Apply for a US Federal Direct Loan

FAFSA submission


You should have accepted an unconditional offer for a place on an on-campus degree at the School and be an eligible US citizen to apply for a US Federal Direct Loan. 

Application steps

You can complete steps 2, 3 and 4 in any order. You must complete step 1 before step 4.

Step 1 - FAFSA

Go to and register so that you can use the online tools. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to obtain your Student Aid Report (SAR). Please read the 'Comments' section on the SAR to ensure that your data is complete. The SAR provides the data for your eligibility assessment.  

Step 2 - Entrance counselling

Next you should complete direct loan counselling via We also recommend that you complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment for Federal Student Loans. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to complete PLUS Credit Counseling.

Step 3 - Master Promissory Notes and Plus Credit Check

E-sign the Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Master Promissory Note (MPN). This is the contract you sign agreeing to the terms of your loan.

If you are applying for a Direct Plus Loan complete the Plus Request Process and e-sign the Plus MPN. 

Step 4 - Contact SOAS

Email if you are a new student to submit a ticket on SID if you are a returning student to tell us that you would like to apply for a loan.

Step 6 - Eligibility assessment 

We will then check and confirm your eligibility for Direct Loans. We will send you an e-mail confirming the amount you could borrow. At this point you can choose to decrease the amount you wish to borrow.

It is your responsibility to inform us if you are notified of/receive a scholarship, external award of bursary after your eligibility has been assessed.

Step 7 - Loan origination

Once all checks have been completed and your eligibility confirmed, we will originate your loan.

Step 8 - Visa application

We will issue you with a digital notification of student loan for visa purposes as part of your application for your UK Student Route visa. This letter is issued specifically for visa application purposes and is an acceptable form of evidence of your student loan for your Student Route visa application so that you meet the requirement to prove you have sufficient funds. This is part of an arrangement between UK universities and UK Visas and Immigration. The UK visa authorities may require you to submit the original documentation - they will not accept copies.

Step 9 - Changes before arrival

If your circumstances change before you arrive for the start of your degree then you must ensure you contact as soon as possible. In many circumstances it is possible to change the loan amount later on (up to the Cost of Attendance).