US Federal Aid Information

We will start to work on Financial Aid Packages for the 2021/2022 academic year in May.  If you have completed a FAFSA for the 2021/2022 year, have applied to the University of Aberdeen and have received a conditional or unconditional offer, we will automatically calculate your loan entitlement.  This information will be emailed to you as a Financial Aid Package.  If you have not received your Aid Package from us by 15 July, please send an email to with your University of Aberdeen applicant ID number.

If you are a PhD student starting before August 2021 and wish to be assessed for a Federal Loan, please contact asap with your student ID number and your start date.



The University of Aberdeen administers US Federal Direct Loans, US Private Loans and US Veterans Educational Benefits (or GI Bill) for students who are US citizens or eligible non-citizens.

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program offers Direct Loans to eligible students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, though you may deal with a different agency as your loan servicer.

The University of Aberdeen is recognised as a Foreign School by the US Department of Education and is eligible to certify loans for eligible students as an approved Title IV institution.

Foreign Schools are NOT eligible to certify Pell loans or grants.

The US Government requires institutions that offer Federal student loans to disclose specific consumer information.  This webpage provides students with information on all US Federal Student Aid, including:-

  • The US Loan process at the University of Aberdeen
  • Type of aid
  • Method and frequency of disbursements
  • How to remain eligible for aid


Tips for FAFSA Completion

  • Students commencing a new postgraduate taught programme of study at the University of Aberdeen are advised to select "1st Yr. College Graduate/ Professional" as the Grade level in their FAFSA application even if they have previously studied at postgraduate taught level. This includes those that are commencing study on the LLB Accelerated programme.
  • Students commencing a postgraduate research programme at the University of Aberdeen are advised to select "Continuing Graduate/ Professional or Beyond" as the Grade level in their FAFSA application.
  • If you are including your driver’s licence information on your FAFSA application, please ensure you complete both Driver’s Licence Number and Driver’s Licence State.
  • If you do not follow the steps detailed in the and do not return your signed financial aid package, we will assume that you do not wish to apply for a loan for the current academic year.

Your eligibility for US Federal Title IV Lans will be assessed according to the information provided by you on your FAFSA.

For the purpose of US Financial Aid, the University of Aberdeen is classified as a 'foreign school'.  This means that there are slightly different rules and areas of eligibility that you may not be used to if you have used Federal Aid before at a domestic School in the US.

Most of our full-time and part-time degree programmes are eligible for Direct, Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans.

Enrolment Status

You must be enrolled and continue to be enrolled at least half-time at the University of Aberdeen, which will allow you to remain eligible for Federal Loans and deferred payment status. Please note that if you withdraw or drop below half-time enrolment then you must email immediately.

Courses Ineligible for Federal Loans

Students undertaking the following programmes are NOT eligible to receive Federal Direct Loans.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programmes
  • Online or Distance Learning Programmes
  • Programmes with study of less than half-time.
  • Medicine/Dentistry Programmes
  • Programmes which have a compulsory year abroad or a work placement year
  • Any postgraduate research programme involving research to be undertaken in the US or a writing-up period in the US is not permitted. If you will be conducting research that can only be undertaken in the US, please email before applying for your loan or accepting the next disbursement so that we can assess your eligibility.
  • Programmes or Courses that are taught or part taught with another institution that is not eligible or not certified to participate in the William D Ford Direct Loans (Direct Loan) programme. All worldwide eligible institutions.
  • Visiting and Exchange students.  You are required to apply for Financial Aid through your home institution. 
  • Placements (including internships and externships) cannot be undertaken in the United States.
  • If any part of your programme includes study abroad, the programme you wish to study can only be eligible for Federal Direct Loans if you go to a University that is also eligible to administer Federal Direct Loans.  Please please email before applying for your loan so that we can assess your eligibility.
  • Programmes undertaken through Interactive Design Institute (IDI)
  • Programmes undertaken at Qatar Campus
  • Programmes undertaken at South China Normal University (SCNU) Campus

If your programme of study is not eligible, you may wish to apply for private loans to cover your cost of attendance.

