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US financial aid


Types of Financial Aid Available

Federal Programs

There are several federal programmes available for U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens who are enrolled at least half-time in a degree programme, making satisfactory academic progress and not in default or owing a return repayment on a grant or loan.

Please note students undertaking foundation courses or PGDip or PGCert courses are not eligible for Direct Loan funding.

 
What types of Federal Loans can you access?

The University of Warwick is able to originate Direct Stafford Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Details of which can be found at US Federal Loans.

What types of private loans can you access?

Commonly referred to as “alternative” loans, these are credit-based, variable-interest-rate loans offered by banks and other private lenders that you and/or your family may use to help pay for up to the full cost of your tuition and related educational expenses (computer, books, lab fees, supplies, transportation, living expenses, etc.), less any other aid you may receive. They are not need-based, and you do not have to submit a FAFSA to apply.

Private education loans may be taken out alone or as a supplement to other financial aid. When considering a private education loan, you may want to shop around for a lender that offers the best interest rate, repayment terms and deferment options, as well as the lowest fees. Please ensure that your lender is aware that you are registering for a course at a foreign school as most lenders will not provide loans for courses at foreign schools.

Irrespective of which loans you choose to fund your studies at Warwick, the University can only certify loans up to the Cost of Attendance (CoA) calculated for you. For further details of CoA, see “How Is My Loan Eligibility Calculated”.


How to Apply for Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can apply online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. You will need to make sure that your web browser is compatible.

Please note that Warwick University is not involved in the FAFSA process. If you have any queries regarding FAFSA you should consult Student Aid on the Web.

University / School Codes

One of the final steps in completing the FAFSA is supplying the University of Warwick’s US Dept of Education federal university / school code.

The University of Warwick’s school code is G08380.

What Happens Next?

The University of Warwick receives your Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) in a electronic format. The ISIR details eligibility and calculates EFC.

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your loan is approved.

For Direct Loans and PLUS loans

In order to receive either Direct or PLUS loans you have to complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). This can be done online at StudentLoans.gov.

Where a parent is borrowing on behalf of an undergraduate student, the parent must complete the form including their own details. For Grad PLUS loans the student is the borrower, the student must fill in the form.

Pre-Loan (Entrance) Counselling

The University requires all students to complete loan counselling at the appropriate level (undergraduate or postgraduate) prior to the initial certification of any US Federal loan funds. You can do this onine through StudentLoans.gov.

How is eligibility determined?

The FAFSA is an organized method of gathering information about you and your family’s financial situation. This information is then analysed according to US federal guidelines together with University guidelines. This insures that all applications are treated fairly and equitably.

The results of this need analysis indicate the difference between what can be expected from the family and the cost of education. It shows the ability, not the willingness, of the student and/or their family to pay for their education. This is used to determine whether the student has a financial need.

You need to advise the university of any other grant / aid or scholarship that you are in receipt of, or are in the process of applying for when you submit your application for aid.

Dependent vs. Independent Student

A student’s dependency status is determined from information provided on the FAFSA. It affects the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and types of aid that you may be eligible to receive.

In order to determine your dependency status you will be assessed on a number of criteria. Details of these criteria can be found in the "How much can I borrow?" section of StudentAid.gov 

Amounts for Federal Direct Loans (for loans disbursed on or after 1 July 2012):

Dependent Undergraduate Students

Subsidised Subsidised & Unsubsidised Combined
1st Year $3,500 $5,500
2nd Year $4,500 $6,500
3rd Year & Beyond $5,500 $7,500

Aggregate limit for dependent students: $31,000 

Independent Undergraduate Students

Subsidised

Subsidised & Unsubsidised Combined
1st Year $3,500 $9,500
2nd Year $4,500 $10,500
3rd Year & Beyond $5,500 $11,500

Aggregate limit for independent students: $57,500 

Postgraduate Students Subsidised Subsidised & Unsubsidised Combined
Each academic year $0 $20,500

Aggregate limit for postgraduate students: $138,500

NOTE: These amounts may be lower, depending on the eligibility determined by the financial aid office. 

