How to apply for Federal loans | University of Oxford
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How to apply for Federal loans

To apply for a loan for the 2018-19 academic year, you must follow the application process outlined below. 

Students should not start any part of their 2019-20 loan application before May 2019. If you make your application early and your financial information subsequently changes, this may have an effect on the processing of your US Loan. We begin processing loans for the new academic year in May and the information on this page will be updated with information for 2019-20 from May, so please refer back then. If you are a new student and are applying for a loan for the 2019-20 academic year, please only start the application process once you have had an offer from your department and an offer from a college. 

Most students want their loan application to be approved before their college's Financial Declaration deadline. If this applies to you, please ensure that you apply in plenty of time as the approval process can take up to four weeks or longer if there are difficulties with your application. It is your responsibility to ensure that you submit a complete loan application in good time to meet any deadlines.

Guide to applying for a US federal student loan:

Step 1 – Complete your FAFSA

You need to have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal loans. If you are a continuing loan student, you should have completed a renewal FAFSA.

Ensure you have used the correct school code for your college on your FAFSA (see Related documents on the right hand side of this page for a list of Oxford college school codes). 

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

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

Use the school code for your college on the PLUS loan request (see Related documents on this page for a list of Oxford college school codes).  

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

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

Undergraduates:  Complete an MPN for the Subsidised and Unsubsidised loans and, 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 Use the school code for your college (see Related documents on this page for a list of Oxford college school codes).

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 copies to us.

Step 4 – Complete entrance counselling

You must 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). 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.  

Complete entrance counselling on Use the school code for your college (see Related documents on this page for a list of Oxford college school codes).

Step 5 – Complete Oxford’s Cost of attendance (COA) form

Important things to note before completing your COA;

  • You cannot save the COA form and return to it later and so we recommend reading through the form first and making sure you have all of the information to hand before you start to complete it.
  • At various point in the form you may be asked to upload supporting evidence, it is important to supply this to avoid delays to your loan being processed. Likewise please make sure you have completed steps 1 to 4 above before attempting to submit your COA.
  • If you are an undergraduate you can confirm whether you are a 'dependent' or 'independent' student by consulting the Student Aid Report (SAR) generated by your FAFSA application (see the Loan types page for more information).
  • The COA contains a large amount of data and so please allow a few seconds for the form to open initially and when submitting wait for the confirmation screen before closing your browser window.     

To continue please select the relevant link below;

What next and submission deadlines

We will only be able to start processing your loan once we receive your COA and all of the above steps are complete.

Submission deadlines: Your complete application must be received by 14 September 2018 in order for it to be processed for payment on the first disbursement date. Applications made throughout the year must be received a minimum of one calendar month before the next disbursement date in order for us to process your application in time for that disbursement. We cannot guarantee that applications will be approved within these timescales if there are outstanding issues with your loan.

We will email you to either confirm that your loan application has been approved, or to clarify any queries regarding your application. 

Once approved on US systems, we will send you an award letter which will detail your loan amounts and disbursement information. The wording and format of the letter has been agreed with UK Visas and Immigration as acceptable proof of funding for visa applications.

For information on how and when loan funds are disbursed, see the Receiving your loan page.

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

Private loans application process

If you are interested in applying for a private US student loan, please see the Private loans page. 

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