You are deemed to be ineligible for loans if you have defaulted on payments for loans taken out prior to your studies here.  Check the status of any previous loans on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which is the system we will use to check your loan history. If a default status is recorded, there is little point in proceeding with your loan application at this point. You must make arrangements to pay arrears with your loan servicer. The NSLDS system can take some time to update status changes so you may have to present evidence from your loan servicer to show that your loans are in good standing.

General eligibility conditions for Financial Aid

To receive aid, including Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a student enrolled or accepted for enrolment in an eligible programme at an eligible institution.
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time for the period for which the loan is originated. (PhD students who have submitted their thesis for examination do not meet this requirement)
  • Must comply with the University's satisfactory academic progress policy.
  • Must not be convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while receiving financial aid.
  • Must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security number.
  • Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
  • If male and age 18-25, must be registered for Selective Service.
  • Must not be in default on an educational loan and must not owe a repayment on an adjusted federal grant.

Mature Student Provision

USA Federal Regulations state that you must have a secondary school completion credential (high school diploma) or the recognized equivalent of a secondary school completion credential to be eligible to receive Federal Student Aid.

The University of Aberdeen does not have a Mature Student Admissions provision policy.

Returning to the United States

If any part of your funding, at any time, is through USA Federal Direct Loan funds, you are prohibited under USA Federal Regulations from returning to the United States to undertake fieldwork, research, a placement, an internship or externship or to write your thesis.

The only exception to this is if you undertake independent research in the United States during your dissertation (write-up) phase of a doctoral program under the guidance of faculty and the research can only be conducted in the United States. Please note that prior approval must have been given by the Financial Aid Office and you can only do this for a maximum of one academic year.

Thesis Submission

The registered status for PhD students drops to less than half-time when you submit your thesis. Less than half time status means that you become ineligible for further financial aid and your Loan Servicer will contact you regarding loan repayment.

Federal Work-Study

Employment is not provided as part of the financial aid package at this University. ​​​​

Types of Loans and Amounts

The amount that you are eligible to borrow in each academic year is assessed according to your grade level; whether you are a dependent or independent student; and your financial need and cost of attendance.

The following loan types are offered:

  • Subsidized: available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need as determined by USDE regulations. No interest is charged whilst you are studying at least half-time, during the grace period (the first 6 months after you finish University) and during deferment periods (a postponement of loan payments).
  • Unsubsidized: not based on financial need and both undergraduate and postgraduate students can apply. Interest is charged during all periods.
  • Parent PLUS: available to parents of undergraduate students who are classed as dependent.  Parents can borrow up to the total estimated Cost of Attendance as issued by the University of Aberdeen. Parent PLUS loans are the responsibility of the parent and not the student.
  • Grad PLUS: available to postgraduate students.  A graduate student may borrow up to the total estimated Cost of Attendance as issued by the University of Aberdeen.
  • are not federal loans but are available to most US citizens.

Students studying in the UK are NOT eligible for Perkins Loans or Pell Grants.

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are capped and have maximum limits.

The following charts shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.


Annual Loan Limits

  Subsidized Loan Limit Unsubsidized Loan Limit Combined Loan Limit (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan)
Dependent Undergraduates (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

First Year Undergraduate




Second Year Undergraduate




Third Year and beyond Undergraduate




Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First Year Undergraduate $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Second Year Undergraduate $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Third Year and beyond Undergraduate $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Graduate or Professional Students

All years

Not Applicable (all graduate and professional students are considered independent)

$20,500 (unsubsidized only)

$20,500 (unsubsidized only)



Aggregate Loan Limits

  Subsidized Loan Limit Unsubsidized Loan Limit Combined Loan Limit (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan)

Dependent Undergraduates




Independent Undergraduates




Graduates and Professional Students



$138,500 (includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study)

Most postgraduate students will borrow the first $20,500 through the unsubsidized loan and top up borrowing through the PLUS loan.

Fees and Interest Rates

Origination Fees

Federal suden loans have loan fees that are a percenage of the total loan amount.  The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school.  This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow.  You are responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.  Origination fees change each year.

Information on origination fees for all Federal loan types is available from:

The University’s Cost of Attendance take origination fees into account so that maximum net borrowings are sufficient to cover educational costs.

Interest Rates

The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and (for more types of federal student loans) the first disbursement date of the loan.  Interest rates change each year from 1st July.

