How to apply

Find out how to appy for a Federal Direct Loan.

How to apply for a Direct Loan

The Financial Aid Office will be accepting loan applications for the 2022/23 academic year from 3 May 2022. Please note that applications will be processed in strict order of receipt. 

Notification of Student Loan Letters (evidence of funding for student visa applications) will be issued from July 2022 to eligible students who have submitted a complete application.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    Applications start with FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). We will use the information from your FAFSA to assist in determining your eligibility for Direct Loans.

    FAFSA applications for 2022/23 can be submitted from 1 October 2021. Complete the FAFSA on the StudentAid.gov website.

    Once you have completed your FAFSA, the US Department of Education will process the information to produce a Student Aid Report (SAR). When you receive a copy of your SAR please review the information carefully, especially the section called Comments About Your Information. You may need to make corrections and resubmit your application or you may need to provide further information or documentary evidence, for example, proof of your US citizenship.

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

    Direct PLUS loan

    If you’re applying for a Direct PLUS loan, you must apply either as a graduate/professional student, or a parent of a student.

    Direct Parent PLUS Credit Balance Refund

    It is the University's normal policy to refund directly to the student any credit balance created by the Direct Parent PLUS Loan, after tuition, accommodation and any other charges have been deducted. If you agree to your dependent receiving any credit balance from your loan, you will need to complete and return via secure email a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Borrower Refund Request Form [DOCX 22.71KB].

  2. Accept your offer of a place at Sussex on an eligible programme

    You must have accepted an offer of a place on an eligible programme at the University of Sussex, to study on at least a half-time basis, before your loan can be processed.

    We will only confirm your cost of attendance if you have accepted an offer of a place at the University of Sussex on an eligible programme.

  3. Complete Direct Loan entrance counseling

    You need to complete Direct Loan entrance counseling each year before you can receive a Direct Loan. The US Department of Education requires you to complete entrance counselling to ensure that you understand your loan responsibilities and obligations. You will find a sample repayment plan included in your entrance counselling completion summary.

  4. Complete Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)

    You must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for each type of loan you wish to borrow. The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees to the US Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans and your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

    At universities outside of the United States loans must be applied for on an annual basis. You will therefore need to complete a new Direct Loan MPN for each academic year that you borrow Direct Loans at the University of Sussex.

  5. Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

    Each year student and parent borrowers must complete Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement by logging into StudentAid.gov. You will need your FSA ID (username and password) to access StudentAid.gov.

    • if this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay the loan
    • if you have existing federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much you can borrow.
  6. Create secure email account

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

    All Direct Loan applicants (students and parents) will need to use this service to submit all Direct Loan application documents and documents to 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.

    Create your free Egress email account here.

  7. Send documents via secure email to Financial Aid Office

    You need to download and complete a Student Details Form [DOC 48.5KB] and a Voluntary Consent for Electronic Transactions Form [DOCX 22.03KB]

    Then you will need to prepare a secure email (via Egress) to send to usfinancialaid@sussex.ac.uk. In the subject field, type ‘Federal Direct Loan’ and your surname then forename (e.g. Federal Direct Loan WILSON EMMA). Attach the following documents (as PDFs) to the email:

    • your completed Student Details Form
    • your completed Voluntary Consent for Electronic Transactions Form and your parent's completed form (if they are applying for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan)
    • scanned copy of your High School Diploma or Undergraduate Degree Certificate and Transcript
    • copy of award letter (evidence) for any financial assistance, such as grants, bursaries, scholarships or stipends 

    Documents for Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized Loan

    • completed confirmation for Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized Loan Entrance Counseling 
    • confirmation of completion of Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement 

    Documents for Direct PLUS (Grad / Parent) Loan

    • accepted Credit Check confirmation
    • completed confirmation for Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized Loan Entrance Counseling
    • confirmation of completion of Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement
    • copy of electronically signed and dated Endorsers Addendum (if applicable).

    Important

    We need you to send all of the required documents together as PDF attachments to one secure email. If any documents are missing from your secure email we cannot process your application.

  8. Complete declaration forms

    Undergraduate students

    You need to complete and return via secure email a Voluntary (Optional) Study Abroad Declaration Form [DOC 34.5KB].

    Placements (including professional placements, research placements and industrial placements) cannot be undertaken in the United States if the number of credits for the placement exceeds 25% of the total credits for the programme. The Financial Aid Office will send you a declaration form to complete and return if this applies to your programme.

    Graduate students (Masters) 

    Placements cannot be undertaken in the United States if the number of credits for the placement exceeds 25% of the total credits for the programme. The Financial Aid Office will send you a declaration form to complete and return if this applies to your programme.

    Placements include:

    • assessed placement
    • dissertation with placement
    • integrated placement
    • research placement
    • internship
    • externship
    • industrial placement
    • work-based placement.

    Graduate students (Doctoral degree)

    You need to complete and return via secure email a Distance Learning Declaration Form [DOC 34.5KB].

  9. Notification of Student Loan letter

    Once you have submitted a complete loan application and your loan has been processed and approved, the Financial Aid Office will send you a Notification of Student Loan Letter using the address on your Master Promissory Note (MPN).

    Notification of Student Loan Letters will be issued from July 2022 (after the US Department of Education have updated the loan fees in the US loans system).

    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 your Student visa until you have received the Notification of Student Loan Letter confirming your loan and disbursement amounts and dates. Please consult the GOV.UK (Student visa) website for further guidance on documentation you will be required to submit with your Student visa application.

    Immigration Advisers at the University also provide immigration and visa advice to students.

  10. Complete Direct Loan Acceptance Form

    The Financial Aid Office will send you a Federal Direct Loan Acceptance Form after you receive your Notification of Student Loan Letter. (Students and parent borrowers of a Direct Parent PLUS Loan will receive a form).

    You need to complete and return the form, by secure email, to formally accept the loan type(s) and amount(s) listed in the Notification of Student Loan Letter.


Further help

The Federal Student Aid YouTube channel has lots of useful videos you can watch, including help with your Direct Loan application and information about repayments.

Contact

The Financial Aid Office are responsible for administering Federal Direct Loans at the University of Sussex. Get in touch by emailing: usfinancialaid@sussex.ac.uk.


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