsidized Loan first. You may then be able to borrow from the limit of your Direct Unsubsidized Loan up to your cost of attendance through a Direct PLUS Loan. You cannot borrow more than the rest of your cost of attendance and should not borrow more than you can afford. Direct PLUS Loans are subject to credit rating.  

You will be charged interest on your Direct PLUS Loan while in school and there is a loan fee. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each of your loan disbursements. The percentage varies depending on when your loan is first disbursed.You can find loan fees and interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website.

Undergraduates:

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
If there is a difference between your cost of attendance and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) you have "financial need" and may be eligible for a Direct Subsidized Loan. There is no requirement for you to demonstrate "financial need" to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Your Direct Loan eligibility will vary based on the information from your Student Aid Report (SAR) and your academic level:

Dependent UndergraduatesAnnual Loan Limits
 Initial Subsidized LoanAdditional Unsubsidized LoanCombined (Maximum) Levels
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

As a dependent undergraduate student the maximum total debt you are allowed from Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans over the course of your studies is $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in Subsidized Loans).

Independent UndergraduatesAnnual Loan Limits
 Initial Subsidized LoanAdditional Unsubsidized LoanCombined (Maximum) Levels
First Year Undergraduate $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Second Year Undergraduate $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Third Year and Beyond Undergraduate $5,500 $7,000 $12,500

NB: The above amounts also apply to dependent students whose parents have applied for but were unable to get a Parent PLUS loan.

As an independent undergraduate student the maximum total debt you are allowed from Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans over the course of your studies is $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in Subsidized Loans).

While you are in school interest will not be charged on your Direct Subsidized Loans but it will be charged on your Direct Unsubsidized Loans. For both types of loan there is a loan fee. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each of your loan disbursements. The percentage varies depending on when your loan is first disbursed. You can find loan fees and interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website.

If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” You can find further information on the Federal Student Aid website.

Direct PLUS Loans
If you are a dependent undergraduate your parent can take out a Direct PLUS Loan under their name. They may borrow from the limit of your Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans up to your cost of attendance. They cannot borrow more than the rest of your cost of attendance and the loan is subject to credit rating.

Interest will be charged while you are in school and there is a loan fee. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each of your loan disbursements.The percentage varies depending on when your loan is first disbursed. You can find loan fees and interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website

Cost of attendance

The cost of attendance is an estimate of educational expenses and is based on average rather than actual expenses for different categories of students. Schools are only allowed to certify up to 'reasonable' costs with the cost of attendance being for education, not for luxuries. The University determines the cost of attendance but accepts that some students circumstances may vary.   

Living costs
If you are a single self-supporting undergraduate it is estimated that you should budget for around £11,160 for the nine month period from September 2017 to June 2018 (39 weeks), in addition to tuition fees.

If you are a single self-supporting graduate it is estimated that you should budget for around £14,880 for the full academic year (52 weeks), in addition to tuition fees.

These are the living costs figures that will be used when calculating your cost of attendance and a breakdown can be found in the prospectus:

If you have a disability you are advised to contact the Financial Aid Office as an allowance for expenses related to your disability may be included in your cost of attendance. If you have dependants you are also advised to contact the Financial Aid Office as an allowance for costs related to dependant care whilst studying may be included in your cost of attendance.

Financial assistance
If you have applied for or will be receiving any financial assistance including a scholarship, a bursary, a studentship or a stipend you must notify the Financial Aid Office as the award may affect the loan amount you are eligible to receive.

Tuition fees
Tuition fees can be found in the University's prospectuses:

Undergraduate fees
Masters fees
PhD fees

Fees are subject to review and increase on an annual basis.

Example cost of attendance calculations:

This example is for an undergraduate starting their degree in September 2017, studying for a BA in English:

Tuition Fee (£) £15,100
Living Expenses (39 Weeks) (£) £11,160
UKVI Visa Fees (£) £328
Immigration Health Charge (£) £525
Three Return Flights (£) £2,400
TOTAL (£) £29,513
Exchange Rate: £1 = $1.49036
TOTAL (COST OF ATTENDANCE) ($) $43,985

This example is for a graduate studying for a 1 year full time MSc in Management and Finance, starting in September 2017:

Tuition Fee (£) £17,450
Living Expenses (52 Weeks) (£) £14,880
UKVI Visa Fees (£) £328
Immigration Health Charge (£) £225
Three Return Flights (£) £2,400
TOTAL (£) £35,283
Exchange Rate: £1 = $1.49036
TOTAL (COST OF ATTENDANCE) ($) $52,584

From 2nd May 2017 the exchange rate of £1 = $1.49036 will be used when calculating your cost of attendance for the 2017/18 academic year. This rate was the period high for 10th March 2016 to 10th March 2017 (www.xe.com). Please note that your cost of attendance cannot be altered to reflect any fluctuations in the exchange rate. This includes fluctuations that occur before you start or during your program of study.

