US Federal Aid
  • US Federal Aid

    This page is specifically for students from the US to inform them about Federal Aid loans available and how to navigate the process of applying for and accessing US loans.

    United States citizens or permanent residents who have applied to Norwich University of the Arts can apply for assistance loans through the U.S. Federal Loan Scheme (Title IV). When completing the FAFSA, you can submit the School Federal Direct Loan Code for NUA: 042445.

    Cost of attendance – 2022/23

    An important factor in coming to a decision about a university is understanding the costs involved. NUA is responsible for determining how much your education at the University will cost you.

    This figure, referred to as the Cost of Attendance (COA), includes the annual cost of tuition fees, course materials, room and board, travel and other expenses. The COA is revised each year and you will have to re-apply for loans every year of study.

    The annual cost of attendance has been converted to USD using an exchange rate of $1.45. This is an indicative rate inflated to mitigate against possible exchange rate movements against the USD. 

    These are the maximum borrowing values and most students/parents do not need to borrow the full amount.

    For help with budgeting see American student Mila Tsvetanova’s blog

    Undergraduate – 40 weeks

    AccommodationBased on mid-range single en-suite room £6,600
    Course materialsThis is an aggregated estimate and will vary considerably depending on the individual students’ creative practice£1,050
    Local TravelBased on annual discounted bus pass£660
    Personal CostsIncluding food, clothes, toiletries, etc.£4,000
    Computer suppliesIncluding capital cost of laptop£1,500
    Educational visits £500
    Tuition fees £17,500
    Two return flights £2,170
    NHS Charge £1,645
    Visa costs £363
    Total (USD)$52,183

    Postgraduate – 52 weeks

    AccommodationBased on an annual contract in private accommodation off campus, including bills£5,382
    Course materialsThis is an aggregated estimate and will vary considerably depending on the individual students’ creative practice£1,050
    Local TravelBased on annual discounted bus pass£616
    Personal CostsIncluding food, clothes, toiletries, etc.£5,200
    Computer suppliesIncluding capital cost of laptop£1,500
    Educational visits £500
    Tuition fees £18,000
    Two return flights £2,170
    NHS Charge £705
    Visa costs £363
    Total (USD)$51,455

    1098T forms

    NUA does not currently complete 1098T tax forms for its students.


    Loan types

    Undergraduate – BA and BSc
    The amount you can borrow in each loan category is dependent on your loan status. The two classifications are Dependent Undergraduate Student and Independent Undergraduate Student. Your status is determined by the information you provide when you complete the FAFSA. You will be classified as a Dependent Undergraduate student unless you meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • You are 24 years of age or older by 31 December of the award year
    • You have legal dependents other than a spouse
    • You are an orphan or ward of court
    • You are serving in, or are a veteran of the US armed forces.

    If you meet any of these criteria you will be classified as Independent.

    Graduate – MA
    If you are enrolling on a graduate course – what we call a postgraduate course in the UK – you are classified as Graduate and Professional Student, regardless of any other conditions or circumstances.

    Direct loans

    Stafford Loan
    The Stafford Loan is the primary loan available to eligible students studying in the UK. The Loan is available in two categories:

    • Subsidised Stafford Loan – The interest on this part of the loan is paid by the US government until you graduate from university.
    • Unsubsidised Stafford Loan – The interest on this part of the loan will start to accrue once you have received the money. See Part 4 for further information.

    If you are admitted to a four year degree at NUA, the first year of the course is referred to as Year 0 for academic reasons, but is funded as the First Year for the purposes of the Stafford Loan.

    PLUS Loans

    As you will see from the information and charts below, the amounts available as Stafford Loans may not be sufficient to cover your costs. PLUS Loans are intended to bridge the gap between the amount in Stafford Loans and the COA.
    There are two categories of PLUS Loan:

    • ParentPLUS Loans for Undergraduate Students – available to parents of dependent students
    • GradPLUS loans – available to graduate students

    The ParentPLUS/GradPLUS programme allows parents and graduate students to borrow funds up to the total COA, after reductions have been made based upon any other financial aid received. Unlike Stafford Loans, the ParentPLUS/GradPLUS loans are not guaranteed. An online credit check has to be completed and will commence upon receipt of a successful credit check and the relevant Master Promissory Note.

    Dependent students whose parents are not eligible for a PLUS Loan have access to increased limits within the unsubsidised Stafford Loan programme.

    Private loans

    Sallie Mae Student Loans offers a private loan specifically designed to provide top-up support for students. This option is available to all students, although some may require a co-signer. Loans are based upon credit history and interest rates will vary. Please ensure you read about their loan interest rates and the terms and conditions. You can make a Sallie Mae Student Loans application via their website. Notification regarding the loan will reach NUA automatically.

    Applying for a loan

    The FAFSA

    The first step in securing loan funding is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can be accessed online. You can make a FAFSA application from 1st January each year. This is also the portal to update and amend your details. You must enter all data accurately, as the information you submit provides the basis for your loan calculation.

