Financial aid for US students

Liverpool John Moores University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direction Loan Programme.

We look forward to welcoming you to the UK and having you study with us. We have created these webpages to guide you through what you need to know about obtaining financial aid including the costs of education and how to apply for the funds you may need to complete your studies and enjoy your time at LJMU.

For students who take out Direct Loans the University will receive the monies from the US Treasury once students have confirmed their arrival/return at the University. The US loans are received in three equal instalments. The monies are received in £sterling, converted from the US dollar value at the day of transfer. Tuition fees are deducted from the three instalments and the balance will be paid direct into the students UK bank account. Under exceptional circumstances we can pay into a US bank account but students should be aware that this will involve re-converting the loan back into US dollars and a subsequent reduction in value.

Please note, students are advised to budget for the first two weeks of term to allow processing time and any other delays to payments.

In addition to the Direct Loan Program the University also administers loans on behalf of private organisations, e.g Sallie Mae or Vermont Loans. These loans are paid once attendance has been confirmed directly to the students personal bank account. If you intend to use any loan organisation not listed above then please contact the University as soon as possible as this may require the University going through a registration process which can delay proceedings.

Below you'll find an overview of the types of loans available to U.S. students wishing to study with us. You can explore this section further for useful information such as how to apply and the eligibility requirements for both federal and private loans. You'll also find information on:

What types of loans are available to U.S. students?

Three types of loans are available to American students studying at Liverpool John Moores University:

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Private loans (via Sallie Mae)

Choosing between a federal or private loan

Due to the competitive interest rate and repayment benefits that federal loans offer, you are advised to take any federal loan you are entitled to before considering any other type of loan. You can find a detailed comparison of federal and private loans on the Federal Student Aid website to help you decide.

Federal loans

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. This loan benefits from a low interest rate which is fixed by the U.S. government. Take a look at the annual and aggregate limits which determine how much you can borrow. There are two types of Stafford Loans available: subsidised or unsubsidised:

  • Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

    This loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. If you're eligible, the government will pay the interest on your loan while you are studying at the University and for the first six months after you leave, this is known as a grace period.
    Please note: the Budget Control Act 2011 prevents any graduate or professional student from receiving a subsidised loan after 1 July, 2012. Consequently, students on a postgraduate or professional programme, such as law or teacher training, will need to borrow the whole of the Stafford Loan as an unsubsidised element.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

    There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need for the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You will be responsible for the interest from the time the loan is paid to you until it is repaid in full.

For both types of loan, you can claim in-school deferment while enrolled at least part-time in a degree or certificate programme of study.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Federal Direct PLUS loans are of two types:

  • Direct Grad PLUS Loan

    This loan is only available if you are studying on a graduate or professional (law or teacher training) programme. It is an unsubsidised federally guaranteed educational loan with no annual or aggregate limits. However, you may only borrow as much as you need (as determined by your cost of attendance).

    There is no grace period for this loan and repayment starts as soon as the funds are disbursed to you. It has the same deferment and forbearance options as the Federal Stafford Loan. As such, graduate and professional students can postpone repayment using in-school deferment if they are enrolled at least part-time in a degree or certificate programme of study.

    A credit check will be made upon application. If you have an adverse credit history you may be able to obtain a suitable endorser allowing you to obtain the loan.

    Entrance counselling specifically for graduate/professional PLUS borrowers is available online – this resource includes a useful calculator so you can estimate monthly repayment amounts.

  • Direct Parent PLUS Loan

    This loan helps parents pay for the cost of education for a dependant who is enrolled as an undergraduate at LJMU. The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan.

    A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may be able to obtain a suitable endorser allowing you to obtain the loan. The endorser cannot be the child on whose behalf you are borrowing.

    Take a look at the entrance counselling specifically for Parent PLUS borrowers, which includes a calculator to estimate monthly repayment amounts.

Am I eligible for a federal loan?

Federal loans are only available for students who have a physical presence at the University (distance learning programmes are ineligible, but if you are on such a programme you may be considered for a private loan). For more information about general eligibility criteria, please visit the section on federal loan eligibility.

What are the interest rates for federal loans?

Under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, interest rates are established each year for federal loans for which the first disbursement is on or after 1 July through to the following 30 June. The interest rate for a loan, once established, applies for the life of the loan. Interest rates are available from the Federal Student Aid website.

What happens when I complete my degree?

You will be requested to complete exit counselling upon completion of, or withdrawal from, your degree programme. This will provide you with important information to help prepare you to repay your loan. You can complete it online within 30 minutes. For details please see the Student Loans website.

How do I apply for a federal loan?

Take a look at the federal loan application page for the steps on completing an application.

Apply for your federal loan today

Private loans

The only private loan currently available to students attending a university outside of the U.S. is the Smart Option Loan from Sallie Mae. There are no origination fees and the interest rate will depend on your credit history and that of a co-signer.

For further information about about this type of loan, including how to apply and eligibility requirements please see the private loans page.

Veterans Affairs (VA) GI Bill benefits

Liverpool John Moores University has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to administer GI Bill benefits to eligible students. Our degree programmes do not have automatic approval from the VA. We are required to seek approval for specific degree programmes as and when eligible students enroll.

If you know you are eligible for GI Bill benefits and have been given an offer on a degree programme at LJMU, please contact Registry Services and include the following information:

  • full name
  • student ID number
  • social security number
  • intended programme of study

Please note: GI Bill benefits are only available to students on taught programmes with a physical presence at the University (therefore distance learning programmes are not eligible).

Once your degree programme has been approved by the VA, the University will submit an enrolment certificate on your behalf.

Information on the benefits available to veterans and eligibility criteria is available from the U.S. Department for Veterans Affairs.

Other loans and grants

Current federal legislation prohibits U.S. citizens enrolled at a university outside of the U.S. from receiving Pell Grants, SEOG, Perkins Loans and Federal Work Study Funds.

Further information

If you need help with understanding any of the terminology used within this section, please visit the Federal Student Aid website for a glossary of terms.

If you have any questions about obtaining U.S. financial aid to study at LJMU please contact us.