How to Apply

The application process for foreign schools differs from the process for domestic schools in the US.  It is your responsibility to send us the documents we need to confirm your loan entitlement and to apply in good time to meet the University of Aberdeen's tuition fee payment deadline (and accommodation fee, if relevant). Please read this carefully. It will save time and inconvenience if you follow each of the steps detailed.

The University of Aberdeen School Code is G09368 (this code may also appear as 009368).

Set out below are the steps you need to take to make an application for a Direct Loan(s) to help cover your educational costs at the University of Aberdeen.  There are no shortcuts to the application process, therefore if the steps below are not completed, your application will not be processed.

You can complete your FAFSA from the October before the academic year you wish to study in, however you will not receive communication from us regarding your application until approximately 3-4 months before your start date.

  • FAFSA applications for 2021/2022 can be submitted from 1 October 2020
  • FAFSA applications for 2022/2023 can be submitted from 1 October 2021
  • The University of Aberdeen US Loans teams will process applications in strict order of receipt.

Application Steps


Private Loans

If your programme is ineligible for Direct Loans or if you decide to use private loans instead of the Federal loans, you need to apply directly to the lender.

Cost of Attendance (CoA)

A Cost of Attendance (CoA) is part of the University of Aberdeen Loan Application process.  The CoA is an estimate of your education related costs for the academic year.  The CoA will specify the maximum amount you may be eligible to borrow through federal loans minus any other aid you may be receiving such as bursaries or scholarships. If you are eligible for a Subsidized 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 the University of Aberdeen is based on average local costs. This will increase 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).

Please note, 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 loan payment to finance your travel to Aberdeen and the UK.

If you are in receipt of scholarship or bursary funding, either from the University or another source, you must inform 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 evident you are in receipt of additional sources of funding.

While your costs may vary depending on where you stay in Aberdeen, we expect your cost of attendance to be roughly in line with our estimates.

How Much Can I Borrow?

Students can borrow amounts equal to the Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA consists of 2 elements:

Maximum Cost of Living Expenses 2021/2022



Weekly £

No of weeks

Total Academic Year




£5,250 GBP




£1,050 GBP




£1,750 GBP

Travel Expenses



£  700 GBP




£2,275 GBP

Books / Computer Equipment / Printing



£  750 GBP

Flights home (2 per year)



£2,000 GBP




£13,775 GBP



Conversion Rate



  Maximum Loan for Living Expenses   $20,662 USD
  •  Visa and Healthcare Fees (For 1st year students only) - additional £2,463



Weekly £

No of weeks

Total Academic Year




£7,800 GBP




£1,560 GBP




£2,600 GBP

Travel Expenses



£1,040 GBP




£3,380 GBP

Books / Computing Equipment / Printing



£  800 GBP           

Flights home (2 per year)



£2,000 GBP




£19,180 GBP



Conversion Rate



  Maximum Loan for Living Expenses   $28,770 USD
  • Visa and Healthcare Fees (For 1 year PG Taught Programmes) - additional £1,053
  • Visa and Healthcare Fees (For 1st year of PhD Programme) - additional £2,463


*Exchange rate is 1.4156 at the time of compiling this table.  Regulations allow us to set theoretical exchange rate to convert GBP costs to USD values to allow for volatility in the exchange rate as the year progresses.

*Origination fees are taken into consideration within the CoA but you need to ensure that you keep these in mind when deciding the amount you wish to borrow.

NB We use Western Union as our bank for processing your loan payments when the money is released by US Treasury.  Western Union will use a mid exchange rate and other banks may offer better rates. We have no plans to change our payment processing and your loans will be paid according to the rate Western Union offer on the day your loan is released.

Disbursement / Receiving your Loans

Your award letter is proof that you have fully completed the loan application process. The award letter will be accepted by the visa authorities as evidence that you have the required funds to support your studies for the current academic year.

We cannot request the release of your loan until you have completed all stages of the student registration process. If you have received your award letter, completed the registration process, and if there are no US Department of Education system maintenance or failures, your loan payment should be paid within 14 days of your course starting so it’s important that you have money of your own to cover expenses until your loan payment is made.

