How to Apply

US citizens or permanent residents with a valid social security number may apply for Direct Loans. To be eligible to apply applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent qualification and must not have defaulted on any previous student loans. Male students also have to be registered for Selective Service to be eligible to apply. Exceptions are males who become US citizens after their 26th Birthday, males who are exempted with a certificate (it is checked online), and serving servicemen. 

You must meet the criteria set by the US Department of Education to be eligible for US loans. The basic eligibility criteria are listed on the Federal Student Aid website. There are additional criteria for foreign schools, which is outlined briefly below.

Other prerequisites for eligibility include that you must:

  • be studying an eligible, degree-bearing course
  • be enrolled and continue to be enrolled at least half-time at Swansea University
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) during your studies
  • undertake your study and/or research within the UK, including your writing-up period.

Further information on these eligibility criteria is provided below. These rules and regulations are set by the US Government. The University does not have any discretion to change these regulations. 

The eligibility criteria for US loans are subject to change at the US Department of Education’s discretion and are beyond the University’s control. You should check the latest eligibility on the Federal Student Aid website.

In order for your loans to be progressed with us, an unconditional offer for a place on an on-campus degree at Swansea University must be accepted.

Courses ineligible for Federal Loans

Changes in US law implemented on the 1 July 2006 by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act (HERA) means there are are restrictions on the University's ability to offer federal loan funds to students on certain courses. Ineligible courses include those which are less than half-time, are not degree-bearing, include any online element or distance learning, or with a limited exception, programmes offered in whole or in part in the United States by a foreign institution.

A foreign institution is not prohibited from offering a program in whole or in part in the United States. However, any such program is not recognised for Direct Loan Program purposes. As a result, students attending that program may not receive Direct Loan Program fund for any part of the program.

Swansea University is prohibited from offering Federal Aid for their medical instruction programmes that lead to a degree of medical doctor, doctor of osleopathic medicine, or the equivalent. Nor our nursing programme. 

The US Loan Officer will advise applicants on whether courses are ineligible when you apply to Swansea University and submit the FAFSA. Students on such courses may however be eligible for a private student loan.

Enrolment status

You must be enrolled and continue to be enrolled at least half-time at Swansea University to remain eligible for federal loans. We will only be able to request your loan funds from the US for the scheduled disbursement if you are enrolled a minimum of seven calendar days before each date. Please note that students who suspend, withdraw or drop below half-time enrolment must email the US Loans Officer immediately. You need to also read our Suspend or Withdraw guidelines.

Undertaking study or research outside of the UK

It is not normally possible for students in receipt of US loans to undertake any part of their study or research in the US. However, if you will be conducting PhD research that can only be undertaken in the US, please email the US Loans Officer before applying for your loan so that your eligibility can be assessed first.

If any part of your programme includes anytime outside of the UK, please email the US Loans Officer immediately as this may affect your eligibility for US loans. However, study abroad programmes approved for credit by the University may be considered enrolment at Swansea University for the purposes of applying for federal student financial aid, if that part of the course is taught at an eligable school, but not if they are in the United States.