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The lender is the US Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. The Direct Loan Programme offers several types of loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: For students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least halftime, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
  • PLUS: Unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. Please note a PLUS loan is conditional on passing a successful credit check, either completed by the parents for a Parent PLUS, or student for a Graduate PLUS.
  • Private Loans: The University of Chester is eligible to accept students with private loans. Chester has no preferred lender but only Sallie Mae works with UK institutions as far as we are aware.

Our school code is 041709

Contact Information

The US Financial Aid Office is currently located in the International Centre.

University of Chester US Financial Aid Contacts: 

Admissions Enquiries: Website Links:
E-Mail: usloans@chester.ac.uk General International Admissions Enquiries: international@chester.ac.uk Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Telephone: +44 (0) 1244 512486 International Applications: applyinternational@chester.ac.uk US Department of Education

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION PROCESS

Direct loans are available to all US citizens or permanent residents who have the following:

  • A valid social security number
  • A high school diploma or meet standards approved by the US Department of Education
  • Be enrolled as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible programme
  • Making Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Are not in default on any previous loans
  • Male students also need to be registered for Selective Service

Application Process:

  • All students should familiarize themselves with the US Department of Education Student Financial Aid Resources, prior to applying.
  • Please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. Information on how to fill out the FAFSA is also available on this page.
  • The University of Chester’s school code is 041709. You will need to include this on the FAFSA in order for us to receive your report.
  • Please Note: you will be required to complete a new FAFSA for each year of study at the University of Chester. It is your responsibility to complete the FAFSA, so please be mindful of this.
  • Once you have completed the FAFSA, a Student Aid Report (SAR) is produced. The University will not receive any electronic notification that you have applied for financial aid, so please notify us of your application by emailing usloans@chester.ac.uk.
  • Once we have received your SAR, we will determine your eligibility and calculate the amount of loans you are entitled to. You will receive notification electronically from usloans@chester.ac.uk.
  • For students commencing September 2020, please note the earliest you will receive notification of your loan entitlement for the 2020/21 academic year is April 2020.

Your financial aid offer will include specific details on what loans we plan to disburse as well as the expected disbursement dates and amount. Please read your offer carefully and remember, you are responsible for paying back any amount that you borrow plus interest. You have a right to either decline the loan or request a lower amount if you believe your cost of attendance to be lower than our projections.

HOW MUCH CAN I BORROW?

The amount you are allowed to borrow through direct loans will be determined by your estimated cost of attendance and the limits set by the US department of Education. Your loans will therefore likely be comprised of government funded direct loans and further ones.

Your cost of attendance is an estimate of how much it will cost you to study at the University of Chester for one academic year. The table below provides a breakdown of the essential costs for one academic year at the University of Chester, including tuition fees, after international discounts have been deducted. Please note these costs are estimates based on average annual expenditures of an undergraduate or postgraduate single student enrolled on a full-time course. If you believe your costs may be different based on your living arrangements or extraordinary circumstances, please adjust the below figures as necessary. You may be asked to provide written justification for your amendments.  With this justification we will make a decision, which is final.

Estimated Cost of Attendance, 2020/21

Tuition Fees: Amount shown is before all guaranteed international scholarships have been deducted. Complete information available on our International Fees Page.

Undergraduate with Foundation Year 1st Year

£9,250

Undergraduate

£12,450

Taught Postgraduate

£12,450

MBA

£12,700

Postgraduate Research

£13,031

Accommodation: Based on £125 per week, 48 weeks for UG and 54 for PG

Undergraduate

£6,000

Taught/Research Postgraduate/MBA

£6,750

Transportation: Including international flights

£2,500

Food: Based on £60 per week, 48 weeks for UG and 54 for PG

Undergraduate

£2,880

Taught/Research Postgraduate/MBA

£3,240

Books and Photocopying

£500

Miscellaneous: Additional essential fees, household items, consumables, laundry, etc.

£3,500

Visa Application Fee*

£328

UKVI Immigration Health Surcharge*

Length of Course

 

1 year

£300

2 years

£600

3 years

£1,050

4 years

£1,350

*These items are only factored into the Cost of Attendance for new students. Cost of Attendance for continuing students does not include these items.