Multiple Payments

Loan payments will be paid directly to the University via Western Union and converted into UK currency (GBP). In accordance with US Department of Education regulations, your loan will then be paid to you in two or three equal instalments according to the dates on your award letter:

  • Undergraduate Students: 2 instalments - October and January
  • PG Taught Students (Sept Starts): 3 instalments - October, January and May
  • PG Taught Students (Jan/Feb Starts): 3 instalments - February, May and September
  • PG Research Students: 2 instalments 6 months apart i.e. October Starts - October and April

Before each disbursement, the US Department of Education deducts their origination (loan) fees from each of the Direct Loan payments. The payments will then be sent to the University of Aberdeen for distribution.  For information about origination fees, please see:

Students must make in order to receive the next disbursement.

Opening a UK Bank Account

If you do not already have a UK bank account, you can open one when you arrive in Aberdeen. Loan payments can be processed quickly when paid to a UK bank account.  However, we can also work with a US bank account but, because any payment we process will be subject to international banking time frames, payments will take a few days longer to reach that account. 

Information about how to open a UK bank account can be found here.

Paying Tuition and Accommodation Fees

We will automatically set up a tuition fee payment plan for you, allowing you to pay your institutional charges in two or three instalments to coincide with your loan instalments. If you are living in University managed accommodation, your accommodation fees will also be included in the payment plan. Provided you are borrowing enough to cover these amounts, you do not have to make any payments before arriving in Aberdeen (although some Masters programmes within the Business School will require payment of a non-refundable deposit. Deposit payments must be made in advance of registration to secure the offer of your place).

If you do not borrow enough to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, you will be required to pay a minimum of 50% of your total tuition fee charge to complete registration.  Your loan payments can then be applied to your tuition fees to reduce the balance payable later in the year. 

Living Expenses

When the institutional charges are paid, any excess amount from your loan payment will be refunded to you via electronic bank transfer (provided we have your bank account details). This process is normally completed within 14 days of your programme start date.

Post Disbursement Exchange Rate

We use Western Union as our bank for processing your loan payments when the $USD value is released by the US Treasury. Western Union will use a mid-exchange rate. Other banks may offer better rates. We have no plans to change our payment processing and your loan payments will be converted to £GBP according to the rate Western Union offer on the day your payment is released.

Amending, decreasing or cancelling a loan

If you wish to increase your Federal US Loans during the academic year and your borrowing is less than the maximum Cost of Attendance (CoA), please email . You cannot borrow more than the maximum CoA figure.

If you wish to decrease your Federal US Loans please email The reduction will be spread across any remaining funds.

If you wish to cancel your loan, please email at least two weeks before the upcoming disbursement date. There is a short period after receipt of your disbursement where you can ask the University to return federal loan funds to the US, but you will be responsible for all bank charges and fees if the payment has already been released.

If you wish to cancel your Federal Loan and the timeframe for doing so through the University has passed, you can still make a payment direct to your loan servicer. You are advised to contact your loan servicer  for up to date details about cancelling your loan – your loan servicer  details can be found on NSLDS.

If you cancel your federal loan after receiving a disbursement you are required to complete Exit Counselling.

We will contact you automatically in advance of each loan disbursement period to remind you of your Right to Cancel and to give you the option to reduce or increase the next loan disbursement.

Loan requirements during your studies

NSLDS reporting

In accordance with Federal Regulations, the University of Aberdeen must report your enrolment status to the US Department of Education via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) every 60 days. Reporting students as studying full-time or at least half-time at the University of Aberdeen will allow deferred payment status for any previous Federal US Loans taken out before you started your studies with us.

The University is required to confirm enrolment status as follows on the NSLDS system:

  • Students studying full-time will be reported as F, or H if studying at least half-time, and will remain eligible to receive Federal US Loans all year.
  • Students who are studying less than half-time will be reported a L and will be ineligible for Federal US Loans and deferred payment status. Students who have completed their studies but are awaiting the outcome of the exam board will be reported as L.
  • Students will be reported as G for graduated once the exam board confirms the student has successfully completed their studies.
  • Students who suspend or withdraw from their studies will be reported as W and will be ineligible for Federal US Loans.
  • If your mode of attendance is reported as less than half-time, withdrawn or graduated, you will no longer be eligible for any in-school deferment requests. You should refer to the Repayment terms of your loans when the status of your studies change.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To remain eligible for Federal US Loans during the academic year, students must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP), and this will be measured prior to each disbursement. Students are advised to familiarise themselves with the SAP Policy.

