If you're a US citizen or eligible non-citizen and have accepted an unconditional offer of a place at Royal Holloway, you may be eligible to borrow US Federal Loans. Royal Holloway participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Our federal school code is G09086.
The information provided here is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, US Department of Education regulations are subject to change and Royal Holloway cannot be held responsible for any changes that may adversely affect your eligibility for federal loans.
For the 2020/2021 academic year there is a possibility that US Federal Student Aid will not be available, we are currently waiting on an answer from the US Department of Education. We will be underwriting loans and carrying on as normal until we hear otherwise.
This section also contains important consumer information for US students, that we are required to disclose.
Get in touch
Please email us when you have submitted your FAFSA as we are not automatically informed. You can drop us an email at our US Federal Aid inbox.
Please note if you will be coming to Royal Holloway as a Study Abroad student, you need to process your loan application through your home university in the US.
Your loan eligibility will be assessed in the first instance by checking if you meet all of the criteria on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Only degree programmes offered at Royal Holloway are eligible for funding by federal loans, provided the programme isn't offered fully or in part by distance learning. The MA in Screenwriting for Television and Film (in retreat) option is not eligible, as it is offered in part by distance learning.
Masters and doctoral students enrolling at foreign schools won't be eligible for federal loans if any of their research or work on their dissertation or thesis will be conducted in the US, according to federal regulations.
If a degree programme is offered jointly by a partner institution that hasn't been approved for participation in the Direct Loan Programme, the whole programme is deemed to be ineligible.
A private loan may be an option in these situations (see available loans).
Federal loans interest rates
Fixed annual limit, based on financial need
*Federal government pays interest whilst borrower is in school, provided borrower hasn't exceeded their maximum eligibility period
**Interest fixed at 4.53% for loans first disbursed between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020
Fixed annual limit
Postgraduate students only
Borrower pays all interest
**Interest fixed at 6.08% for loans first disbursed between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020
Borrowed on top of Stafford loans to cover the remainder of the Cost of Attendance
Postgraduates and parents of dependent undergraduates
Borrower pays all interest
**Interest fixed at 7.08% per cent for loans first disbursed between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020
* From 1 July 2013 first time undergraduate borrowers may not receive subsidised Stafford loans for more than 150% of the published timeframe of their programme, and the student becomes responsible for paying the interest after meeting the 150% limit.
**For interest rates on loans first disbursed before 1 July 2014, refer to NSLDS
***Independent undergraduates and dependent undergraduates where the parent is denied a Parent PLUS loan are not eligible for a PLUS loan. They would qualify for the higher Stafford unsubsidised loan amount. Any shortfall in funding would have to be covered by a private loan.
Please note: Perkins loans and Federal Grants are not available for study at foreign schools.
Private loans may provide an alternative means of funding if you cannot cover your entire study and living costs with federal loans or you don't qualify for federal loans. Federal loans have more favourable terms and conditions and tend to be cheaper than private loans, therefore it is advisable to borrow federal loans first, wherever possible.
We have to certify private loan applications and the amount you borrow may not exceed your Cost of Attendance. Interest rates are variable and will depend on your credit rating. If credit is denied, you would need a co-signer.
Royal Holloway doesn't have a preferred lender arrangement. You may approach any lender of your choice, however you should check first whether they are willing to lend to students studying at foreign schools. Some of our students have borrowed a private loan through Sallie Mae. Global Education Management Services (GEMS) have partnered with Sallie Mae® to offer the GEMS Smart Option Student Loan®Student Loan by Sallie Mae®. The name of the lender is Sallie Mae Bank (900909).
Private loans may be disbursed as a lump sum, or as multiple disbursements. As interest starts accruing from the day the lender releases the disbursement, you will have more interest to pay if your loan is disbursed as a lump sum. Disbursements are sent to Royal Holloway via a bank transfer and converted from USD to GBP using Western Union Business Solutions (WUBS). Loan funds will be paid to you once you've enrolled.
Federal loans versus private loans
Royal Holloway awards up to 25 Student Talented Athlete Recognition Scheme (STARS) bursaries a year to the value of £ 1,000 each.
Cost of your attendance
The College will determine your Cost of Attendance (CoA). It consists of your tuition fees for the year plus an amount for living costs, which will be reviewed every academic year. For returning students please send Nicole Young an email letting her know you have completed your FAFSA and she will send you a CoA applicable to your situation.
