Loan Amounts

There are limits on the amount in Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans that you are eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and postgraduate study (aggregate loan limits).

The annual limits vary depending on:
- Which year or level of study you are enrolled in at University
- Whether you are a dependent or independent student

The actual loan amounts you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the published annual loan limits. The loan amounts you are personally eligible to receive within an academic year are determined by the US Loans team, based on:

- Whe Cost of Attendance as issued by York St John University
- Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on your FAFSA form 
- Whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student
- Your dependency status
- Your remaining eligibility under the annual and aggregate loan limits
- Any other financial help you receive

Am I a dependent or independent student?

A student’s dependency status is determined by information provided on the FAFSA form. It affects the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the Federal Aid that you may be eligible to receive.

For purposes of US Federal Loans, a student is usually considered independent if they meet one or more of the following criteria (but please refer to the Federal Student Aid website for the latest information):

- At least 24 years old by 31 December of the award year
- An orphan or ward/dependent of the court, or was a ward/dependent of the court until they reached age 18
- A veteran of the US Armed Forces
- Working on a master’s or doctorate programme at the beginning of the award year for which the FAFSA is completed
- Married as of the date the FAFSA is completed
- Has at least one child who receives more than half of their support from the student
- Has a dependent, other than a spouse or a child, who lives with the student and receives more than half of their support from the student at the time the FAFSA is completed, and through 30 June of the award year
- Currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training

The student is considered dependent if they do not meet any of the preceding criteria for an independent student, unless the financial aid administrator determines that the student is independent on the basis of special circumstances and performs a dependency override.

If you are a dependent student whose parents are ineligible for a Direct PLUS Loan, you may be able to receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds.

How much can I borrow?

The following list shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans; however please refer to the Federal Student Aid website for the latest information on loan limits.

Undergraduate students - Dependent

Subsidized Direct Loan
Year 1: $3,500
Year 2: $4,500
Year 3 and above: $5,500
Aggregate limit: $23,000

Annual Loan Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans combined
Year 1: $5,500
Year 2: $6,500
Year 3 and above: $7,500
Aggregate limit: $31,000

Undergraduate students – Independent (or Dependent student whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS Loan)

Subsidized Direct Loan
Year 1: $3,500
Year 2: $4,500
Year 3 and above: $5,500
Aggregate limit: $23,000

Annual Loan Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans combined
Year 1: $9,500
Year 2: $10,500
Year 3 and above: $12,500
Aggregate limit: $57,500

Postgraduate students

Subsidized Direct Loan
Each Year: not applicable
Aggregate limit (including prior undergraduate loans): $65,500

Unsubsidized Direct Loan
Each Year: $20,500
Aggregate limit (including prior undergraduate loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans combined): $138,500

There is a time 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. You may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your programme. For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree programme, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years.

Origination fees

There is a loan origination fee taken by the US Department of Education on all Direct Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. Origination fees and default fees are subject to change. For the latest information on applicable charges, please see the Federal Student Aid website.

York St John University does not charge any loan fees.

Cost of Attendance (CoA)

After applying to FAFSA please send us your SAR by email at to request a Cost of Attendance spreadsheet (CoA). Include your name, student number and course title in the email. The spreadsheet is available from May for the following academic year. 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. The CoA will specify the total amount you may borrow through Federal Loans. If you are eligible for a Subsidized loan, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will also be deducted from the CoA figure to establish your ‘financial need’.

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.

The CoA for students studying at York St John University is set by the US Loans team and is increased in line with inflation for each academic year. These educational costs relate only to you, the student. These costs cannot include costs for partners or children (other than childcare or nursery costs).

Eligible costs can be broadly broken down as follows:
- Tuition fees
- University accommodation fees (or rent to a private landlord)
- Living costs
- Local transport
- Books and other educational expenses
- Any additional course costs/fees not forming part of the tuition fees for the degree programme
- Travel to the UK*
- Origination fees taken by the US Department of Education
- Tier 4 student visa application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge payable to UKVI*

* Please note, whilst your CoA can include enough to cover upfront costs such as travel to the UK and visa application charges, we cannot issue loan funds before the beginning of the academic year so you should not rely on having your first disbursement in time to pay for these items. You will not receive any money until you have arrived in the UK and enrolled at the University. Please therefore ensure you have enough cash (in pounds sterling / £ GBP) to live on for the first few weeks, but you should open a UK bank account in time to receive your first loan disbursement on the scheduled date.

While your costs may vary depending on where you stay, we expect your cost of attendance to be roughly in line with our estimates. If you believe that your costs are significantly higher, please email explaining why you need more funds than indicated in your original Cost of Attendance form and provide proof of these higher costs.

Exchange Rates

You will be informed of the total CoA in Pounds Sterling (GBP £) and of the exchange rate used to convert it into US Dollars (USD $). This exchange rate used to convert your CoA from GBP to USD is fixed in advance for the academic year.

Your actual disbursements will use current rate at the time of disbursement. The University has no control over this rate. Our third party agent (Western Union) acts on our behalf receiving the USD $ loan funds and converts this into the equivalent GBP £ according to the daily exchange rate.Cost of Attendance calculations will not be altered due to fluctuating exchange rates. Students are asked to prepare adequately for a study period spent in a foreign country where disbursements of loan funds can change depending on the exchange rate between US Dollars $ and GBP £.

Amending, Decreasing or Cancelling a Loan

If you wish to increase your US Federal Loans during the academic year and you have not previously requested up to the maximum in your Cost of Attendance (CoA), please email You cannot borrow more than the maximum CoA figure.

If you wish to decrease your US Federal Loans please email The reduction will be spread across any remaining disbursements.

If you wish to cancel your US Federal Loans, please email at least two weeks before the upcoming disbursement date.

If you wish to cancel your US Federal Loans and the timeframe for doing so through the University has passed, you can still make a payment direct to your loan servicer. You are advised to contact your loan servicer for up-to-date details on cancelling your loan – your servicer details can be found online at My Federal Student Aid.

If you cancel your US Federal Loans after receiving a disbursement you are required to complete Exit Counselling.

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