    You will need to enter the institutional code 042445 to register your intention to apply to NUA.
    It is very important that the information we use to calculate your loan is accurate to avoid delays in processing your application.
    Once you have completed the FAFSA an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR), also referred to as the Student Aid Report (SAR), will be created and sent to the University.

    The Loan application process may run concurrently with admissions procedures. If you have been made a formal offer of a place at NUA, we will calculate your loan. Most offers of a place are termed Conditional in the first instance, meaning they are subject to you satisfying academic or other admissions requirements. Once all conditions have been met and the offer is Unconditional and you have accepted the place, NUA can complete the loan procedures by originating your loan.

    Your SAR will include: Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), a calculation generated when you submit your FAFSA; Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA), which accounts for financial aid you may be receiving, such as scholarships, bursaries and/or awards; and details of any student loans you have already received. Check this information is included and up-to-date and respond to any problems detailed in the comments section of the SAR. If changes to the data are required, you need to update your FAFSA to generate a new SAR.

    Loan origination

    Assuming that all the formal requirements have been met, NUA will originate (process) your loan with the US Department of Education. Please be aware that it may not be possible to process loan applications received less than one month before the start of the academic year in time for the start of classes.

    You should also be aware that the US Government deducts an Origination Fee from each loan disbursement. Fees for funds disbursed October 1 2020 but before October 1 2021 are as follows:

    • 1.057% from Subsidised and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
    • 4.228% from Parent and Graduate PLUS Loans

    Rates for the 2021-22 cycle have not been released. When they are updated, prospective and committed borrowers will be notified.

    Proof of funding for Visa purposes

    If you are required to apply for a Student Visa to study in the UK, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds for the periods you are here. You can use the visa letter and FAP as part of your visa application by submitting it as evidence of funds. You will need to submit additional documentation if the value of your loans is less than the amount required by the Home Office. Visa applicants must show that they have in their possession or will receive the total tuition fee and the Home Office COA, minus anything already paid to the University.
    Please note, the visa letter will only be issued once the loans have been originated.

    If you have secured a certified Sallie Mae Student Loan, they will send you a letter of confirmation as evidence that you are in receipt of a private loan for the purposes of education and the loan amount. This will be required as supporting evidence for your visa application.
    Do not apply for a student visa without evidence of sufficient proof funds. Email if you would like student visa guidance.

    Other required actions

    Entrance Counselling

    You are required to complete Loan Entrance Counselling for each loan. This is designed to ensure you understand the responsibilities you have as a recipient of the loan and must be undertaken before we can approve your loan.

    Master Promissory Notes

    A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document that commits you to the repayment of your Direct Loans, the accrued interest and any fees. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan. You are required to complete a new MPN for each academic year of your studies.

    Credit Check/Endorser

    A credit check is required as part of the application process for a PLUS Loan. If the application is by yourself or your endorser (which may be your parent) and is declined, you will not be eligible for a PLUS Loan.

    While you are studying

    Accessing your loan

    In line with US Government regulations, Direct Loans are disbursed to the University in three instalments each academic year. The funds, minus any fees owed to the University, will be transferred to the students directly. You must have completed the University’s enrolment procedures before you can receive the instalments and submitted UK bank details where the funds can be deposited.

    Disbursement dates generally occur in October, January and May of each academic year. You will be advised of the precise dates prior to be beginning of each academic year and prior to each instalment being transferred. The published dates are when NUA receives the funds from the US Department of Education. NUA will deduct the due amount for tuition fees and transfer the remaining funds to your bank account within 14 working days.

    For students receiving government loans for the first time, you will only receive funds 30 days after enrolment. It is advisable that you come with enough funds to support yourself for at least a month from the commencement of your course while awaiting the first disbursement.
    All disbursements are subject to the following conditions:

    • You are making satisfactory academic progress
    • You are enrolled at least half time
    • You are not in USA
    • You have not violated any federal compliance regulations (such as repayment default, fraud, drug offences)
    • You have the right to cancel further instalments of the loan at any point.

    You will need to open a UK bank account when you arrive in the UK for the first time. Although NUA cannot recommend any particular bank, the International Student Manual has helpful advice about how to approach a bank and set up an account. This is posted to students and emailed in July prior to enrolment.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    NUA must ensure that students in receipt of Direct Loan funds are fulfilling the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP procedures are separate from the normal University assessment and progression regulations, and to receive Federal Aid students must comply with SAP regulations that stipulate that borrowers:

    • Should not exceed 150% the published time frame for the degree course and Home Office visa regulations, and at a pace that allows them to complete their studies within this period
    • Should be meeting the attendance requirements of the course
    • Should maintain a pass standard in all course work.

    SAP will be checked and verified at the end of each loan disbursement payment period and prior to the subsequent disbursement. If you fail to meet the SAP requirements, you will be placed on Federal Aid Probation. If the probationary period does not end with a resumption of satisfactory progress, you may lose your entitlement to US Federal Aid. The University’s SAP Policy is supplied to all loan applicants and it is available to download from the NUA website.

    Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

    We are pleased to work with you to discuss your questions at any stage of the application process.


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