How to apply for a Direct Loan

You need to download the Application Flowchart [PDF 287.57KB] and the Student Details Form [PDF 64.03KB]

Follow the instructions in the flowchart and complete the Student Details Form. Then send a secure email with the attachments detailed in the flowchart and below to usfinancialaid@sussex.ac.uk. The attachments must be submitted as PDF files.

Prepare a secure email to usfinancialaid@sussex.ac.uk. In the subject field type 'American Student Loan' and your name as surname then forename, like this: American Student Loan SMITH JOHN.

Attach to the secure email these documents as PDF files:

1. Your completed Student Details Form (PDF)
2. Copy of MPN for Direct Subsidized and / or Direct Unsubsidized Loan (PDF)
3. Direct Subsidized and / or Direct Unsubsidized Loan Entrance Counseling completion (PDF)
4. Scanned copy of your High School Diploma or Undergraduate Degree Certificate and Transcript (PDF)
5. Scholarship / Studentship / Funding Award Letter (if applicable) (PDF)

If applying for a Direct PLUS (Graduate / Parent)  Loan also attach:

6. Copy of MPN for Direct PLUS Loan (PDF)
7. Accepted Credit Check confirmation (PDF)
8. Direct PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling completion (PDF)
9. Copy of Endorsers Addendum (if applicable) (PDF)

If exempt from Selective Service also attach:

10. Copy of proof of exemption such as Certificate of Exemption (PDF)

If any documents are missing from your secure email we cannot process your application. We need you to send all the required documents together as PDF attachments to one secure email. Please do not send documents separately at different times as each email will be rejected as incomplete. The same applies if you send us your documents by post.

Secure Email Service 

It is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education that the University uses a secure email service to protect sensitive information. The University uses a secure email service called Egress Switch. The easy-to-use encryption ensures that sensitive information is protected, controlled and exchanged securely.

All Direct Loan applicants will need to use this service to submit all Direct Loan application documents and to contact the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will be unable to accept applications from or correspond with applicants who are not using this secure email service due to data protection restrictions.

To create your free email account please click on the “create it for free” link in the Switch Secure Data Exchange Web Access Sign In web page.

There are no short cuts or ways to expedite the process. The quickest and easiest way to ensure your loan application is processed is to follow the flowchart in the right order.

Applications will be processed in strict order of receipt.

We will advise you when we start work on your application and when your loan award letter is on its way. Only the original signed letter from the University on University headed paper and signed by an authorised University officer is acceptable to UK Visas and Immigration. The letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration and nothing else will be accepted so please do not request an email or fax or scanned copy.

Further Information to help you with your application

FAFSA

Applications start with FAFSA. You will need to complete a financial aid form through the FAFSA website to generate the essential Student Aid Report (SAR). This will include listing the school codes for the institutions that you wish to be able to access your information. The code for the University of Sussex is: G06699.

While you are not required to have an FSA ID (username and password) to complete and submit a FAFSA on the Web application, it is the fastest way to sign your application and have it processed. It is also the only way to access or correct your information online, or to pre-fill a FAFSA on the Web application with information from your previous year’s FAFSA.

You can create an FSA ID and find answers to frequently asked questions on the Federal Student Aid website. You must create your own FSA ID. You are not authorized to create an FSA ID on behalf of someone else, including a family member. If you are a dependent student your parents will need one too.

Your SAR will be sent electronically to the University three business days after you have completed your FAFSA. 

If you are unsure whether you will need to provide parental information in your FAFSA, this video will help you to determine whether you are an independent or dependent student.