Undergraduate (dependent) 1st year students:
The CoA for the 2020/21 1st year UG (dependent)
Undergraduate (independent) 1st year students:
The CoA for the 2020/21 1st year UG (independent) (upon request from Nicole Young)
Postgraduate Taught (MA, MSc):
The CoA for those who are based at our London Campus (2020/21)
Postgraduate Research (PhD/PGR):
The CoA for the 2020/21 PhD and PGR
The total that you may borrow in federal and private loans plus any scholarships or grants you may be receiving may not exceed your CoA.
We will use an exchange rate of GBP1 to USD1.45 to convert your tuition fees and living expenses to US dollar for 2020/21. The exchange rate will be reviewed every year.
The total that you may borrow in Federal and private loans plus any scholarships or grants you may be receiving may not exceed your CoA.
See external sources of funding for international students
The loan application flowchart provides a summary of the steps involved in applying for federal loans.
Please note that your FAFSA application is not automatically sent to Royal Holloway. We will only know if you require a loan by following the loan application flowchart.
Details of your loans will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The information can be accessed by lenders, guarantors and schools that are authorised users of the system.
We will send you a loan letter confirming the amount you will be receiving net of origination fees* and the anticipated disbursement dates. We will aim to disburse the funds to you as close to these dates as possible.
Although US citizens are not required to submit proof of funding in support of their Tier 4 General Student Visa application, due to their low risk status. The original hard copy of the loan letter may be submitted as evidence of funding if requested by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
*For the 2019/20 academic year the origination fees will be as follows:
New students: 1.059% (Stafford), 4.236% (PLUS)
Returning students first disbursement only: 1.062% (Stafford), 4.248% (PLUS)
Federal loans are disbursed in two equal instalments, once after the start of the academic year and the other halfway through the academic year. The anticipated disbursement dates for 2020/21 are:
Disbursement one: 8 October 2020 (returning students) and 22 October 2020 (new students)
Disbursement two: 11 February 2021 (UG students) and 29 March 2021 (PG students)
These dates are for guidance only, so you will need to ensure you have sufficient funds of your own to cover your living expenses until you receive your first payment.
You will also need to pay for any expenses you may incur beforehand, such as tuition fee and accommodation deposits, flights and visa costs, although these are included in your Cost of Attendance. Tuition and residence fees, where relevant, will be deducted from each disbursement and any remaining balance paid into your UK bank account.
If you have not opened a UK account, you will be paid by cheque. Should you take out a UK bank account please enter your UK account details in Campus Connect. If you have not opened a UK account, you will be paid by cheque. Information on opening a UK bank account can be found here.
Right to cancel
You will be notified by email of your right to cancel or amend the disbursement about two weeks before each disbursement is activated. Once we have requested the funds from the US Treasury and you decide you don't need all of the money, you would need to return the excess funds as a repayment on your loan.
Any funds returned within 120 days of the last disbursement will be treated as a cancellation and any interest accrued on the returned amount will be cancelled as well. Details of your loan servicer are available via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Tuition fee deposit
If you are in receipt of a federal and/or private loan and you are borrowing enough to cover your tuition in full, this deposit can be waived. Please contact Nicole Young for further guidance and information on this.
If you are in receipt of a federal and/or private loan you will be enrolled without the requirement to pay tuition fees, provided your loan amount is at least equal to your tuition fees. A member of the Student Fees team will inform you if you need to make a payment to enrol.
Maintaining loan eligibility
Satisfactory academic progress
You have to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) and remain in at least half time study throughout the course of your programme to remain eligible for federal loans. We will check your progress twice a year, before the second disbursement of your loan is due, and as a returner before the commencement of the new academic year.
Change in student status
If you withdraw, graduate or drop below half time study, we will update your status with your lender or loan service via the National Student Loans Data System (NSLDS) and you will no longer be eligible for further federal loans at Royal Holloway. These statuses will also enter your federal loans into repayment.
Please note if you submit your thesis your status will be reported as "less than half time", and if you interrupt your studies for more than 180 days, your status will be the same as if you had withdrawn.
We will be required to perform a return of funds calculation in all of these situations to determine if a student has earned all of the federal aid that was disbursed during the payment period (completion of at least 60% of the payment period is required).
If you haven't completed at least 60% of the relevant payment period we would need to return any unearned funds in respect of tuition and residence fees to the US Treasury, which may leave you with a debt to the college. Any remaining disbursements will have to be cancelled. Please refer to the college's return of funds and refund policy for further information.
If you withdraw, graduate or drop below half time study, you will be required to complete an exit counselling session via the Studentloans.gov website.
The session provides important information on loan repayment. If you will be completing your studies or you've confirmed you won't be borrowing any further federal loans for the remainder of your studies, we will need confirmation that you've completed the session before you receive the final disbursement.
