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Federal Aid - FAQs

Check out our frequently asked questions and guidance for US students looking to fund their studies with Federal Aid.

If you have any further queries after reading the information below, please submit a US Financial Aid enquiry and the team will endeavour reply to you as quickly as possible.

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We use the information from your FAFSA to assist in determining your eligibility for a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

You can complete your FAFSA online at To arrange your FASFA electronically you must first have a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. To apply for an FSA ID, or for customer service regarding a previously assigned FSA ID, visit the FSA ID website.

Once your FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). You must retain the SAR for your records and be prepared to provide it to us when asked. Northumbria University’s school code is G30295.

Once you have completed your FAFSA and listed Northumbria University as your school, our Financial Aid Officer will issue you with an estimated Cost of Attendance (CoA) for your program via email.

The Cost of Attendance document outlines all the eligible annual costs associated with the i2i programme at Northumbria University, including:

  • Academic tuition fees
  • Accommodation
  • Books/materials, travel (with student discount) and personal living costs
  • Immigration Health Surcharge
  • Visa fees
  • Flights to the US
  • Stafford loan origination fees (Normally 1-3% of your overal loan)

The Cost of Attendance for 2024/25 is likely to be in the region of $50,000. The $USD amount is liable to change each year due to variance in currency exchange rates. We aim to publish a $USD equivalent Cost of Attendance in the Spring of the forthcoming academic year.

Please note the Cost of Attendance is not the cost of the programme or amount payable to the University, rather it is the maximum amount of money that you can borrow over one academic year to cover eligible costs associated with the programme, including travel to, and living and studying at Northumbria University.

The onus is on you to undertake a budgeting exercise to decide how much of the maximum loan amount you will need to borrow for the year.

This is a budgeting exercise. Factors to consider will include but are not limited to:

  • Other sources of funding such as own personal funding
  • Any financial help you may have from family and friends
  • Your lifestyle and the type of lifestyle you want to live at Northumbria

Budgeting is an important way of managing your finances. Discuss with your parents and friends. Do a check of your current financial situation. Once you have decided upon the amount you wish to borrow, you should inform the Financial Aid Officer of how much you are going to require over the course of the year.  

The below table shows what students are normally able to borrow:

Direct Loan Yearly Amounts

Year of Course

Subsidised Loan Unsubsidised Loan Total Loan

Dependent Undergraduate

1st Year $3,500 $2,000                $5,500
2nd Year $4,500 $2,000  $6,500
3rd Year  $5,500 $2,000  $7,500

If the Cost of Attendance is $50,000 why is the maximum amount that I can borrow in 1st Year only $5,500?

The $5,500 relates to the Direct Loan program only. The first $5,500 that you borrow must come from this program although most students find that they need to borrow more than this to meet the loan amount that they need.

There are two options available for students who need to borrow more loans to reach the amount they want to borrow:

Parent Plus Loan

The Parent PLUS loan is credit-based for Parents of dependant undergraduate students who wish to take out loans in their names to help with their children's education. This loan is operated through the Direct Loan scheme and parents can apply via

Private Loan

A private alternative loan is a non-federal education loan, through a private lender, typically in the student’s name and requiring a co-signer. Approval and interest rates are based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and co-signer. Each alternative lender has different eligibility requirements, loan rates, terms, and conditions.

Students who are eligible for federal student aid should complete the FAFSA and exhaust all federal loans before applying for a private alternative loan. Federal student loans generally have more favourable terms and conditions than private loans. We recommend that you utilise all federal loan eligibility before turning to private loans.

The University is willing to work with any lender who offers alternative educational loans to students enrolled at overseas Institutions. Currently we are aware of only one such lender, Sallie Mae, but students are advised to explore all options available to them and can opt to use any lender.

You can therefore use a combination of Direct Loans in your own name with either a Parent PLUS or Private Loan to borrow the amount you need.


  • You must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) via
  • You must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counselling electronically via

If you parent is applying for a Parent PLUS loan:

  • They must complete the Parent PLUS Application Form and agree to a Credit Check
  • They must complete a Direct Loan MPN electronically via
  • They must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling via
  • They must provide evidence to the University that they give permission for their loan to be used in their child’s education 

The Financial Aid Officer will issue your Notification of Loan letter which details the two disbursement dates over the course of the academic year. Note, that the two disbursement dates are late September/early October and January, and you will not have access to your loan before this date.

You can use your Notification of Loan letter as proof of funding when applying for your visa. You will need to bring it with you to the UK.

You must first enrol on your programme. Once you are fully enrolled, Northumbria will start the process of accessing your funding, but not before the disbursement date listed on your Notification of Loan letter. 

Northumbria will receive your loan disbursement directly from the US Government. As you will be receiving two disbursements, each time we will take 50% of what you owe for academic tuition and accommodation fees and refund you any difference. Note that this is done in £GBP. Disbursements are typically made in October and January. 

How do I get my refund?

You must open a UK bank account as soon as possible after you arrive at Northumbria University. Information on this can be found here. Provided you open a UK bank account, we are usually able to transfer a refund within 3 working days. Apps such as Monzo and Revolut have UK banking details attatched to them and allow you to convert GBP to USD.

You can borrow more money provided you have not exceeded the maximum cost of attendance for the year. You can make these changes at any point during the academic year by informing the Financial Aid Officer. Likewise, if you find out that you’ve borrowed more money than you require, you should look to reduce your second disbursement which can be done via the Financial Aid Officer.

Can I make payments to the University myself?

Yes, if you want to, you can pay a portion of the fees you owe the University yourself. This will not affect the amount you can borrow. 

Fees for the i2i International Soccer Academy are not included in your Cost of Attendance and must be paid for using your own personal funds. If you are funding your studies with US Federal Loans, this could include your refund for living expenses.

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