The Supervisor or Registry Officer will be required to complete a form to confirm whether the student is or is not meeting SAP prior to each disbursement. Outwith these periods, the Financial Aid Administrator will check the Student Record System to ensure that SAP is being met.

Exit Counselling

Students coming to the end of their studies are required to complete Exit Counseilling for each type of Federal US Loan borrowed.  This is a condition of your loan terms.

  • You will be emailed to remind you to complete Exit Counselling and ask you to email once you have completed Exit Counselling.
  • You are required to complete Exit Counselling if you drop to less than half-time, withdraw from your studies or complete your studies.
  • You can complete Exit Counselling on the website.

It is your responsibility to repay your loans. When you leave your programme or drop below at least half time study, this will be reported to NSLDS and you will enter a six-month grace period (this does not apply to PLUS loans which go into repayment immediately, but you can request a deferment through your loan servicer).

It is important that you understand your rights and obligations when borrowing Federal US Loans. Students are advised to fully research and understand responsible borrowing and repayment before requesting Federal Student Loans. The Federal Student Aid webpage has an estimate calculator where you can calculate your estimated loan repayments.

There are a number of repayment options available and you should discuss these with your loan servicer to determine which is the most appropriate for you. If you do not select a repayment plan you will be placed on the standard plan with fixed repayments for up to ten years. You can find details of your loan servicer on the NSLDS Website.

Entrance Counselling and Exit Counselling is a condition of your loan agreement and Entrance Counselling should be completed before you start your programme at the University of Aberdeen, and Exit Counsellling as you are coming to the end of your studies with us. It will inform you about repayment and money management, and advise you how to make the necessary arrangements before and during repayment.

Your Student Loan must be repaid. If you do not meet the loan repayments as required by your loan servicer, you will go into default. You are advised to keep in touch with your loan servicer and discuss your options if you are struggling to meet your repayments. You are also advised to update your loan servicer of any changes to your personal details such as address, phone number, enrolment status.

Useful guides on repaying loans and default:

Deferments and 1098T Tax Information


If you have taken out Federal student loans prior to coming to Aberdeen, and if you are taking out loans in the current year, we will automatically update your enrolment details on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to ensure that your repayments are deferred. The information we provide is shared with all of the US Department of Education's servicing agents, who are responsible for administering loan repayments.

If you are not taking out loans for your studies while you are here and need a loan deferment for previous loans, you should  email the US Loan Administrator ( giving your Social Security Number (SSN) and we will add your information to the NSLDS database.

We do not complete the paper In School Deferment forms for US Federal Loans but can complete them for private loans.  If you need to have a paper form completed, please email it to or hand it into the Infohub when you arrive on campus.

Please note that once you have completed your period of registered or supervised study you cease to be enrolled at least half time with us. The date when your studies end is not the same as the date when you will graduate and receive your degree. If you are a doctoral student and go on to a writing up year, you will continue to be classified as enrolled at least half time and still be able to defer your loans for one further 12 month period. Your completion date will be the date that you submit your thesis.

1098T Tax Forms

We do not complete any part of the 1098T tax form.  However, we can issue a receipt for tuition fees paid which can be used as evidence of payment.  Contact our Payments Section ( or tel 01224 272266)  to arrange this.

Entrance and Exit Counselling

Entrance Counselling

All students who take out Direct Loans must complete entrance counselling as part of the loan application process to make sure that you understand the responsibilities and the terms and conditions of your loan.

You'll need your PIN - the same one you used for your FAFSA. If you are only taking a Direct Stafford Loan the Direct Stafford Loan entrance counselling will need to be completed. If you are also taking a PLUS Loan please complete the PLUS Loan entrance counselling.

In addition, you'll need to save your counselling confirmation and email it to us at with your MPNs as we require proof that the counselling session(s) have been completed.

We will not be able to proceed with your loan assessment until we have a copy of the counselling confirmation.

