How to Apply for a US Loan

To apply for a Direct Loan please follow the application process outlined below. If you are a new student, please only start the loan application process once you have had an offer from the University.

The loan approval process can take several weeks during peak processing periods (June to September) or longer if there are missing documents or problems with your application. It is your responsibility to ensure that you submit a complete loan application in good time.

We cannot guarantee that applications submitted close to the start of the academic year will be approved in time for the first disbursement if there are any outstanding matters related to your Federal Loan application.

Any application received after 1 September will be processed as a late application and, once processed, we will contact you to let you know the date of your first disbursement.

Any applications made throughout the year must be received a minimum of one calendar month before the next disbursement date in order to be processed in time for that disbursement.

Step 1. Complete Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To receive US student financial aid the first step is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); this will determine your eligibility for a loan. You need to specify York St John University as a nominated school using our Federal School Code G40323.

If you are a continuing student you need to complete a renewal FAFSA; you will only be required to indicate any information that has changed since the previous academic year.

Step 2. Once you have completed your FAFSA the office of Federal Student Aid at the US Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the FAFSA data you have submitted. You’ll get your SAR within three days to three weeks after you submit your FAFSA form. The SAR document lists the information you and your family provided and tells you what your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is for the relevant academic year. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for Subsidized loans. Please check on the SAR that your name, social security number, date of birth and all other information is accurate. It is important that you check the comments section, as there may be issues that you need to address and any unresolved issues may delay the processing of your loan.

Send the SAR as a PDF by email to Include in the email your name, your 9-digit student number (shown on your offer letter from Admissions) and the title of the course for which you are applying.

After receiving your SAR from you, York St John will send you a Cost of Attendance form. When you receive this from us, please complete Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 and send the resulting documents to us (Step 7).

Step 3. Receive and complete your Cost of Attendance. From May onwards, in response to receiving your SAR by email (see Step 2, above) the US Loans team at York St John University will email you a Cost of Attendance (CoA) spreadsheet to help calculate the amount and the types of loans you can borrow.

The Cost of Attendance (CoA) is an estimate of your education-related costs for the academic year, such as tuition fees, accommodation, sundry living expenses and transport. We must adhere to US regulations, which state that the maximum you can borrow in loans cannot exceed the yearly cost of attendance less any other financial aid you are due to receive.

Once you have completed your Cost of Attendance, please check the maximum values of loans that it shows you might be able to borrow (subject to aggregate limits including any previous loans) and confirm these are your request, or reduce them down as you wish. Save the completed Excel file (not an image or PDF) to send to York St John University at Step 7 (see below). Go to Step 4.

Step 4. Complete Entrance Counselling at Under either the ‘Undergraduate Students’ or 'Graduate Students' section as appropriate to your studies, click on ‘Complete Entrance Counselling’. Save a screen grab of the completion screen to send to York St John University at Step 7 (see below). Go to Step 5.

Step 5. Apply for the PLUS Loan (if applicable) at If you do not need a PLUS Loan, go to Step 6.

Undergraduate students: If you require a PLUS loan it must be in the name of a parent or guardian, and the debt will belong to the loan applicant not to the student. On under the heading ‘Parent Borrowers’, click on ‘Apply for a PLUS Loan’.

Postgraduate students: On under the heading 'Graduate Students', click on ‘Apply for a PLUS Loan’.

The PLUS loan application will include a Credit Check. Once you receive notification that this has been approved please keep a copy of your credit check result to send to York St John University at Step 7 (see below).

The US Department of Education may also request that some applicants complete an online PLUS loan counselling module.

If the loan applicant fails the credit check, it may still be possible to receive a PLUS loan if another adult with good credit standing is willing to act as an Endorser to the application.

If you are a dependent undergraduate whose parent/guardian fails the credit check, please still forward a copy of the result to us. This may allow us to increase the value of your Unsubsidized loan to the level equivalent to that of an independent student.

Go to Step 6.

Step 6. Complete your Master Promissory Notes (MPNs). The MPN is a legal agreement through which you promise to repay your Direct Loan. The MPN details the conditions of your Direct Loan and the terms under which you agree to pay it back. As the University is outside the United States, new MPNs must be completed for each academic year that you take out a Direct Loan.

Undergraduate students: Complete an MPN for the Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, and, if applicable, your parent/guardian should complete a separate MPN for the Parent PLUS loan.

Postgraduate students: Complete one MPN for the Unsubsidized loan and one for the Grad PLUS loan (if required).

MPNs are completed on Under the appropriate heading of ‘Undergraduate Students’, ‘Graduate Students’ or ‘Parent Borrower’ look for the links named ‘Complete Loan Agreement for a […] Loan (MPN)’.

Please check that names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth and all other information included is accurate and consistent with your FAFSA application. Once they are approved and digitally signed please save a PDF copy of your MPNs to send to York St John University at Step 7 (see below). Go to Step 7.

Step 7. Email all of your completed documents from Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Please send us your completed CoA (see Step 3), proof of entrance counselling (see Step 4), Credit Check (see Step 5, if PLUS requested) and MPNs (see Step 6) to attached to a single email message. Include your name, student number and course title in the email. We will only be able to start processing your loan once we receive your email and all of the above steps are complete.

Step 8. Loan Certification
If Steps 1-7 have been completed successfully, the US Loans team will originate your loan on the US Department of Education systems. We will email your loan confirmation letter once approved, or to let you know of any queries regarding your application. The confirmation letter will outline the amount of loans you will receive for the relevant academic period and the dates that funds will be disbursed. The wording and format of this letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration as acceptable proof of funding for visa applications.

We will supply a copy of the loan notification letter to our Visa and Compliance team, who will use this as supporting evidence to process your CAS application. You must have a CAS number before applying for Tier 4 visa. Please note, CAS issuance can begin no earlier than 3 months before a course starts, so if your course starts in mid-September then your CAS will not be processed before mid-June.

For visa application support and advice, contact the Visa and Compliance team on

For information on how and when loan funds are disbursed, see the Receiving Your Loan page.

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