You will be advised as to the determination of your eligibility for need based aid and non-need based aid. You will be required to confirm your intent to take this amount, or any other lesser amount prior to certification taking place. It is strongly recommended that you plan on having sufficient funds available for accommodation, books, supplies, and any other personal expenses during the first four to six weeks of classes in the event that there is some delay in your financial aid arriving from the US.



Rights and Responsibilities

By accepting any loan, you promise to accept the responsibilities that come with it. You are also entitled to certain rights. Your government requires us to bring several things to your attention. The law will not accept ignorance as an excuse for defaulting.

Rights

How much you can borrow

You have the right to Direct Loans which are fixed to a maximum of $20,500 for postgraduates and for undergraduates the maximum subsidised loans are $5,500 (year 1); $6,500 (year 2); $7,500 (year 3). You may have the right to a Graduate PLUS Loan. That is your only entitlement; everything after that is borrowed from a commercial lender at commercial rates and subject to them being willing to lend to you, they don’t have to lend you anything. You may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance in total (including Direct loans), subject to your credit rating.

You have the right to …
  • Repay your loan early without penalty.
  • Written information of obligations.
  • Explanation of default consequences.
  • Be notified if your loan is sold.
To defer all loans while still in school, you must complete a deferment form and have it certified by the University. You can obtain deferment form from your lender or download one from the following link: Deferment Form.pdf

 

Responsibilities
Repay your loan. Your obligation to repay becomes legally binding when you sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • You are required to use your loan for educational purposes - fees first
  • All loans have to be repaid. They are not discharged by bankruptcy. There is no means of non-repayment unless you die or become too disabled to hold any job
  • Interest is charges on ALL your loans
  • There may be penalties for defaulting

Your requirement to repay does not go away because you:

  • Don't complete your educational programme
  • Cannot find employment
  • Were not satisfied with the education or other services you received from the University
  • Were notified that your loan was sold to another party by your lender
Pay on Time.

You must make your payments on time unless you have made special arrangements with the lender or servicer. Many lenders offer repayment incentives to reward you for paying on time.

Make a Minimum Payment.

A minimum monthly loan payment is required. This minimum amount varies depending on the amount you borrow and your repayment plan.

Notify the University and your lender about any of the following:
  • Change of current address / phone numbers / name
  • Change of Social Security Number
  • Withdrawal from University
  • Drop below full-time / half time (for off-shore students only)
  • Change in anticipated graduation date
  • Change of driver's license number
  • Change of references
  • Change of permanent address
  • Change of expected employer
  • Open and read your student loan mail

 

Complete an Entrance Counselling Interview

Before the University disburses your first loan cheque you will be counselled on your obligations, rights and options under the terms of your loan. The University will only release your first loan payment once we have received notification that you have undertaken entrance counselling.

Complete an Exit Counselling Interview

Before you leave University or graduate. You will be counselled on your obligations, rights and options under the terms of your loan. This session will cover repayment options, deferments and other important information you may need during your repayment term. During this session you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name and address of closest living relative
  • Two references (not the same as closest living relative) and with different addresses

The University will only release your final loan payment once we have received notification that you have undertaken exit counselling.

Both entrance and exit counselling can be done at StudentLoans.gov.

Non-payment of Fees
It is your responsibility to ensure that all your fees are paid on the due dates. You can gain access to your Warwick account through the finance pages of the Student Records system.

If you are in receipt of loan funds and do not pay amounts that are due, you may be invited to attend Fees (Special Cases) Committee, where your case will be considered under the provisions of the University’s Ordinance 17 ‘Payment of Annual Fees, Residential Charges and Other Debts’. Under Ordinance 17, the Committee has the authority to suspend your registration for non-payment of fees.

Withdrawal from the University

Any American student with loans is strongly advised to contact the Student Finance Office for advice before considering withdrawal.

If you withdraw from your course of study at the University (either on a temporary basis or permanently), the University will inform your lender and will be required to comply with the requirements of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005, Return of Title IV Funds.

