Student loans are provided by the US Government to eligible students on eligible programmes of study. The University of Edinburgh is an approved Title IV institution for the purpose of administering these loans.
At the University of Edinburgh, Scholarships and Student Funding Services staff are committed to helping you determine the best way to pay for your education and to provide comprehensive support and quality service.
Latest News for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 FAFSA applicants
As a student in receipt of US Federal loans you may be concerned about the impact of the COVID 19 virus on your continued eligibility for funding, given that normally both online learning and studying in the USA are prohibited for students at foreign schools.
- The US government has, on 27th March, approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which includes legistlation relevant to students enrolled at foreign schools. For the duration of the current emergency and for one further payment period (part academic year) the university is continuing to process scheduled loan disbursements, even though teaching and supervision is being delivered online and students may have returned to the US, providing that students continue to meet all other Federal Student Aid eligibility requirements.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act has increased the duration for which the Secretary may permit an otherwise eligible program to be offered by distance education. While previously the CARES Act permitted otherwise eligible programs to be offered via distance education for the duration of the qualifying emergency and the following payment period, the amendments now use a “covered period”. The “covered period” ends on whichever is later of June 30, 2022 or the June 30 following the end of the emergency as declared by the country in which the foreign school is located.
We will keep you updated on these developments - please refer to this FAQ document.
Current students who have an amount owing for 2020-21 tuition fees are advised to email as soon as possible for advice.
NEWS for 2021-22 FAFSA applicants
We are hoping to start work on processing FAFSA applications for September 2021 starts and continuing students from April 2021 and will be in touch with further information at that point.
If you have completed a FAFSA for 2021/2022 and have applied to the University, please complete this FAFSA Enquiry form to let us know that you have completed your FAFSA application.
New 2021-22 entrants for the BVMS Veterinary Medicine programme who have applied for admission through VMCAS and have not yet received their university student number and EASE password will be unable to access the above FAFSA Enquiry form and should instead contact the Scholarships and Financial Support team by email.
Students commencing a new postgraduate level programme at the University of Edinburgh are advised to select "1st Year Grad/Prof" as their grade level in college even if they have previously completed a postgraduate programme of study.
Please also refer to the above FAQs relating to US Federal Loans and Coronavirus.
GENERAL INFORMATION for New Applicants and Current Students
Please see US Loan Eligibility Flowchart document for details about the application process.
Please also refer to Applying for Financial Aid at the University of Edinburgh menu for further details and look out for emails regarding the next steps.
In addition to the information on our web pages our“Edinburgh Financial Aid Information” provides comprehensive information on various aspects of the US loan process. We would encourage all current and prospective borrowers to consult this document.
PELL GRANTS - Applicants should note that as a foreign school, the University is NOT authorised to administer Federal grants, only Direct Loans.
If you have any queries about US loans please feel free to contact our Financial Aid staff within Scholarships and Student Funding Services at: email@example.com
The next scheduled US loan disbursement dates for 2020-2021 are:
- 12th May 2021
- 17th May 2021
- 7th July 2021
Should you not have completed all the necessary steps in order for a loan disbursement to be requested (i.e. complete online registration and accept the University's regulations, enter bank details on Payee Manager, the loan borrower of the Parent PLUS loan provide consent for surplus funds to be refunded to you if applicable), your loan disbursement will be resheduled to the next available loan disbursement date.
Please note, this is dependent on your loan period end date e.g. for an Undergraduate student with a loan period end date of 21st May 2021, the last available loan disbursement date will be 12th May 2021.
Students receiving US Federal Aid are governed by stringent US Department of Education regulations. Borrowing is intended for on campus study only.
Students require to be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible programme at the University of Edinburgh on either a full-time or at least half-time basis.
Please note that the following programmes are not eligible for Federal loans at the University of Edinburgh.
- Undergraduate MBChB
- Bachelor of Nursing
- EdD (Doctorate of Education) - distinct from PhD Education which is eligible
- MSc Chinese Studies
- All programmes which include a compulsory study away period at an ineligible institution or a study away period in the USA
- All Online Learning Programmes
- All PhD by Distance Programmes
- All Diploma Programmes
- All Certificate Programmes
Students wishing to arrange funding for ineligible programmes or for ineligible periods of study have the option of arranging a Private Alternative Loan (see Types of Loans menu).
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the CARES Act currently allows programmes which are normally delivered on campus to be delivered online without affecting Federal loan eligibility. However this concession does not apply to programmes which are always delivered online or at a distance.
If your degree programme involves study outwith the University of Edinburgh through a formal arrangement with another institution, then the following conditions must be satisfied in order to remain eligible for Federal Aid:
- your study abroad institution must also be a participating and approved Federal Aid (Title IV) School.
- your study abroad institution must not be in the USA.
- your study abroad period must account for no more than 25% of your programme of study
To check if your institution participates in this scheme, please refer to the studentaid.ed.gov website and find out which international schools participate in the federal student aid programs.