Exit Counselling

In accordance with USDE regulations, you must complete exit counselling before you graduate, drop below half-time attendance, or withdraw. The counselling session will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower and provides useful tips and information to help you manage your loans.

We will prompt you to complete your exit counselling just before your final loan disbursement is scheduled for payment.

You'll need your PIN - the same one you used for your FAFSA and it will take you approximately 30 minutes.

You must notify the US Loans Office by email  that you have completed the counselling.  A report can then be obtained by the US Loans Office that shows that you have met the US Department of Education's requirements.

Private Loans, Scholarships and Funding

Private Loans

If your programme of study is not eligible for Federal Loans you may want to consider Private (credit-based) loans to help pay for university expenses. Even if your programme of study is eligible for Federal Loans, you may still choose to borrow through a Private Lender but it would be sensible to do a comparison between the terms and conditions of both loan sources before making a final decision.

You and/or your family must apply for credit-based loans directly with the lender. Applicants must meet credit and other eligibility requirements set by the individual lender.

The University of Aberdeen does not recommend any private lender, however as far as we are aware there is only one private lender that makes loans available to US citizens studying a degree at a foreign school.  The only private lender option known to us is the Sallie Mae Student Loans. However, the university will work with any other private lender willing to lend to students who attend a foreign school.

Before taking out any credit-based loan, you should read the terms and conditions carefully before committing. You do not need to borrow the maximum sum, but you cannot borrow more than the maximum .

Student borrowers are now required to complete a self-certification form (supplied by your lender). To help you complete this our . If you have any questions regarding the cost of attendance, you can email

When you have submitted the on-line application and approval has been granted, you should email the US Loan Administrator ( to advise that your application has been approved. Provided you have completed all admission requirements, we will certify your application for payment release.

Sallie Mae loan payments are paid in one single disbursement after you have completed all stages of the registration process.

The payment will come directly to the University for campus based students. Institutional charges will be deducted and any excess payment refunded to you for living expenses, therefore, you should ensure that you set up a UK bank account on arrival. Alternatively, we can use a US Bank Account but, because any payment we process will be subject to international banking time frames, payments will take a few days longer to reach that account. 

As you will not receive your loan at the immediate start of the academic year, we would advise you to ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover your travel to the University plus expenses for a minimum of 3 weeks from the beginning of Semester 1.

Our federal school code is G09368 and our OPEID is 00936800.


  • The University of Aberdeen (UoA) has no affiliation with and receives no financial incentives from Sallie Mae or any other private lender. UoA does not endorse any Private Education Loan provider located in the United States who offer loans for study at Foreign Schools. UoA does not have any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender, accept gifts from a lender, guarantor or loan service, have any contracting arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender, direct borrowers to particular lenders, or refuse or delay loan certifications, offer funds for private loans, offer any staffing assistance to lenders or loan services, offer any advisory board compensation, have any preferred lender.

Scholarships and Funding

The University of Aberdeen offers a range of scholarships and funding opportunities for international students.  More information on these can be found here -

VA Educational Benefits

We are no longer eligible to certify VA beneficiary students.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving Federal aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) means the student is proceeding in a positive manner toward fulfilling degree requirements. SAP includes two standards; qualitative and quantitative. Students must meet both standards to continue receiving financial aid.

Students are advised to familiarise themselves with these SAP guidelines in order to successfully complete their academic process and continue to receive federal student loans.

In accordance with Federal Student Aid regulations, the University will update you enrolment status in NSLDS every 60 days.

In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid with the qualitative standard, a student must maintain the academic standing necessary to proceed.

The University of Aberdeen Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Title IV Financial Aid Recipients can be found here.


Student studies may be terminated by the University if they have not made sufficient academic progress to warrant continuance of study. Students who fail to maintain sufficient academic progress may be required to discontinue study. This procedure sets out the process for appeals against exclusion.

Students who are re-admitted to the program may be issued a one-time waiver to continue receiving financial aid. The details are specified below.


Credit requirements and degree durations are specified in the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study:

Scheduled awards for the next academic year for students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress will be cancelled.

Financial aid will be disbursed early in each semester. Students who withdraw after that will have their eligibility to retain part of their financial aid calculated on the percentage of the semester attended. Students who attend more than 60% of the term may retain all of their aid. See the section on .