We can also authorize a one-time payment of £500 towards a PC or Laptop, during the first year of study. Please inform us if you wish to include this in your cost of attendance.

Calculation of Loan Entitlement:

Please note the University of Chester uses the following exchange rate for all its calculations: £1.00 = $1.35 but is subject to change in summer 2020/21 if the rates have changed drastically.

ACCEPTING YOUR FINANCIAL AID OFFER AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

To accept your financial aid offer, you will need to sign and return one copy of the letter to the University of Chester. It is acceptable for you to send this to us via e mail.

One of the conditions on your academic offer will be that you must pay the £3,000 deposit to secure your place with the university. If you are accepting your loans, and the total amount you are receiving exceeds the amount of the initial deposit (£3,000) you will be exempt from paying the depot to secure your place; your award letter and supporting documents are accepted in the deposit’s place.

In addition to the financial aid offer letter, we require the following supporting documents:

  • Completing the Master Promissory Note: The MPN is a legal document which explains the terms and conditions of your loans and holds you accountable to repay all loans and any associated fees and interest to the Department of Education. Please complete your MPN at www.studentloans.gov, using your Federal Student Aid Pin, and e mail a scan or your signed copy to usloans@chester.ac.uk. We require a MPN for each type of loan you are using. Without a copy of your signed MPN, your loan will be rejected.

Please Note: Like completing the FAFSA, a new MPN is required for each year of your studies that you continue to receive Federal Student Aid. As the applicant you are responsible for ensuring a new MPN is sent to Chester each year.

  • Entrance Counselling: All first time borrowers are required to complete online entrance counselling for all loans except Parent Direct PLUS loan borrowers. This process is mandatory and must be completed before Chester can originate your loan. Please visit www.studentloans.gov to complete this counselling. Once complete, please e mail us a screen shot confirming you have undertaken it.
  • Evidence of credit check for PLUS loan: If you or your parent are taking out a Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS loan, you will need to satisfy a credit check as part of the PLUS application process. A letter will be produced with your results, which we require a copy of. If you are not planning to take out a PLUS loan, you will not be expected to provide this information. We cannot accept an independent credit check; we can only accept one provided as part of the application process.
  • Scholarship Award Letters:  The University of Chester awards automatic scholarships for International students, which will be factored into your COA. If you have been awarded any additional scholarships, such as rotary, local government scholarships, etc., please send us a copy of that award letter.
  • Financial Aid Awareness Counselling: This isn’t mandatory, but we highly recommend it to all students.

Please ensure you email these documents even if you are told you they have been sent to the school electronically.  Please note we will not consider your aid as accepted until we have both the signed offer and all the required supporting documents. Once we have this information, we will consider you as committed to attending Chester and will begin the CAS request process, which subsequently allows you to apply for your Tier 4 (General) student visa.

Additional Documentation:

  • Exit Counselling: You will also be required to complete Exit Counselling shortly before you complete your studies. The Financial Aid Office will contact you with additional information. To learn more please visit www.studentloans.gov

Loan Disbursements:

For Undergraduate Students: Your loan will be disbursed throughout the year in three instalments, roughly October, January and April. First year under-graduate students will wait 30 days from the first day of enrolment for their first disbursement. 

For Post Graduate Taught and Research Students:  Your loan will be disbursed throughout the year in four instalments, roughly October, January, April and July.

Detailed information will be included on your offer. Disbursements can only be made to students who have fully enrolled on their programme and are making satisfactory academic progress. You will be notified of your disbursement details via email one months before the actual disbursement date. We would also recommend all students plan to bring at least some money over with them to cover any costs before receiving their first disbursement or in the event we experience any delays with your disbursement.

University of Chester will disburse your loan using Western Union Business Solutions.

You will receive an email to your University email account from Western Union Business Solutions requesting your bank details. Please ensure you provide these well in advance of the disbursement date. Once the funds are received a third/quarter of the fees you owe the institution (tuition and accommodation if you are living in university owned housing) will be deducted. Any remaining balance will be deposited into your UK account within 3 working days of the disbursement date, as long as you have provided your bank details to Western Union Business Solutions. If you do not provide your bank details a cheque will be issued and you can collect this from the Finance Office, Chichester House.