For all other periods of study outwith the University of Edinburgh including work based placements, periods of independent research and writing up you are advised to check your eligibility for Federal Aid with the University's Scholarships and Financial Support team. Please note that this is not an automatic entitlement, even if academic approval has been granted, and there are strict criteria to satisfy. Please email Scholarships and Financial Support staff with the following details:
- the dates of your study abroad period or work based placement
- the location of your study abroad period or work based placement, including details of any institution to which you will be attached
- the academic reason for your study abroad period or work based placement
- the name of the University of Edinburgh supervisor with whom you will be in regular contact during your study abroad period or work based placement
- confirmation of all of the above details from your principal supervisor in writing
Financial Aid staff will check your eligibility and inform you whether you are entitled to receive Federal Aid during your study abroad. In general periods of study in the USA are not eligible for Federal loans (Masters students and Undergraduate students may not complete ANY portion of their programme of study in the USA). However there is one specific exception for PhD students.
Specific restriction on independent research/writing up in the USA for PhD students
Please note that any period(s) of independent research or writing up in the USA for PhD students must be essential for academic reasons and are limited to a maximum total period of 12 months, beyond which eligibility for Federal Aid will no longer apply.
If you are studying part time at the University of Edinburgh this may affect your entitlement for Federal Aid. Periods of study on a less than half-time basis are ineligible for Federal Aid.
Students offered admission for either one semester or one academic year as a visiting student should apply for Federal Aid through their home school in the US.
General eligibility conditions for financial aid
To receive aid, including Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans, a student must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Must be a student enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible programme at an eligible institution. Undergraduate MBChB, Bachelor of Nursing, ED (Doctorate of Education), all Certificate, Diploma and e-learning/Distance Learning students are not eligible for loans at the University of Edinburgh
- Must have a high school diploma
- 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
The University of Edinburgh's school code is: G06839 (this code may also appear as 00683900 and applies to all students including those studying at Edinburgh College of Art within the University of Edinburgh- the school code G12360 is no longer in use).
Please see US Loan Eligibility Flowchart for further details about the application process.
1. Apply for admission at the University of Edinburgh
Students are required to apply for admission to the University of Edinburgh and be offered a place of admission before Financial Aid staff will originate any loan. Details on how to apply for undergraduate and postgraduate admission can be found on the University's website.
2. On campus study
Confirm your programme of study is based on campus in Edinburgh for the full year. If your programme is not based on campus, please contact Financial Aid staff for further advice.
3. Submit a FAFSA
Students wishing to apply for financial aid are required to complete a FAFSA. This can be completed online at: Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Students are required to complete a FAFSA each year. A Renewal FAFSA is designed for students who applied for aid the previous year.
Once you have completed a FAFSA and have applied to the University, please complete this FAFSA Enquiry form
You can apply for 2021-22 using the FAFSA on the Web from 1 October 2020. Apply early and ensure that your financial aid is approved in plenty of time before the start of the new academic session. The University of Edinburgh normally processes loans from 1st May in time for the start of the new academic session.
Students enrolled in 2020-21 may still be able to apply for 2020-21 funding and should contact the University's Financial Aid Office as soon as possible for advice.
On the FAFSA website you will find details on how to obtain an FSA ID, consisting of a user-created username and password. If you have applied previously you will be able to complete the Renewal FAFSA.
Students commencing a new postgraduate level programme at the University of Edinburgh are advised to select "1st Year Grad/Prof" as their grade level in college even if they have previously completed a postgraduate programme of study.
A Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you from the Department of Education once the FAFSA is completed. If you listed The University of Edinburgh on your FAFSA, the University will receive an electronic copy of your SAR.
If there are any discrepancies with your FAFSA (selected for verification, C Code, rejected record), Financial Aid staff will notify you by e-mail.
Visiting students attending the University of Edinburgh for one semester or for a full academic year will generally apply for Financial Aid through their home institution. Those who require a consortium agreement to be completed should email the form to the University's Financial Aid Office. Where a consortium agreement is in place, funding will continue to be arranged by the visiting student's home institution rather than the University of Edinburgh.
4. Cost of Attendance
You can determine the level of loans that you may be able to borrow by using the relevant Cost of Attendance (COA) spreadsheets on our website, although some programs of study may have a different number of weeks included.
Based on the information from your FAFSA, and details of your program of study, Financial Aid staff will be able to provide you with an individual COA spreadsheet.
This will be emailed to the email address included in your FAFSA application for you to consider. You can confirm the types of loan and amounts you wish to borrow by returning the completed COA spreadsheet including signing the two declarations at the bottom of the COA.
5. E-sign Your Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
All students taking out a Federal Direct loan outside the US are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) annually before loans can be originated and funds disbursed.
To take out a Direct Loan at a foreign institution, you must complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) each year of your degree programme.
The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department of Education.
The electronic MPN process must be completed in an entire session. If you exit the website without completing the MPN, you will need to start over. The session should take about 30 minutes online.
E- sign your Federal Direct loan MPN on the studentaid.gov website, using your Federal Student Aid ID to log in. Follow the five-step process to sign your MPN, either as an Undergraduate student or as a Graduate/Professional student or as a Parent of a Dependent Undergraduate student.
For Graduate PLUS or Parent PLUS loans a separate MPN is required, if applicable. As PLUS loans are subject to a credit check, MPNs for PLUS loans must be signed using a US postal address. An overseas address will automatically result in the credit check being pended.
The University of Edinburgh's school code is G06839 - this code should also be used for students studying within Edinburgh College of Art.
Please choose the University of Edinburgh as your school and complete the MPN(s).
