About US federal loans

US federal loans are offered by the US Department of Education to help students (US citizens/nationals) with costs associated with higher education.

At UWE Bristol we are able to process Subsidised, Unsubsidised, Graduate Plus and Parent Plus loans. We also administer private loans such as Sallie-Mae and Earnest loans. 

Please note: We will only be assessing applications for the 2024/2025 academic year from May 2024.


All US students wishing to study at UWE Bristol must hold a High School Diploma or equivalent – this also applies to mature students.

You must meet the criteria set by the US Department of Education to be eligible for US federal loans. These criteria are subject to change at the US Department of Education's discretion and are beyond the University's control. Find the latest eligibility criteria on the Federal Student Aid website.

In addition to the criteria specified on the Federal Student Aid website, you must:

  • be enrolled at least at a half-time rate at UWE Bristol for the duration of your course
  • be studying an eligible, degree-bearing course
  • make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) during your course

This eligibility criteria do not apply to private loans.

Ineligible courses

There are restrictions on the University's ability to offer federal loan funds to students on certain courses. Students on ineligible courses may be eligible for a private loan.

The following types of courses are not eligible for federal loans:

  • Any non-degree bearing course, for example undergraduate or graduate certificates and diplomas
  • Any course where a partner organisation delivers teaching and they are not a post-secondary educational institution e.g. Bristol Zoological Society
  • Courses that are less than half-time
  • Courses involving study in the US (with limited exceptions)
  • Courses (or course pathways) involving distance learning and/or online elements (not applicable during COVID-19 emergency)
  • Medical and healthcare courses including Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Diagnostic Radiography
  • Summer school courses
  • Dual Award courses
  • Degree Apprenticeship courses
  • Study Abroad elements of courses
  • Courses where any of the teaching is provided by a partner institution
  • Courses where attending an external placement is mandatory
  • Sandwich years (Internship)

This list is not definitive. Please contact us if you are unsure whether your course is eligible.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To be eligible for US federal student loans, you must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP). This policy applies to all students taking federal student loans, including Subsidised loans, Unsubsidised loans, Graduate PLUS loans and Parent PLUS loans. It applies to undergraduate, postgraduate, full-time and part-time students.

You should familiarise yourself with the SAP policy to successfully complete your academic programme and continue to receive federal student loans.

SAP is measured against qualitative and quantitative standards outlined by US Federal Law. 

Failing to make SAP

Your academic team will be asked to complete a SAP form on your behalf before each disbursement.

If you fail to make satisfactory academic progress, you will be issued with a Financial Aid Warning to your UWE Bristol email address. This warning will last until the next disbursement, during which time you can still receive financial aid.

If you fail to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the warning period, you will no longer be eligible for financial aid unless you submit a successful appeal. 

You may be given a warning on more than one occasion during course enrolment but you cannot receive warnings in consecutive payment periods.

Consumer information

US Government 

About UWE Bristol

UWE Bristol policies and procedures

The UK equivalent of DERPA is the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This gives individuals or organisations the right to request information from public authorities, including UWE Bristol. Find further information about how to make a Freedom of Information request.

Money and budgeting at UWE Bristol

Employability of graduates

Our undergraduate courses are all listed in www.discoveruni.gov.uk, which is a UK Government website.

Course information, including student satisfaction, employability and average earnings post study is included. A link to this this website is available within each undergraduate course listing on our course pages

These websites also provide information about UWE Bristol and postgraduate courses:

The University’s Careers Service offers individual and practical support for current students as well as UWE Bristol graduates. The Careers team can provide information regarding UK and overseas job vacancies as well as resources to support your employability and careers fairs you can attend.

Code of conduct

The University's code of conduct for US education loans is as follows: in order to prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an agent with respect to private education loans, all agents at the University with responsibility for US loans are prohibited from: 

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender 
  • Receiving gifts from a lender, a 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

All agents with responsibility for US loans are reminded at least annually of the code.

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