VISA DOCUMENTATION

The majority of our international students require a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK. You will be made familiar with this process through your application and acceptance to Chester. Initial information will be sent with your offer in our Offer Guide. Before you can apply for your visa you will need from us a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) an official document we issue with a reference number you include in your visa application. This lets the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) know that you are applying for a visa to study at Chester.

As stated above, we will not progress you to the CAS request stage until you have given us your signed award letter and supporting documents, essentially fulfilling the deposit payment process.

Once you have your CAS, we will provide you with documentation confirming that you will be receiving federal loans to fund your studies. While the USA is classed a low-risk country by the UKVI, and therefore American students are not required to demonstrate maintenance funds as part of their Tier 4 (General) student visa, we highly advise that you keep the documentation from us confirming your loans for your records in the unlikely event you are asked to submit evidence.

CURRENT INTEREST RATES AND FEES

Interest rates are fixed at the following for Direct loans disbursed on or after July 1st 2019 and prior to July 1st 2020:

  • Subsidised and Unsubsidised undergraduate interest:  4.53%
  • Unsubsidised graduate interest: 6.08%
  • PLUS Interest is: 7.08%

Interest rates are fixed at the following for Direct loans disbursed on or after July 1st 2020 and prior to July 1st 2021:

  • Subsidised and Unsubsidised undergraduate interest: 2.75%
  • Unsubsidised graduate interest: 4.30%
  • PLUS Interest is: 5.30%

Furthermore, you will be subject to an origination fee.

Fees for loans disbursed on or after 1st October 2019 and before 1st October 2020 are:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans: 1.059%
  • PLUS Loans: 4.236% 

Fees for loans disbursed on or after 1st October 2020 and before 1st October 2021 are:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans: 1.057%
  • PLUS Loans: 4.228% 

Additional information on interest rates and fees can be found on:  https://studentaid.gov/

MAXIMUM DIRECT LOAN ELIGIBILITY

The following table shows the level of loans available:

Dependent

Undergraduates

Initial Subsidized Stafford

Additional Unsubsidized Stafford

Combined (maximum) Levels

1st Year

$3,500

$2,000

$5,500

2nd Year

$4,500

$2,000

$6,500

3rd Year and Up

$5,500

$2,000

$7,500

Independent Undergraduates or Dependent Undergrad whose Parent is denied Parent PLUS.

1st Year

$3,500

$6,000

$9,500

2nd Year

$4,500

$6,000

$10,500

3rd Year and Up

$5,500

$7,000

$12,500

Graduate/Professional Students

 

Not Applicable

$20,500

$20,500

In addition to the annual limits, the following aggregate limits apply:

Aggregate Limits

 

Subsidized

Subsidized & Unsubsidized Combined

Dependent Undergraduates

$23,000

$31,000

Independent Undergraduates

$23,000

$57,500

Graduate & Professionals

$65,500

$138,500

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS POLICY
CONSUMER INFORMATION
PRIVATE LOANS

Students may apply for a private loan, (subject to credit history) however, Chester encourages students that are eligible, to utilise Federal Loans in the first instance.

The University of Chester has no preferred private lender. At present, Chester is eligible to accept students with private loans provided by Sallie Mae. Eligibility for their loans is determined directly by Sallie Mae. If your loan is approved, the University of Chester will be notified and asked to certify your loan amount. Chester will use the same cost of attendance chart used for students applying for Federal Aid, when certifying Sallie Mae loans. To learn more or apply, please visit: https://myglobaled.com.

  • Please note you can borrow up to the maximum amount of the cost of attendance and no more. If you wish to borrow more, please contact us, as you will be asked to provide documented evidence for your increase.
  • Please notify us of any additional funding you have or expect to receive from scholarships and/or bursaries.

Disbursement:

You will receive your money in one disbursement at the start of your academic programme once you have completed the enrolment process. You will receive an email to your University email account from Western Union Business Solutions requesting your bank details. Please ensure you provide these well in advance of the disbursement date. Once the funds are received the fees you owe the institution at that time (tuition and accommodation if you are living in university owned housing) will be deducted. Any remaining balance will be deposited into your UK account within 3 working days of the disbursement date, as long as you have provided your bank details to Western Union Business Solutions. If you do not provide your bank details

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