The application process

This section provides guidance on the application process and the eligibility requirements to enable U.S. students to receive federal aid from the U.S. Department of Education to study at Liverpool John Moores University.


Most students will be eligible to receive a federal loan to pay for their education. However, the amount each student receives varies depending on individual circumstances.

General eligibility

To receive financial aid, including Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • are a U.S. citizen/permanent resident with a valid social security number
  • accepted on a part-time or full-time programme of study at LJMU and hold a valid student ID number
  • hold a high-school diploma or equivalent
  • not in default on any prior student loan or owe a refund on any grant
  • no previous convictions for drug-related offences
  • registered for Selective Services if you are male (or be exempt from registering)

Students exempt from federal loans

You are exempt from taking out a federal loan if you are:

  • studying a distance learning (off-campus) programme
  • planning to undertake any amount of study or research in the U.S. during part of your programme

Dependent student

Dependency status and the amount of federal loan you are entitled to will be determined by the answers you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In order to be classified as a dependent according to Federal Student Aid, you would need to meet the following criteria:

  • under 23 years of age at the time of completing the FAFSA
  • not currently, or have ever been married
  • registered for a Bachelors level programme
  • have no children who receive more than half of their support from you
  • have no other dependants who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you
  • not currently homeless, emancipated or in a legal guardianship (as determined by court)
  • have never been in care or a ward or dependant of the court
  • not the child of deceased parent(s) since the age of 13
  • not currently serving as, or a veteran of, the U.S. Armed Forces

Independent student

Dependency status and the amount of Federal Loan you are entitled to will be determined by the answers you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To be classified as an independent student according to Federal Student Aid, you would need to fit into one of the following categories:

  • older than 23 years at the time of completing the FAFSA
  • currently, or have been, married at the time of completing a FAFSA
  • a parent
  • a veteran
  • a ward of the court

All graduate/professional students are considered independent for the purposes of administering Federal Student Aid.

How do I remain eligible for federal aid?

If you are applying for, or in receipt of, a federal loan – either a Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford or PLUS Loan – you must make satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of your chosen programme in order to remain eligible to receive your loan(s). Satisfactory progression to retain federal aid is separate from the academic requirements of the programme.

Remain eligible for your loan by:

  • not exceeding 150% of the published timeframe for the course and remain enrolled on at least part-time status
  • ensuring you pass any taught modules with the minimum required pass mark – a progress decision will be sought from the supervisor of any research students
  • meeting any relevant contact points each term as required – if any contact point is missed, you may lose entitlement to financial aid or be required to provide evidence of extenuating circumstances

How does LJMU check my academic progress?

Prior to a loan disbursement, the University will review your central record as recorded on the Student Record System.

How to apply for a federal loan

You’ll need to complete the seven steps below to apply for a Federal Direct Loan. Please note that Liverpool John Moores University will not automatically offer you a loan, regardless of the information you may have received from Federal Student Aid on completion of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Before you apply

We would ask you to familiarise yourself with all the types of federal aid available at the University, as well as the eligibility criteria and any exemptions.

The process described in the steps below is only for those applying for a federal loan. If you are applying for a private loan from Sallie Mae, please visit our private loan page as there is a different application process.

When to apply

Applications for federal or private loans are only processed from 1 July, prior to the start of the academic year. Any applications received before this date will be pended until this time. Please note that your FAFSA can be completed from 1 January.

Seven steps to receive your loan: 

Step 1: Submit a FAFSA

You will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the FAFSA website.

You'll be asked to provide personal details such as social security number, driver’s license, etc., as well as your financial information and your school plans. Once you have completed the application you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email.

Please ensure that you enter the school code: G35803 for Liverpool John Moores University so that we will automatically receive a copy of your SAR.

Please note: LJMU do not send financial aid offers based on this information alone, you must complete steps 2-7 below.

Step 2: Check the information on your Student Aid Report

The information you supply on your Student Aid Report will confirm eligibility for a loan – please check that it is accurate.

You should:

  • have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure
  • be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • be registered with Selective Service (males only), unless exempt

Step 3: Submit LJMU's Loan Request Form

You will need to complete the University’s Loan Request Form.

Submit this form to We'll then send you an acknowledgement email which will provide you with information about the next stage of the application process.

Step 4: Review your loan recommendation

The amount of money you can borrow is determined in part by your eligibility and by how much it will cost you to take part in your studies, this is known as the cost of attendance (COA).

Upon completion of your Loan Request Form (Step 3), an assessor from Academic Registry will provide you with a cost of attendance breakdown and a loan recommendation rounded up to the nearest dollar (provided in an Excel spreadsheet). From this recommendation you can figure out how much you need to borrow from each type of loan available to you.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans have borrowing limits determined by the level of study you are undertaking and your dependency status. These limits cannot be exceeded and any additional funds required should be taken as PLUS or private loan. Take a look at the aggregate and annual loan limits from the Federal Student Aid website.

Please note: the total amount of money that you request should not exceed the amount calculated on your cost of attendance.

Step 5: Complete a Master Promissory Note

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. You can apply online on the Student Loans website. This needs to be completed before we can process any loan request.

An MPN will be required for each academic year (loan period) that you borrow. You will need to complete one for each type of loan you intend to borrow including:

  • Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Direct Grad/Parent PLUS Loan

Please note: you should keep a copy of the MPN for your own personal reference and forward an electronic copy to the University (see Step 7). If you require a paper copy of your MPN to sign, you will need to request one by contacting COD Applicant Services on 1-800-557-7394.

Students borrowing a private loan (via Sallie Mae) will be required to complete an e-promissory note as part of the loan application. Visit our private loans webpage for further details.

Step 6: Complete entrance counselling

All first-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers must receive entrance counselling by law. The counselling session will make you aware of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Entrance counselling is available via the Student Loans website and takes up to 30 minutes to complete. You'll need to take part in this before any money will be released to you.

Liverpool John Moores University recommends that continuing students undertake entrance counselling each year to help make informed borrowing decisions, however, this is not a legal requirement.

The U.S. Department of Education also provides a Financial Awareness Counselling Tool (FACT). This resource helps you to estimate your debt and repayment amounts upon leaving University.

Please note: if you are a first-time borrower, you should save a copy of your completion certificate as the University will need to verify this before we can release your loan.

Step 7: Confirm your loan amount and submit documents

Once you have received your loan recommendation, you'll need to confirm in writing, via email, how much you intend to borrow, to the nearest dollar, from each type of loan available to you. Include the following supporting documents in your email:

  • a copy of your entrance counselling certificate (first-time borrowers only)
  • a copy of your MPN for each type of loan

Once the documents are verified, the University will process your loan request via the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) website. Once approved, the appropriate loan amounts will be collected by LJMU on your behalf.

What happens after I apply?

We will provide you with written confirmation of the approved loan amounts (the origination fees will be deducted) and anticipated disbursement dates in PDF format on official LJMU letterhead (this document meets the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration to help you obtain your Visa).

Please note: the disbursement date stated on this letter is the date we intend to make your loan payment. However, be aware that with international banking there can be delays beyond our control.

To find out more about this process, visit the how your loan is paid section.