6. Loan Entrance Counselling
The U.S. Department of Education requires first-time borrowers of the federal Direct loan to complete a loan entrance counselling session before loans can be originated and funds disbursed. You can complete this online on the studentaid.gov web site either as a first-time Undergraduate borrower or as a first time Graduate/Professional borrower.
This counselling session provides you with information that will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower, as well as other tools to assist you with managing your loans. Graduate/Professional borrowers wishing to borrow a Graduate PLUS loan are required to complete Entrance Counselling for Graduate/Professional Students if they have not done so previously.
The University of Edinburgh's school code is G06839 - this code should also be used for students studying within Edinburgh College of Art..
Please choose the University of Edinburgh as your school and complete your Entrance Counselling. (Please note: completion of Financial Awareness Counseling does NOT meet the Entrance Counseling requirement but you may complete Financial Awareness Counseling at any time to help you understand your financial aid and manage your finances).
7. PLUS Credit Counselling (if applicable)
PLUS Credit Counselling is required if the U.S.Department of Education has informed you that you have an adverse credit history and you have obtained an endorser or documented to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.
PLUS Credit Counselling can be completed voluntarily at any time. If PLUS Credit Counselling is completed voluntarily and you are determined to have an adverse credit history by the U.S. Department of Education within 30 days of PLUS Credit Counseling completion, your PLUS Credit Counselling requirement will be considered to be fulfilled.
8. Financial Aid Award Letter
Once your loans have been originated satisfactorily you will receive an award letter which details the loan amounts, net of origination fees, and the disbursement dates.
This award letter will be emailed to you and should be used to satisfy visa requirements.
9. Complete the University’s new online registration and regulations process and engage with your school
Further information can be found here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-systems/support-guidance/students/matriculation/online-registration
10. The loan borrower of the Parent PLUS loan has provided consent for surplus funds to be refunded back to the student (if applicable)
Please ask the loan borrower of the Parent PLUS loan (your Mother/Father) to confirm by email to firstname.lastname@example.org that she/he gives her/his Parental Consent for any surplus funds resulting from the Parent PLUS loan, after the necessary amounts for tuition fees have been retained by the University of Edinburgh, to be passed directly to you.
11. Payee Manager Bank Details
Students are required to sign up for Global Pay Payee Manager, a direct deposit service offered through Western Union Business Solutions which allows payment directly to a UK bank account (or in exceptional circumstances such as the Coronavirus emergency situation to a US bank account).
If you do not submit bank details, we will be unable to request your loan funds from the US Treasury and this will delay your disbursement.
Please see Disbursement of Loans menu for further details.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as parents of undergraduate students may borrow money for university education.
There are four types of loan options for students studying at the University of Edinburgh.
The interest rates quoted below apply to Federal Direct Student Loans 2020-2021, effective for loans with a first disbursement on or after 1st July 2020, and before 1st July 2021.
Interest rates for 2021-2022 loans with a first disbursement on or after 1st July 2021 are expected to be confirmed in May 2021. Information on origination fees is explained for the different loan types in each section below.
For information about temporary interest rate and repayment relief related to the Coronavirus pandemic please refer to Federal Student Aid's Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers and Parents
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are available to eligible students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web.
This federal student aid is made available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program to help pay for educational expenses and does not require credit approval.
Scholarships and Student Funding Services awards a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, or a combination of both loans, based on your financial need.
The information you report on your FAFSA is used to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a calculated formula that allows the University to determine your financial need. To determine your financial need, your EFC is subtracted from your cost of attendance.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
A federal Direct Subsidized Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The U.S. government pays interest on a subsidized loan while you are enrolled at university at least half-time and during deferment periods. Direct Subsidized loans for undergraduate students will have an interest rate of 2.75% (from 1st July 2020).
Please note that graduates are not entitled to a Direct Subsidized Loan but may apply for up to $20,500 from the Direct Unsubsidized Loan (subject to approval by Financial Aid staff within Scholarships and Student Funding Services).
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
A federal Direct Unsubsidized loan is awarded regardless of need. The interest rate for federal Direct Unsubsidized loans is fixed at 2.75% (from 1st July 2020) for undergraduate borrowers and 4.30% (from 1st July 2020) for graduate borrowers. You are not required to pay the interest on this loan while at university but we recommend that you do. You will be charged interest starting at disbursement until it is paid in full. If the interest accumulates, it will be added to the principal amount of the loan and increase the amount to be repaid.
A fee of 1.059% will be deducted from the gross amount of the loan you borrow, so you may wish to take this into consideration when determining the amount you need to borrow. Any Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans originated with a first disbursement date on or after 1st October 2020 will have a revised fee of 1.057%.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to help pay for educational expenses at the University of Edinburgh.
Parents can borrow up to the total Estimated Cost of Attendance minus all other sources of financial aid their student receives.
PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents and not the student.
A parent PLUS loan borrower must meet the same citizenship and residency requirements as the student. The parent must not owe a refund on a federal student financial aid grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
A credit check is conducted when your parents begin the loan application process. Undergraduates whose parents do not qualify for a PLUS loan can borrow additional federal Direct Unsubsidized loan funds.
The interest rate is fixed at 5.30% (from 1st July 2020) and repayment begins within 60 days after your loan is fully disbursed and lasts ten years.
