About United States student funding

A range of financial support is available to eligible students from America, including national, regional and federal loans, private loans and more.

Find out what kind of funding you may be able to access and who to contact to make further enquiries.

Tuition fee deposit

If you are an international taught postgraduate student then you have to pay a tuition fee deposit before beginning your course. However, if you are eligible for a US Federal Loan then you do not have to pay the tuition fee deposit. Eligible students will automatically be made exempt, once they have been assessed as eligible for a Federal Loan.

Provisions of the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) introduced temporary provisions that allow federal funding to continue to be paid to US students who were studying abroad even though part, or all, of their course had moved online and would ordinarily be considered distance education. These provisions allow students to study online whilst not having to actually be located in the host country. These provisions cover a period currently up to and including 30th June 2022. After that point students will be required to be present in the host country and attending classes in order to be eligible to continue receiving their federal funding package. If you have any questions regarding the CARES Act then please contact the Funding team.


US Federal Loan

You can apply for federal funding through the Direct Loan Program

Students at international universities are eligible to apply for:

  • Stafford loans
  • PLUS loans

Students at international universities cannot apply for the Pell Grant.

We are not able to approved US Federal loans for:

  • distance learning courses
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • PGCE
  • Dentistry
  • any Advanced Diploma course.

Private loans

Students are advised to take any Federal Loan they are entitled to before considering any other type of loan, due to the competitive interest rate and repayment benefits they offer.  A detailed comparison of Federal and Private Loans is published via the Federal Student Aid website. 

We will certify educational loans taken through any private lenders who lend to students at international universities.

Distance-learning students can apply for private loans such as Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan.


Consumer information

As part of the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Standards for Participation), the University of Leeds is required to provide this consumer information