Maximum eligibility period for undergraduates
If you are an undergraduate student who will be a first time borrower on or after 1 July 2013, you will only be eligible for the subsidised portion of the Stafford loan for a maximum period of 150% of the published time frame of your programme. Once you are meeting the 150 per cent limit, your eligibility will be reduced to unsubsidised Stafford only.
Repayment of loans
Information on repayment of federal loans is available at Federal Student Aid and in the publication Your federal student loans- Learn the basics and manage your debt. Your loan servicer can also provide information on repayment. Details are available on NSLDS.
There is a six month grace period on repayment of the Stafford loan once a student has withdrawn, graduated or dropped below half time. There is no grace period for the PLUS loan. The repayment period starts at the time the final disbursement is made, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement.
Deferment and forbearance
If you aren't able to start repaying your loans, you may qualify for a deferment or forbearance that will temporarily suspend or reduce your repayments. This could help prevent default, which would impact negatively on your credit rating. Details are available on Federal Student Aid. You may be able to defer repayment if you are enrolled and attending at least half-time at Royal Holloway. Please contact Nicole Young to request an in-school deferment.
Direct loan consolidation
You may be able to combine all of your existing federal loans into one loan, known as a Direct Consolidation Loan. There are no charges for consolidation.This means that you will have only one lender, the US Department of Education, and only one loan repayment every month with flexible repayment options. You may also switch repayment plans at any time. Further details are available on Direct Consolidation Loans.
Useful websites and guides
When and how will my loan be paid?
Federal loans are paid at the start of the academic year and halfway through the academic year.
The credit balance will be paid directly to a UK bank account, if you have entered your bank details in Campus Connect. Otherwise we will issue you a cheque for you to collect from Student Services, please note that this will incur an extra week to process.
Are private loans such as Sallie Mae disbursed the same way as Federal loans?
Private loans such as Sallie Mae can be disbursed in one lump sum at the beginning of the term, or via two payments in line with the Federal loans.
Having the loan disbursed in a lump sum will incur more interest, because the entire balance incurs interest when the loan is disbursed. Two disbursements incur less interest.
What exchange rate will be used to convert my US loan?
We will use the market rate from our partner Western Union Business Solutions (WUBS) on the day we convert the USD to GBP. This is when the US loan is received in our bank account and converted to GBP by WUBS.
The exchange rate in the COA is higher to account for any market fluctuations forecasted for the next 12 months. This is done because we need a static rate to calculate the COA in USD.
Your loan will however be converted using the exchange rate at the time of disbursement.
How will my tuition and accommodation be paid?
We will deduct 1/2 of your tuition and accommodation fees (if applicable) from your disbursement before paying the remaining credit balance.
What if I decide to cancel or reduce my loan?
We will notify you via email a week before your disbursement is due to be paid, this email will show the amount due. You can either opt to have this amount reduced or cancel the disbursement by emailing USLoans@rhul.ac.uk. You must do so before the deadline on the email.
Do I have to apply for a new loan for each year of study?
Yes, the Cost of Attendance is reviewed annually and therefore the amount you can borrow will change every year.
If you are a returning student then an email will be sent to you over the summer inviting you to submit your FAFSA, should you be interested in borrowing further loans.
I need someone to complete my 1098-T IRS tax form, who can do this?
Royal Holloway, University of London does not have an IRS Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) which is required to complete the 1098-T form.
However, we can provide you a Tuition/accommodation certifying letter detailing the charges and payments received.
Do I have to pay the tuition fee deposit?
If you are in receipt of a federal and/or private loan and you are borrowing enough to cover your tuition in full, this deposit can be waived. Please contact USLoans for further guidance and information on this.
Can I receive part of my loan before I enrol in order to fund the initial costs such as flights and visas?
No, this is because you need to fully enrolled before your loan can be disbursed.
The room and board on the Cost of Attendance (COA) seems a bit high, do I have to borrow the full COA?
The COA is based on the most expensive halls on campus which is comparable to the rent in the local area, the other items on the COA is based on the average cost of living in the area. Therefore you do not need to borrow the maximum COA, instead borrow what you feel you need as you can potentially increase the loan at a later stage (up to the max COA).
Do I need to submit my loan letter for my Tier 4 visa application?
If you are applying for your Tier 4 visa from the USA, then you do not need to submit the loan letter as US nationals are classed as low risk (differentiation arrangements). Therefore you are not required to include your financial documents in your application.
