The application process

To apply for a loan you must follow the application process. You should only start the process once you have had an offer from UWE Bristol.

Please apply in plenty of time – the approval process can take up to four weeks or longer if there are difficulties with your application and disbursing funds can take several weeks, so you should factor this in when deciding if you are applying for a loan.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you submit a complete loan application in good time to meet any deadlines.

You can apply for a loan during the academic year however, you must have submitted your application in time for us to process your application and disburse the funds before the end of your academic year (e.g. June for undergraduates). 

You must also apply in time to meet the US Department of Education deadline for submitting your Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA).

You must apply for your US loan each year. Each year’s loan is based on the current academic year and we cannot retrospectively approve funds.

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

Step 1 – Complete your FAFSA

You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal loans. 

If you are a continuing loan student, complete a renewal FAFSA. You will only need to indicate any information that has changed since last year.

Ensure you use the correct school code for UWE Bristol on your FAFSA: G21948.

If you have not yet been allocated a place at UWE Bristol, please do not complete your FAFSA yet.

Completing your FAFSA will produce a Student Aid Report (SAR), which the University will use to determine your loan eligibility.

Step 2 - Complete your PLUS loan request (if applicable)

If you are intending to apply for a PLUS loan or your parent will be applying for a Parent PLUS loan, you or your parent will need to complete a PLUS loan request on Studentaid.gov

Use the school code G21948 on the PLUS loan request.

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

Your request will automatically trigger a credit check. Once approved by the system we will be able to view the credit check, so you do not need to send us a copy.

Step 3 – Complete your Master Promissory Note(s) (MPNs)

Undergraduates

Complete an MPN for the Subsidised and Unsubsidised loans. If applicable, your parent should complete a separate MPN for the Parent PLUS loan.

Graduates

Complete up to two MPNs: one for the Unsubsidised loan and one for the Grad PLUS loan. MPNs are completed on Studentaid.gov. Use the UWE Bristol school code G21948.

As we are a foreign school, new MPNs must be completed for each year of study. Please complete an MPN for each type of loan you are taking.

Once approved by the system we will be able to view MPNs, so you do not need to send us copies.

Step 4 – Complete entrance counselling

If you are a federal Direct Loan first-time borrower who has not yet completed entrance counselling for a specific loan type (Unsubsidised/Subsidised loans or PLUS loans), you must complete entrance counselling. 

Complete your entrance counselling on Studentaid.gov. If you have completed entrance counselling in a previous year of study for a specific loan type at any institution, you do not need to complete this step.

Step 5 - Cost of Attendance form

We are not automatically notified if you have selected UWE Bristol on your FAFSA. Therefore, once you have completed steps 1–4, please email us at us.loan@uwe.ac.uk with a screenshot of your completed entrance counselling and let us know you are awaiting a Cost of Attendance (CoA) from UWE Bristol.

From May onwards we will email you a Cost of Attendance form to inform you of the amount and types of loans that you can borrow.

The CoA is an estimate of your education-related costs for the academic year. It will specify the total amount you may borrow through federal loans minus any other aid you may be receiving for that academic year, such as bursaries or scholarships.

US regulations specify that any loans you take plus any additional financial aid (awards, bursaries, scholarships etc.) must not exceed the yearly Cost of Attendance.

If you receive scholarship or bursary funding from the University or another source, you must tell us so that this can be factored into your Cost of Attendance.

Failure to do so will result in a recalculation and reduction of your loan later in the academic year when it is discovered you are in receipt of additional sources of funding.

If you are eligible for a subsidised loan, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will also be deducted from a CoA figure to establish your financial need.

The CoA for students studying at UWE Bristol is set by the University 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.

The exchange rate is listed on the CoA. The actual amount that you will receive in GBP(£) will depend upon the exchange rate available to UWE Bristol’s bank or currency exchange service provider on the date that the loan funds are disbursed.

This example shows how broad-based costs can be broken down, based on a year of study as a postgraduate student.

Cost

£ Per week

$ per week*

Weeks

£ Per year

$ per year *

Room including utilities

£159

$222

52

£8,268

$11,575

Board including food/internet

£74

$103

52

£3,848

$5,387

Books

£21

$29

52

£1,092

$1,529

Travel

£16

$22

52

£832

$1,165

Personal

£53

$74

52

£2,756

$3,858

Tier 4 PBS charges (new students only)

 

 

 

£348

$487

Immigration Health Surcharge

 

 

 

£470

$658

Flights (two round trips)

 

 

 

£2,000

$2,800

Sub total

£323

$452

 

£19,614

$27,459

*Calculated at a conversion rate of £1 = $1.40

The Cost of Attendance is an estimate of your maximum costs. Expenditure can vary greatly and it may be possible for students on a budget to spend significantly less.

Whilst your CoA can include travel, we cannot issue loan payments before the beginning of the academic year, so you should not rely on your first payment to finance your travel to UWE Bristol. The first disbursement date is in October.

While your costs may vary depending on where you stay in UWE Bristol, 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 us.loan@uwe.ac.uk explaining why you need more funds than indicated in your original Cost of Attendance and provide proof of these higher costs.

Step 6 - Proof of funding for loan certification

If you complete steps 1–5 successfully, the University will originate your loan on the US systems.

We are not able to certify your US loans on the US systems until early July.

You will receive a notification letter from us outlining the amount of loans you will receive, your disbursement dates and the period/academic year your loan relates to.

The wording and format of this letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration as acceptable proof of funding for your visa applications.

This loan notification letter will be posted to your US address to ensure that you have the original hard-copy documentation required for your visa application. The UK visa authorities may require you to submit the original documentation – they will not usually accept copies.

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