Origination fees for Direct Parent PLUS loans are set at 4.236%. Loans originated with a first disbursement date on or after 1st October 2020 will have a revised fee of 4.228%.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
The federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that graduate students with good credit histories may borrow to help pay their educational expenses.
A graduate student may borrow up to the total Cost of Attendance less all other financial aid received by the student.
Applicants for these loans are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
They also must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan.
The interest rate is a fixed rate of 5.30% (from 1st July 2020) and is charged on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until it is paid in full. There is a 4.236% loan origination fee deducted from the loan by the U.S. Department of Education, loans originated with a first disbursement date on or after 1st October 2020 will have a revised fee of 4.228%.
Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan and the first payment is due within 60 days after the date the loan is fully disbursed. A Graduate PLUS borrower may receive a deferment while he or she is enrolled on at least a half-time basis at an eligible school. Upon dropping to less than half-time enrollment status, the borrower is not entitled to a grace period on his or her PLUS loans.
Private Alternative Loan
Please see Private Alternative Loan Flowchart for further details about the application process.
A private alternative loan is a non-federal education loan, through a private lender, typically in the student’s name and requiring a cosigner.
Approval and interest rates are based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and cosigner. 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 and scholarship opportunities, 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 Foreign 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.
Sallie Mae also offers a "Parent Loan" which gives parents and other individuals a flexible way to take out an education loan in their name, while relieving the student of financial responsibility. For more information please refer directly to Sallie Mae (see links below).
US Veterans Affairs Benefits
The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers education benefits to qualifying students.
Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for 2020-2021 students
The US Department of Veterans Affairs has worked with Congress to preserve GI Bill benefits for impacted students during this difficult time. For programmes approved prior to 1st March 2020 the new law allows for VA to continue to pay benefits even though the programme has changed from resident training to hybrid or online training until 21st December 2021. Students will continue to receive benefits, including monthly housing allowance payments at the resident rate until December 21, 2021 or until the school resumes normal operations of resident training, whichever comes first. For programmes approved on or after 1st March 2020 the VA cannot award benefits for programmes solely taught by online learning, only those delivered on a hybrid basis.
Institutional Eligibility for Veterans Affairs Benefits
The University of Edinburgh is approved to process Veterans Affairs Benefits.
Individual Eligibility for Veterans Affairs Benefits
Students may be eligible for Veterans Affairs benefits, if they are a:
- Veteran, Veteran's dependent
- Surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased Veteran
- Uniformed service member
- Present or former reservist or National Guard member
The University is not involved in determining individual eligibility - students should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly for confirmation of their eligibility for benefits made under programmes such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill or the Montgomery GI Bill.
The University of Edinburgh is unable to process Yellow Ribbon Benefits.
Programme Eligibility for Veterans Affairs Benefits
As well as being personally eligible to claim US Veterans Affairs Benefits, students must have their intended programme of study approved. Students can check either with the Department of Veterans Affairs or with the University of Edinburgh whether their chosen programme of study has already been approved.
If the programme of study has not already been approved, the University can seek approval, but this can only be done when the student concerned has received an offer of admission. Please email the University's Finanacial Aid Office quoting your University applicant number to request programme approval.
Restriction on Programme Eligibility - please note that programmes which are normally delivered by online learning cannot be approved for students at foreign schools. The current relaxation of regulations, allowing hybrid/online learning, applies only to programmes which are normally delivered on campus in Edinburgh.
Certification of Enrollment
Providing the programme of study has been approved and the offer of admission has been accepted the University can provide certification of enrollment of the student to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This should then trigger the release of payments at the appropriate time, according to the dates of the period of study. If a programme of study involves study away from Edinburgh for a period of time, students are advised to check whether the study away period can be certified for the purpose of receiving benefits.
Enrollment is normally certified for one academic year at a time. For 2020-21 we were initially restricted to confirming details of the first semester but can now proceed with second semester confirmations. Continuing students who wish to continue claiming benefits should request renewed certification for each year of study by emailing the University's Financial Aid Office.
Tuition Fee Payments
The Department of Veterans Affairs does not allow the University of Edinburgh to invoice them directly for tuition fees relating to Chapter 33 benefits. Instead tuition fees are invoiced to the student and any payments received from the Department of Veterans Affairs are converted to British Pounds at the prevailing exchange rate before being credited to the student’s tuition fee account to reduce the outstanding balance. There is a maximum dollar amount payable by the Department of Veterans Affairs for tuition fees in an academic year at a foreign school such as the 2020-2021 limit Please refer separately to the limits for 2019-2020
As well as the tuition fee cap exchange rate differentials may result in the amount paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs not fully covering the tuition fee charged by the university. The dollar amount payable is calculated by the Department of Veterans Affairs using a theoretical exchange rate as at 1st July each year whereas the dollar payments released are converted using an actual exchange rate at the time the payment is received by the university. In all cases where there is a shortfall it is the student’s responsibility to make payment themselves or arrange alternative funding such as Federal Loans (subject to eligibility) or Private Loans. There are different invoicing arrangements for students in receipt of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits but this type of funding may also result in a shortfall being payable by the student.
For further advice on making tuition fee payments and for information about US loans please refer to the related links below.