Health and welfare
Students with disabilities
The Disability & Dyslexia Services (DDS) is committed to providing guidance and support to prospective and current students with disabilities.
You may also read the Handbook for Disabled Students.
Information on vaccinations recommended for the UK is available from the Health Centre on campus.
Misuse of alcohol and drugs
The college has a duty to ensure we comply with the legislation contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 of the UK. Please refer to our Alcohol, Drugs and Substance Misuse policy for further information.
If you are a US student in receipt of federal loans and convicted of a drug-related offence, you may lose your eligibility for federal aid and you may have to return any federal aid you received during the period of ineligibility. Further information and how you can regain eligibility is available at Federal Student Aid.
Missing person notification policy
Royal Holloway University is a recognised provider of higher education in the UK and is listed on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as an institution that has its own degree-awarding powers, as listed in the Education (Recognised Bodies) (England) Order 2010.
Academic programme information
Information about the current academic programmes is available in our undergraduate and postgraduate prospectus, and in the departmental brochures, as well as in Departments, where you will also find contact details of faculty and departmental staff.
Please be aware that the structure of our programmes may be quite different from what you're used to in your own country and therefore it is advisable to consult the relevant academic department about its programmes.
Transfer of credits and articulation agreements
Our internet access is provided through UK Higher Education's JANET network, and is governed by its acceptable use policy. This prohibits any activity which violates any other person's copyright, and any unlawful or potentially unlawful use.
Data protection and freedom of information
We collect and use data of prospective, current and former students and staff fairly, store it safely and do not disclose it to anyone else unlawfully, as governed by the UK Data Protection Act of 1998.
We provide guidance on data protection and has a published Data Protection policy. Students may request a copy of any information the College holds about them and correct it if necessary by completing a Subject Access Request form.
Statistics and surveys
Completion, transfer-out and retention rates
The completion and transfer-out rates of first time, full time undergraduate students are provided at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Further information is available via the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Placement in employment and enrolment of graduates for further studies
Unistats provides official data on satisfaction scores for universities and colleges in the National Student Survey, employment and salaries after study and other key information for prospective students. The Destination of Leavers' from Higher Education (DLHE) Longitudinal Survey provides statistical information via HESA. Our Careers Service also provides information on employability.
The National Student Survey gathers opinions on the quality of students' teaching courses, to help prospective students make informed choices.
Private education loan information
Information on private education loans from the US is available above. These loans often have less favourable terms and conditions than federal loans and may be more expensive.
The college does not operate a preferred lender arrangement, which means that students may approach any lender of their choice about a private loan, although currently, we are only aware of Sallie Mae who is willing to lend to borrowers studying outside of the US.
If a prospective borrower of a private loan requests a self-certification form, the university will email or post the form to the applicant and provide help with completing it, if required.
Code of conduct
The college expects that any of its employees who have responsibilities with respect to private education loans, abide by a code of conduct, which prohibits:
- revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
- receiving gifts from a lender, guarantor, or a loan servicer.
- contracting arrangements providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender.
- directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications
- offers of funds for private loans.
- call centre or financial aid office staffing assistance.
- advisory board compensation.
US Veteran benefits
US veterans benefits
If you're a US veteran or a dependant of a veteran you may be entitled to educational benefits from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, provided your studies aren't undertaken by distance learning.
What you need to do
Contact Nicole Young to check your proposed programme of study has already been approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. If the programme has not yet been approved, the college would have to apply for programme approval, provided we have received a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility and you have been made an unconditional offer offer by Royal Holloway. It is advisable to start the process as soon as possible, as programme approval could take up to two weeks to be processed.
What happens next
Once approved we have to certify your enrolment termly before your funds will be released. Benefits paid under the Post- 9/11 GI Bill towards your tuition and fees will be paid directly to Royal Holloway in the form of a cheque. The amount paid will be prorated according to your benefit level, and will be the lesser of the net amount of your tuition and fees after applying any scholarships, grants or waivers, or $17,500. Your benefits may therefore not cover your tuition fees in full.
List of approved courses
- BA Drama & Creative Writing
- BA Drama & Theatre Studies
- BA Politics & International Relations
- BA English
- BA English & Creative Writing
- BSc Mathematics with Philosophy
- BSc Management with International Business
- BSc Accounting and Finance
Postgraduate Taught courses
- MA Applied & Participatory Theatre
- MSc Applied Social Psychology
- MA Producing Film & Television
- MA Theatre
- MA Marketing
- MSc International Relations
- MSc Media, Power & Public Affairs
- MSc International Accounting
- PhD English
- PhD Geography
- PhD History