Some of the loan money paid to you may have to be immediately repaid to the US Dept of Ed if you take a period of withdrawal. The University will calculate how much (in USD) has to be returned to the Dept of Ed. and will return this amount (plus a 20 USD transfer charge) to the Dept of Ed. We will then convert this sum into GBP and apply it to your Warwick account. You will be required to pay the balance on your account back to the University prior to recommencing your studies.


How is my loan eligibility calculated?

Based on information contained in your ISIR and on its own Cost of Attendance (COA), the University will calculate how much you can borrow in subsidised and unsubsidised Direct loans.

Private loans may also be taken out either on top of, or instead of, PLUS loans or Direct loans. But you can only borrow to the value of the Cost of Attendance (CoA).

If you commence your studies part way through an academic year, the University will pro-rata your costs and loan eligibility according to the number of months you are enrolled for that academic year.

The Cost of Attendance

In order to determine your eligibility for the various forms of loan available, the University first calculates the cost of attendance (COA). This is what the University believes is the cost of attending the specific course that you have enrolled on for one academic year. It includes tuition and fees, course materials, room and board and allowable travel costs.

If you feel that the cost of attending the university is significantly different from the CoA that has been calculated for you, then you should send an email to studentfinance@warwick.ac.uk, enter your student number and “Cost of Attendance” in the subject field. You will then be sent a form to complete and may be asked to provide evidence as to why you think your CoA has not been calculated correctly.

After Application

Once we have received all the necessary documents, we will be in a position to orginiate your loan. Once this has been done, the University will send you a letter confirming this. You will also receive a letter detailing how and when your loan will be disbursed. This letter is in a format agreed with the UKBA and should be used as evidence of funds when applying for your UK visa.

Receiving Your Loan

 

Disbursement

Federal Regulations set the maximum number of days we can hold your disbursement and that you cannot have your disbursement before Registration (30 days after registration if a first time borrower) or outside the ‘loan period’ – the loan period normally follows the academic year. Following a change in the US law in 2006, the University now disburses loans in instalments. This means that you will receive a proportion of your loan at the start of each term.

Disbursement of your first instalment is conditional upon you completing entrance counselling. University policy requires the University to ensure that all students in receipt of US financial aid complete entry and exit counselling and to keep a record of completion for audit purposes. The University currently asks all students to complete this online and you will be sent further information about this once you have confirmed that you intend to apply for financial aid.

Disbursement of your final instalment is similarly conditional upon you completing exit counselling. Again, you will be sent further information shortly beforehand.

Both entrance and exit counselling can be done online at StudentLoans.gov. Please ensure that you select the correct option. If you have Direct and PLUS loans you only need to undertake one combined counselling session.

The University receives your loan in the form of a bank transfer directly into our US dollar account. Once received, we will convert your US dollars into sterling. We will then deduct the fees due for tuition and accommodation and transfer the residue into your UK bank account. This process normally takes 4-5 working days.

Please note that your first loan disbursement will be made towards the end of your first month of registration. We suggest that you bring sufficient funds to cover this period.

Banks and banking

Advice and guidance for international students can be found on the University’s International Office website:

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/international/admissions/offerholders/preparing/bank 

It is recommended that you read this at the earliest opportunity.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

All students applying for or receiving US Federal Aid (subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS) at the University of Warwick must progress satisfactorily towards completion of a chosen academic program.

The University is required by US Federal law (34 C.F.R. §668.16(e) and 34 C.F.R. §668.34.) to define and enforce standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The guidelines have been established to encourage students to complete successfully academic programs for which aid is received.

Students receiving financial aid will be evaluated at the end of each academic year. This evaluation process will consider a student’s progress under the following categories:

1. Academic Standing

2. Maximum Timeframe

Academic Standing

All students, when they first enrol, will be given a copy of The Guide, the University’s Student Handbook. If you do not receive it in hard copy, it can be accessed online at:

 http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/welcome/gettingstarted/pack.

This Guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive reference to campus life and the services and facilities the University has to offer. It also sets out what is expected of you as a student. The Guide forms only part of the documentation and guidance available to you and includes references to further important documents provided by the University on its Regulations and procedures, most of which are available on our website at www.warwick.ac.uk. Please read this Guide in conjunction with other information provided your Department of study, the Students’ Union, as well as the Academic Office concerning what you should do when you first arrive at the University.

If you are a postgraduate research student, you will also receive a copy of the Guidelines on the Supervision and Monitoring of Research Degree Students, which can be accessed online at:

 Guidelines on the Supervision and Monitoring of Research Degree Students

This sets out the responsibilities at the levels of the University, Department, Supervisor and Student for students enrolled on a higher degree by research.

The University Calendar (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/calendar/) sets out the University’s Regulations regarding the general provisions applying to first and higher degrees. The detailed courses of study are set out in the relevant Course Regulations (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/quality/courseregs). The University Calendar also sets out the University’s Regulations governing examinations for first and higher degrees, as well as the grounds for appeal. If, during the academic year, a student fails to attend prescribed classes or to submit prescribed coursework or to make satisfactory progress in regard to his/her research, he/she may be required to withdraw from his/her course of study in accordance with the Regulation Governing the Procedure for the Continuation of Registration (Regulation 13.2).

Please note that students in receipt of US financial aid are not treated differently from any other student enrolled at the University.

 

Maximum Timeframe

An Undergraduate student is entitled to receive aid for 150% of the allocated course time frame.

(i) 3 year degree – eligibility for aid 4.5 years
(ii) 4 year degree – eligibility for aid 6 years
(iii) 5 year degree – eligibility for aid 7.5 year.

Postgraduate students are entitled to receive aid for the length of their programme as determined by the University.

Notification

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be assessed at the end of each academic year. You will be notified in writing if your financial aid is suspended. An appeal procedure for verifiable extenuating or unforeseen circumstances is available, if you believe that you meet those criteria. The University of Warwick cannot waive the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirement for any student to receive financial aid.

For a full copy of the University’s regulations regarding satisfactory academic progress and academic standing, please send an email request to studentfinance@warwick.ac.uk.  

Policy on Financial Aid Probation and Suspension  

A copy of this document is available on request by emailing studentfinance@warwick.ac.uk.

When you have finished your Education

Repayment Information

Details of repayment plans, interest rates, loan consolidation, deferment, forebearance etc. can be found at StudentAid.Repayment

Gainful Employment

Under the clarification of the Gainful Employment Regulations| page 34389 of 13 June 2011, for implementation 1st July 2011,

The Program Integrity Issues final regulations (75 FR 66832)-- Clarified that only certificate or credentialed nondegree programs of at least one academic year that are offered by a public or nonprofit institution of higher education are gainful employment programs;

The University of Warwick does not offer non-degree GE-specific (gainful employment) courses and has no employment or debt ratios to publish under this category.


 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Does the university receive electronic copies of my MPN and SAR?

Yes.

Are loans paid out in a single disbursement?

No, Direct and PLUS loans are disbursed in instalments at the start of each term.

Who do I contact with US loans queries?

In the first instance email p.j.cooke@warwick.ac.uk.

What do I do if I think my CoA has been incorrectly assessed?

If you feel that the cost of attending the university is significantly different from the CoA that has been calculated, you should send an email to studentfinance@warwick.ac.uk, enter your student number and “Cost of Attendance” in the subject field. You will then be sent a form to complete and may be asked to provide evidence as to why you think your CoA has not been calculated correctly.  

Will my loan be available once I arrive in the UK?

No, the university can only certify your loan once you have enrolled. It is advisable to ensure you have enough money to cover the period between enrolment and when your loan is made available to you.

Do you certify clinical or surgical degrees e.g. MBChB?

No.

Can I obtain Direct and PLUS loans for an MBA by distance learning?

No. Distance learning courses are generally not eligible for federal loans. Currently the only option that the University of Warwick is aware of is the Sallie Mae Smart Option loan.  

Contact Details:

Paul Cooke can be contacted via email on p.j.cooke@warwick.ac.uk or by telephone on 0044 (0) 24 765 22636.