Americorps National Service Awards
As a Title IV institution the University of Edinburgh is approved to accept Americorps National Service Awards
Students who have completed certain types of national service in the US may be eligible to receive a National Service Award (Segal Education Trust).
To manage your award please use the MyAmericorps portal
For eligible students, payment of an award is made directly to the University of Edinburgh for tuition fees but the university must first confirm details of the student’s programme of study and enrolment period through the online Americorps system.
Please note that Americorps National Service Awards are released in two equal installments, one at the start of the relevant enrolment period and one at the mid-point, unless the date of authorisation is past the mid-point of the enrolment period.
For further assistance please contact email@example.com
529 Savings Plans
As a Title IV institution the University of Edinburgh is approved to accept funds from 529 Savings Plans.
Bank details for electronic payments can be obtained from the Income Section of Finance Department (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 651 5151).
Armed Forces student loan benefits
Please find further details on the following webpage: Armed Forces student loan benefits
Each academic year, the Office of Scholarships and Student Funding Services establishes standard student budgets that use cost of attendance (COA) estimates for awarding financial aid funds.
The budgets reflect typical student expenses and consist of two basic components:
- Direct educational costs - tuition fees, books/supplies and computing costs
- Indirect (maintenance) costs - accommodation, utilities, food, travel, miscellaneous personal expenses
While costs may vary depending on where students live in Edinburgh we expect students' cost of attendance to be roughly in line with our estimates and the university is required to issue a standard cost of attendance spreadsheet to all students on the same programme of study. Requests for variation to the standard cost of attendance spreadsheet will be considered only exceptionally on a case by case basis by the Financial Aid Officer, up to four weeks prior to the end of the loan period. Students are advised to review their existing borrowings by completing Financial Awareness Counseling before requesting any increases and proof of costs will be required.
Costs relating to spouses or dependants will not be considered apart from the cost of formal childcare for dependants during class time, study time and commuting time e.g. nursery/child-minder/after school club costs.
The most commonly used Postgraduate and Undergraduate Cost of Attendance files for 2020-21 are below. Some students will require slightly different Cost of Attendance calculations based on type and length of programme. For further information please contact us.
|Expenditure Type||Number of weeks included is based on term-time for particular programme|
|Rent||£175 per week|
|Utilities (gas, electricity, internet etc.)||£40 per week|
|£70 per week|
|Books/Supplies/Computer Equipment||£20 per week|
|Travel (local)||£15 per week|
|Personal||£60 per week|
Flights (round trips to /from the US)
|£2,000 in total for full academic year, £1000 for six month study period|
|Tuition Fees charged by University of Edinburgh||Refer to information provided by the Fees Team|
|Additional Programme Costs charged by University of Edinburgh||Refer to information provided by the Fees Team|
|Visa Cost & Immigration Health Surcharge (if applying for new Tier 4 visa)||Refer to information provided by the Student Immigration Service|
|Theoretical Exchange Rate used o convert GBP costs to USD borrowing amounts||1.40 USD/GBP|
Please note that the Cost of Attendance (COA) uses a theoretical exchange rate, reviewed annually, to convert UK costs into US dollar borrowing amounts. The value of funds received will vary according to the exchange rate at the time of each disbursement. Students are advised to monitor their pounds sterling educational expenses relative to the pounds sterling amounts included in the COA. If students receive additional pounds sterling funds due to a favourable exchange rate they have the opportunity to reduce their loan debt by asking for future disbursements to be reduced, giving at least seven days notice to email@example.com
The amount in Direct Loan funds that you are eligible to borrow each academic year is limited by your grade level; whether you are a dependent or an independent student; your financial need; and your cost of attendance.
You cannot borrow more than your financial need or the cost of attendance.
|Dependent Student||Base Amount (Subsidized or Unsubsidized)||Additional Unsubsidized Loan||Total Annual Combined Maximum Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans|
|Third-year and beyond undergraduate||$5,500||$2,000||$7,500|
|Independent Student (and Dependent Students Whose Parents are Denied a PLUS Loan)||Base Amount (Subsidized or Unsubsidized)||Additional Unsubsidized Loan||Total Annual Combined Maximum Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans|
|Third-year and beyond undergraduate||$5,500||$7,000||$12,500|
|Postgraduate student||Base Amount (Subsidized or Unsubsidized)||Additional Unsubsidized Loan||Total Annual Combined Maximum Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans|
|All Students||Subsidized only||Total Aggregate (Subsidized and Unsubsidized combined)|
Direct, Graduate PLUS or Parent PLUS loans are disbursed in instalments and the dates of these instalments will depend on your loan period, programme of study and also when you make an application.
The US Federal Government has passed legislation regarding the disbursement of Federal Financial Aid.
Loan funds which are not required for tuition fees will normally be passed to the student in pounds sterling for living expenses. Please note all Federal Aid will now only be disbursed directly to the University. Students are required to sign up for Global Pay Payee Manager, a direct deposit service offered through Western Union Business Solutions which allows payment directly to a UK bank account (or in exceptional circumstances such as the Coronavirus emergency situation to a US bank account).
If you do not submit bank details, we will be unable to request your loan funds from the US Treasury and this will delay your disbursement.
IMPORTANT – When confirming your email address – please confirm your University email address in the format sXXXXXXX@sms.ed.ac.uk where the X’s represent the seven numerical digits of your student number.