FAFSA: Do I Have To Provide My Parents

Independent student

For the purposes of federal aid, a student is considered independent if he or she meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • the student is at least 24 years old by 31 December of the award year;
  • the student is an orphan or ward/dependent of the court, or was a ward/dependent of the court until he or she reached age 18;
  • the student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • the student is working on a master's or doctorate program at the beginning of the award year for which the FAFSA is completed;
  • the student is married as of the date the FAFSA is completed;
  • the student has at least one child who receives more than half of his or her support from the student; and/or
  • the student has a dependent, other than a spouse or a child, who lives with the student and receives more than half of his or her support from the student at the time the FAFSA is completed and through 30 June of the award year.

Dependent student

The student is considered dependent if they do not meet any of the above criteria for an independent student.


Watch this video to learn how to create an FSA ID.

Direct Loan MPN Completion

You must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) electronically via StudentLoans.gov for each type of loan you wish to apply for. The MPN is the legal document which you sign agreeing to repay the loan and agreeing to the loan terms and conditions. Loans must be applied for on an annual basis at institutions outside of the United States. You will therefore need to complete a new MPN for each academic year that you require a loan.

You will need your FSA ID (username and password) to electronically sign the MPN. This is the same FSA ID used to complete the FAFSA.

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Completion

If you are a first-time borrower you must complete Entrance Counseling before you can receive a Direct Loan.

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling is completed electronically via StudentLoans.gov. You will need your FSA ID (username and password) to complete the Entrance Counseling. This is the same FSA ID used to complete the FAFSA.

You will need to complete Entrance Counseling for each type of loan you borrow (e.g. Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Direct PLUS Loan). If you are a parent you are not required to complete Entrance Counseling for a Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan.

If you are a continuing borrower it is recommended that you complete the counseling each year that you apply for a Direct Loan as a refresher.

Credit Check for Direct PLUS Loan

You will need to complete a credit check as part of the application process for a Direct PLUS Loan.

You will need to send us a screen-shot as evidence that you have completed a credit check and the result. If you miss this stage you will have to wait 24 hours for the email from the US Department of Education. If that email only states that you have completed a credit check but does not give the result, you will need to go through the credit check and screen-shot again. Each application for a credit check is logged on your credit rating and may affect your credit rating in the future; you will therefore want to limit the number of times you run a credit check.

PLUS Credit Counseling Module:

If you are a parent of a dependent undergraduate student or a graduate / professional student with an adverse credit history but have qualified for a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser or by documenting extenuating circumstances, you must complete the PLUS Credit Counseling Module.

You will need to log into StudentLoans.gov to complete the counseling.

The PLUS Credit Counseling Module will help you to:

  • Understand the costs and obligations that come with borrowing a PLUS Loan
  • Make careful decisions about taking on loan debt

Please note that if you are a graduate / professional student required to complete the PLUS Credit Counseling Module, you must complete this module in addition to the Direct PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling.

Loan Award Letter for Visa Application

Once your loan has been approved the Financial Aid Office will send a loan award letter to the address on your Master Promissory Note (MPN). The wording and format of the letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration as acceptable proof of funding. Only the original letter on headed paper and signed by an authorised University administrator will be accepted by UK Visas and Immigration.

If you need to apply for a visa and are dependent on federal aid for proof of funding it is advisable not to apply for the visa until you have received the loan award letter confirming your loan and disbursement amounts and dates. Please consult the UK Visas and Immigration (Home Office) webpage for further guidance on documentation you will be required to submit with your student visa application.

The International Student Support Office at the university also provide support services for international students including immigration matters.

Useful Direct Loan Websites

The websites below are useful sources of information on applying for federal aid, loan details, terms and conditions, repaying student loans and for answers to frequently asked questions:    

Contact Details

The Financial Aid Office are responsible for administering Direct Loans at the University of Sussex. Our contact details are:

Email: usfinancialaid@sussex.ac.uk

Telephone:
Marie Hopkins (+44 1273 877307)
Mandy Healy (+44 1273 873838)   
Katy Viflic (+44 1273 678915)

Address: Financial Aid Office, Student Life Centre, Bramber House, Level 1, North Side, University of Sussex, Falmer, East Sussex, BN1 9QU, England

Other Contacts

Financial Aid Administrators

Marie Hopkins, Mandy Healy and Katy Viflic

E usfinancialaid@sussex.ac.uk

T +44 1273 873838
T +44 1273 678915
T +44 1273 877307