Suspending, withdrawing, transferring course or changing the status of your studies

It is essential that you email before you change the status of your studies as follows:

  • Suspend
  • Withdraw
  • Transfer programme
  • Leave of Absence
  • Upgrade / downgrade i.e. MSc to PG Dip
  • Change from full-time to half-time or less than half-time

Under US Federal law, the University is required to report any changes to your enrolment within tight timescales.  For students who withdraw from their studies, suspend their studies, or complete their studies earlier than expected, it may be necessary, to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation, and arrange for the return any ‘unearned’ funds to the US Department of Education.

For purposes of administering federal financial aid, a student who is receiving financial aid funds and is granted a Leave of Absence (LOA) is not to be considered withdrawn and no return of Title IV calculation is required.  If a student does not meet the LOA criteria, the student is considered to have withdrawn (for financial aid purposes only), and a Title IV return of funds calculation is required.  Further information can be found in the Return to Title IV policy.

If you are thinking of changing the status of your studies and want to know what the implications for your US Federal Loan entitlement will be, please email

Consumer Disclosure Information

Federal regulations require schools to disclose specific consumer information to prospective and enrolled students. The following is a summary of the consumer information topic areas with links to policies, information and resources. If you need assistance or paper copies, please contact the University of Aberdeen US Loans Office.

Records and Privacy Policies will be reviewed on an annual basis.


Default Management Plan

This default management plan contains some of the strategies used by the University of Aberdeen to help our American Loan Students understand the responsibility of borrowing loans to fund their degree studies.  The purpose is to reduce the number of students who default on loan repayments.

1. Entrance and Counselling

All first time borrowers of Direct Loan program, new students or students changing study path are required to undertake entrance counselling where students are advised about:

  • how the master promissory note works,
  • the importance of repaying the loan,
  • the consequences of default, and
  • sample monthly repayment amounts

A copy of the Entrance Counselling is retained in the student file.

2. Early Identification and Counselling for Students At Risk of Progression/Withdrawal

The University is responsible for monitoring borrowers who are at risk of non-progression or withdrawing and counselling students according to circumstances with a view to retaining those students.

3. Communication

All Federal Direct Loan students are directed to the mandatory Foreign Schools Consumer Information. Academic progress and enrolment status are held on the central student record system which is accessible by all relevant offices across campus including the office that disburses funds and authorise payments. Up to date contact information for both the student and next of kin is obtained from students at enrolment.

4. Exit Counselling

Graduating and withdrawing students are advised that they must undertake Exit Counselling as a condition of borrowing Federal Direct Loans. All students are directed to:

Students must confirm to the US Loan Administrator that they have completed exit counselling and a copy is retained in the student file. 

5. Timely and Accurate Enrolment Reporting

As a condition of our eligibility to certify Direct Loans, we are required to submit accurate enrolment updates to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at regular intervals throughout the year.

6. Analyse Defaulted Loan Data to Identify Defaulter Characteristics

Defaulted loan data is monitored to identify defaulting borrowers and to analyse reasons the reasons for defaulting. We use this information to improve default prevention and management practices and initiatives. Internal data includes key information such as school attended, program of study, demographics, grades, etc. The Loan Record Detail Report (LRDR) is reviewed to determine if there are common characteristics among defaulters.

We make use of the recommended tools listed below to ensure data accuracy and use effective loan counselling and default prevention management techniques to aid students and the University.

7. Where do I begin?

FSA Assessments for Default Prevention and Management

8. Loan Counselling

9. Enrolment Reporting and Data Accuracy

10. Default Prevention

or contact your Loan Servicer

11. General Connections/Publications

Return to Title IV Policy

United States Department of Education

Return to Title IV (R2T4) Regulations

The law specifies how the University must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance (Direct/PLUS Loans) that students earn if they withdraw or interrupt midway through the academic year. The US Loan Administrator is responsible for calculating R2T4 by using worksheets provided by the US Department of Education.  The Finance Section is responsible for transferring the funds. All funds must be returned to the lender within 45 days of the date of when the University determined that a student withdrew/interrupted. If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, students can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913.