Please note the 'sms' after the @ sign
Please also note, the Beneficiary Name field, should be your first name and surname only.
Please refer to the Payee Manager Enrollment Guide for assistance with the enrollment process.
Students wishing to amend the bank details held in Payee Manager after signing up for this service should refer to the following guide for assistance.
Examples below are based on students whose programme starts or progresses in September.
If students have additional borrowings approved during the loan period the additional funds will also be disbursed in instalments based on the instalment dates of the original loan.
Undergraduate Students (excluding Medicine and Veterinary Medicine)
Federal Direct Stafford Loan funding only
Funds will be disbursed in September and January. Both loan disbursements will be applied towards the payment of your tuition fees and you must make arrangements to pay the balance of your fees either in full or following the University’s standard instalment payment plan. Further information on the payment of tuition fees and instalment plans can be obtained from the Finance Office website.
Parent Plus Loan funding only OR Federal Direct Stafford Loan and a Parent Plus Loan/Private Supplementary Loan
Funds will be disbursed in September and January and will be applied towards the payment of your tuition fees. An instalment plan to pay half the tuition fees in September and the remaining half in January will be set up to coincide with the loan disbursements. Any surplus received after your tuition fees have been paid from your US loans will be refunded to you at each loan disbursement date if applicable. Any deficit due towards an instalment of tuition fees must be paid immediately after each loan disbursement.
Undergraduate Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Students
Federal Direct Stafford Loan funding only
Funds will be disbursed in September and January (For 1st year GEP students and all final year students August and January). Both loan disbursements will be applied towards the payment of your tuition fees and you will be required to make arrangements to pay the balance of your fees either in full or following the University’s standard instalment payment plan. Further information on the payment of tuition fees and instalment plans can be obtained from the Finance Office website.
Federal Direct Stafford loan and Graduate Plus Loan/Private Loans
Funds will be disbursed in September and January (For 1st year GEP students August and January), and will be applied towards the payment of your tuition fees. An instalment plan to pay half your tuition fees in August/ September and the remaining half in January will be set up to coincide with the loan disbursements. Any surplus received after your tuition fees have been paid will be refunded to you at each loan disbursement date if applicable. Any deficit due towards an instalment of tuition fees must be paid immediately after each loan disbursement.
Taught Postgraduate Students
Federal Direct Stafford Loan funding only OR Federal Direct Stafford Loan and a Graduate Plus Loan/Private Loan
Funds will be disbursed in either two or three equal installments. Each loan disbursement will be applied towards the payment of your tuition fees. An instalment plan to pay a half or a third of your tuition fees will be set up to coincide with the loan disbursements. Any surplus received after your tuition fees have been paid will be refunded to you at each disbursement date if applicable. Any deficit due towards tuition fees must be paid immediately after each loan disbursement.
Research Postgraduate Students
Federal Direct Stafford Loan funding only OR Federal Direct Stafford Loan and a Graduate Plus Loan/Private Loan
Funds will be disbursed in September and March. Both loan disbursements will be applied towards the payment of your tuition fees. An instalment plan to pay half your tuition fees in September and the remaining half in March will be set up to coincide with the loan disbursements. Any surplus received after your tuition fees have been paid will be refunded to you at each disbursement date if applicable. Any deficit due towards tuition fees must be paid immediately after each loan disbursement.
In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid with the qualitative standard, a student must maintain the academic standing necessary to remain at the University of Edinburgh.
Scholarships and Student Funding Services staff will conduct a review at the end of each academic session to determine the student’s successful progress toward obtaining a degree by comparing cumulative grade average to hours earned. In order to remain enrolled in the programme or to continue receiving aid, a student must satisfy the requirements in the degree regulations and taught assessment regulations for progression. In order to graduate a student must satisfy the requirements for award and, where relevant, classification.
Students may be dismissed by the University if they have not made sufficient academic progress to warrant continuance of study. Students who fail to maintain sufficient academic progress will be dismissed from the programme. Students who have failed to make satisfactory progress may be excluded under the University’s Procedure for Withdrawal and Exclusion from Studies. 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:
The credit requirements of undergraduate degree programmes will vary. For single honours, combined honours and group honours, 480 Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) credits need to be obtained, usually over a four year period. General and Ordinary degrees usually require 360 SCQF credits over a three or four year period. Undergraduate Integrated masters require 600 SCQF credits, generally over five years. Professional medicine and veterinary medicine degrees require more credit and follow longer programmes. The minimum number of credits required for a masters degree is 180 Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework credits and some masters credit requirements will be more that this. The normal time frame for completion of a masters degree at the University of Edinburgh is one year. Part-time masters students may take longer to complete their degree requirements. Requirements for students on PhD programmes are specified in the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study, including those for duration of the PhD. Ph.D. students receiving US Financial Aid may take up to four years to complete their degree requirements.
The University of Edinburgh evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress throughout a student's degree programme. Students must complete all required courses by the end of the degree and there may also be interim progression decisions within and between years or stages of a programme by which students must have obtained sufficient credit and/or be considered suitable to progress. Students who achieve a passing grade may not repeat a course. Students who fail a required course may be permitted to repeat the course and obtain a passing grade before completion of their degree. The University’s Taught Assessment Regulations set out resit requirements:
Scheduled awards for the next academic year for students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress will be cancelled.
Financial aid will be disbursed on the first day of 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 Return to Title IV (R2T4).
Transfer students’ transcripts will be evaluated by the College. Those courses which are applicable to the degree requirement will be accepted and will be used to measure the quantitative SAP requirement. Only those grades earned at the University of Edinburgh will be used to compute the qualitative requirement.
Change of Programme or Degree
Students who decide to change their degree or program objective will be evaluated similarly to Transfer Students with the exception that the grades previously earned at the University of Edinburgh will be used to measure the qualitative requirements.
Although it is unlikely to occur, students may pursue two graduate degrees concurrently, if College approval has been obtained. They are charged the tuition for each programme and the Cost of Attendance for one degree will be adjusted to reflect the two tuition charges. Students must meet the Satisfactory Progress requirements for both programs to retain eligibility. The two sets of courses will be viewed as one programme. Loans will be processed to the maximum yearly eligibility for graduate students.
Students who have completed a graduate degree program and wish to pursue another degree must apply for admission to that programme as would any other applicant and meet the admission requirements for the new programme. Federal loan eligibility will be limited to the aggregate program maximums under Federal Regulations.
Appeals and Waivers of SAP
Students who have failed to make satisfactory progress may be excluded under the University’s Procedure for Withdrawal and Exclusion from Studies. This procedure sets out the process for appeals against exclusion.
Students who are readmitted to their programme may apply in writing to the Head of Scholarships and Student Funding Services for one-time waiver to continue receiving financial aid. The student should specify the exceptional circumstances that led to the poor academic performance and state the reasons why those circumstances will not affect future academic progress. Each case will be individually reviewed and the Head will use his or her professional judgment to determine if the original situation has been resolved to the point where the student can reasonably be expected to succeed and issue a one time waiver of SAP for the next term. If the student still does not make satisfactory progress, then he or she will be ineligible for future aid. The decision of the Head may differ from that of the College in that a student may be readmitted to the programme but may not be eligible for financial aid.
Students must note that there is a maximum timeframe to receive aid. The maximum timeframe only entitles students to receive aid for 150% of the allocated programme of study time frame.
Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy
The law specifies how the University must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance (Direct Loans) that students earn if they withdraw or interrupt.
Scholarships and Student Funding Services is responsible for calculating R2T4 and the Finance Office is responsible for transferring the funds. Scholarships and Student Funding Services uses worksheets provided by the US Department of Education to calculate the R2T4 funds. All funds must be returned to the lender within 45 days of the date of when the University determined that a student withdrew. 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. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web.
When a student withdraws 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 is determined by the Personal Tutor/Supervisor/School 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 many professors may require a student to attend in order to receive a passing grade. Students who are not in attendance are reported to Student Administration/Student Systems, 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 inform the College in writing, citing the reason for withdrawal in writing and the effective date. The College will share that information with Student Administration/Student Systems. 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. 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. Once the student has completed more than 60% 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. Scholarships and Student Funding Services 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.
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. However, it may be in one' s best interest to allow the University to keep the funds to reduce the debt at the University.
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:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct loans
- Subsidized Federal Direct loans
- 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.
Tuition Fee Policy
The University's tuition fee policy is applied independently of the R2T4 policy described above. Please refer to the link below.
Tuition Fee Policy
Procedure for Withdrawal and Exclusion from Studies
For information on the University's withdrawal policy please refer to the link below.
Leave of Absence and Withdrawals
Approved Leave of Absence or Interruption of studies
A Leave of Absence/Interruption of Studies is a temporary withdrawal in a student's programme of study. It refers to the specific time period during a programme when a student is not in attendance. This is a temporary period of time which the student has requested with the intention to return and complete their programme. Students returning from an Interruption of Studies are not required to re-apply for admission.
A “withdrawal” refers to a student’s intent to permanently terminate studies at the University with no expectation of return.
An unofficial withdrawal is one where the University has not received notice from the student that the student has ceased or will cease attending the University.
Upon ceasing enrollment and prior to beginning repayment, Direct Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) and Direct Graduate PLUS loan borrowers are required to complete an Exit Counselling session.
You are also required to complete loan Exit Counselling if you drop to less than half-time, or you withdraw from the University, or leave the University due to transfer, drop-out etc.
The Exit Counselling session provides invaluable information about borrower rights and responsibilities regarding repayment of your Federal student loans.
All students due to complete their studies at the University of Edinburgh in the 2020-2021 academic session are asked to complete an Exit Counselling session on the StudentAid.gov website. This applies even if you intend to pursue a new programme of study in the 2021-22 academic session.
Please "Log In" using your FSA ID and complete your Exit Counselling session. You will complete a series of short quizzes before continuing through the session. Please note that you must complete the entire session once you begin. The entire session takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Once you have completed your session, Scholarships and Student Funding Services at the University of Edinburgh will retrieve the results of your Exit Counselling. We will record on your student loan record that you have completed the Exit Counselling requirements.
For further information please consult the US Department of Education's Exit Counselling Guide for Borrowers of Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Program Loans
Information for university students about the US Department of Education's Direct Loan Program.
Repay Your Loans
Get all the information you need to manage repayment of your federal student loans.