When a student withdraws or is deemed to have withdrawn during a payment period, the amount of Title IV program assistance that has been earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. The date of withdrawal can be determined by the Student/School or Supervisor and will be the last day the student attended. If the student received (or the University received on the student’s behalf) less assistance than the amount that is earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than was earned, the excess funds must be returned by the University and/or the student. The University is not required to take attendance although most will be required to attend in order to receive a passing grade. Students who are not in attendance are reported to Student Services, who will consult with the student’s Department/School to determine if the student attended classes or to verify the last date of attendance. The University will use the last date of attendance to compute the R2T4 formula.

In the case where a student notifies the Personal Tutor/Programme Director or a member of staff that he or she intends to withdraw, the student must be informed of the need to submit a formal withdrawal form, citing the reason for withdrawal in writing and the effective date. Should the student fail to write or there is a lag between the notification and the student’s written confirmation, the earlier date of notification will be used in calculating the R2T4 formula. In the event a student receives all failing grades for a semester, the Personal Tutor/Programme Director will contact academic staff to determine if the failing grades were earned or represent a lack of attendance. In the event it is determined that those grades were the result of lack of attendance, the Personal Tutor/Programme Director will attempt to determine the last day of attendance and use that date in the R2T4 calculations. If the exact date cannot be determined, the University will assume a 50% attendance, and use that date as the last date of attendance. Students who do not attend even one class, are ineligible for Title IV funds and all of the loan proceeds will be returned to the lender.

The amount of assistance earned is determined on a pro rata basis. The payment period is the semester for which the loan was certified and the per cent of attendance is calculated by dividing the number of days attended by the total number of days in the payment period. If the student has completed 60% or more of the payment period or period of enrolment, all the assistance that the student was scheduled to receive for that period is considered to have been earned. If the student did not receive all of the funds that were earned, he or she may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the student may choose to decline the loan funds so that additional debt is not incurred.  If, for example, if the student completes 30% of the payment period or period of enrolment, the student has earned 30% of the assistance they were originally scheduled to receive.  The US Loan Administrator will use the R2T4 worksheets as provided by the US Department of Education to determine how much of the loan may be retained and how much must be returned.  Future dated loans due for disbursement will be cancelled.

The University may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds, if the student accepts them) for tuition, fees, and accommodation. For all other University charges, the University needs the student's permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If the student does not give permission the student will not be offered the funds.

There are some Title IV funds that students are scheduled to receive that cannot be earned once a student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements.  If the student receives (or the University receives on behalf of the student) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, the University must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  • The institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the funds, or
  • The entire amount of excess funds.

The University must return this amount even if it didn't keep this amount of the Title IV program funds. If the University is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that must be returned, the student must repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, scheduled payments are made to the holder of the loan over a period of time. Students who have received a refund of their loan proceeds before withdrawing may be required to return part or all of those funds to the lender.

Title IV funds will be returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct loans
  3. PLUS Loan Funds

The requirements for Title IV program funds when students withdraw are separate from any refund policy that the University may have. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to the University to cover unpaid institutional charges. The University may also attempt to collect from the student any Title IV program funds that the University was required to return.

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from the University’s Tuition Fee refund policy for current students. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the University to cover unpaid institutional charges. The University may also attempt to collect any Title IV program funds from you that the University is required to return.

Withdrawal dates for students that officially withdraw will be determined by the completion of a withdrawal form and an agreement between the School and the student of a last date of attendance. Withdrawal dates for students who unofficially withdraw will be the date that the University becomes aware that a student ceased attendance.

Leave of Absence

A student may take a leave of absence during their period of study, provided the leave is formally requested and approved, the reason for the request is stated and the leave of no more than 180 days’ duration in a 12-month period. There must be a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the period of absence. The leave of absence withdrawal date is the last date of attendance. Leave of absence students retain ‘in-school’ status. Students must be warned about the effects on their loans repayment grace period if they do not return from the leave of absence.


The US Loan Office are responsible for administering Direct Loans at the University of Aberdeen. Our contact details are:


T: +44 (0)1224 272046

Hours: Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm


US Loans

Registry Student Services

University of Aberdeen

Kings College


AB24 3FX



US Loan Administrators

Mandy Ewen and Ashley Fyffe