FAFSA on the web
Apply for federal assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Federal Student Aid ID
Apply for your personal FSA ID. The FSA ID serves as your identifier and allows access to your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. The FSA ID is used to sign your FAFSA online.
Help in completing the FAFSA
Useful guide on how to complete the FAFSA from the U.S. Department of Education.
Loan Consolidation Information
Find out how loan consolidation can simplify and lessen the burden of loan repayment.
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a national database of information about loans and grants awarded to students under Title IV. NSLDS provides a centralised view of Title IV loans where you can also complete your Exit Counselling.
Selective Service Registration
All males over the age of 18 years are required to register. Register online or check the status of your registration.
This site provides useful information from the U.S. Department of Education. Use your FSA ID to sign in and sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete your Entrance Counselling.
1098T Tax Forms & Identification Number
As a foreign institution the University of Edinburgh does not complete the 1098T tax form for students. However as an alternative, students are advised to request a Confirmation of Payment Certificate, which may be used for tax purposes, from the Income Section of Finance Department
For US tax purposes the University of Edinburgh's identification number is 980031779.
Students funding their studies by US Federal Loans will automatically have their enrolment details reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) every two months but if a student not currently in receipt of US Federal Loans wishes to be reported to NSLDS for loan deferment purposes they should email the university's Financial Aid Office to request this.
Any student requiring an electronic loan deferment form to be completed for a loan servicer not linked to NSLDS should email email the form to the university's Financial Aid Office.
Admissions Policies and Procedures
The link below provides an overview of the University of Edinburgh's general admissions policies.
Completion/Graduation and Transfer Out Rates
Information on the University’s completion and transfer-out rates is available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Due to the very low non-continuation rate, the University is unable to supply a breakdown of completion or transfer-out rates by gender, ethnicity or recipients of need-based Subsidised loans, as this may reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student, which would break the Data Protection Act.
For the latest rates please refer to the links below. In tables where information is available at an institutional level you will find data for the University of Edinburgh in the Total Scotland section.
Completion/Graduation and Transfer Out Rates for Students Receiving Athletically Related Student Aid
There are extremely few scholarships linked to athletic sports and therefore the University will not disclose data about the recipients’ ethnicities, gender, transfer-out rate or completion rate.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Students found guilty within the legal jursidiction of the UK during their period of study, will lose their eligibility for Federal Direct Loans.
The University regards the following as misconduct - "Possessing, using or supplying a controlled drug as defined by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (as amended from time to time)"
Financial Assistance Available
The Scholarships and Financial Support team provides information on a wide variety of funding sources.
Fire Safety Policies and Statistics
Please refer to the Fire Safety Unit information below.
Freedom of Information Act (US FERPA and Safeguarding Customer Information)
Please refer to the Records Management information below.
The University of Edinburgh is approved only to provide Federal lending for students on a degree programme. Therefore there are no Gainful Employment Disclosures to report.
Please refer to the information below on accessing NHS healthcare as a student, disability support or insurance coverage.
1. For information about US loans, please visit our dedicated US Loans pages
2. Code of Conduct for Educational Loans
In order to prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an agent with respect to Private Education Loans, staff at the University with responsibility for Federal and Private Education Loans from the United States are prohibited from the following:
- Revenue sharing arrangements with lenders
- Receiving gifts from a lender or loan servicer
- Obtaining financial benefits from lenders or loan servicers
- Providing a preferred list of lenders.
- Offers of funds for private loans
3. Preferred Lenders List
The University does not have a preferred Lenders List but will, where possible, work with whichever private lender a prospective borrower decides to use. Students should be aware that the majority of private lenders choose not to offer loans when borrowers are studying outside the USA. This is why, on our US Loans information the only loans we list as being accessible are the US Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS loans or the private Sallie Mae loans.
The University is approved by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and The Scottish Further & Higher Education Funding Council (SFC) to deliver education to the required standards.
The University is responsible for its academic standards and the quality of the student learning experience. It is committed to reflecting on and systematically reviewing its provision and taking action to enhance it. The Quality Framework supports the management of academic standards and the student experience across the University’s academic provision and student services and aligns with external body requirements, including the Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF).
View the latest QAA report on the University of Edinburgh -
Missing student guidelines
Students are requested to provide an emergency contact person on their MyEd records. This information is confidential and covered by the UK Data Protection Act.
Reports of missing students can be made to the University security team:-
- University of Edinburgh Security: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 2257
Or alternatively by contacting the Scottish Police
- By Phone: If it is an emergency and you feel the person maybe at risk of harm, immediately call 999. In other circumstances dial 101
- By a visit to a police office
- Contact with a police officer
The University security team provides out of hours support to students Out of Hours Support
Information about any required and recommended textbooks for your course will be provided to you by your department. Should you require specific information about textbooks, please contact the relevant department for advice.
You may also wish to consult with the University Library Services.
Find Out More
In order to not delay a US loan disbursement for a student with US loans, the student must meet the following requirements:
- Fully matriculated
- Attendance confirmed by the school for the current academic year
- Accepted the University's regulations and completed online registration
- Progressing satisfactorily in the degree programme for which any Federal borrowing is intended
- Completed bank details on Payee Manager
- If applicable, the loan borrower of the Parent PLUS loan has provided consent for surplus funds to be refunded to the student