U.S. Federal Loans

Title IV Aid, key information for applicants and current students

Introduction to U.S. Federal Aid

    Please find information you need to know:
  • Loans are originated in the Summer prior to arrival, loans are only anticipated and not guaranteed at this stage. The School will advise students once loans have been disbursed.

  • You may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance.

  • The Cost of Attendance spreadsheet is set by the school but may be adjusted by the student to reflect your specific needs but keeping within the parameters set by the school.

  • Two types of Federal loans are available to you, Stafford and Plus loans.

  • Applications for each new academic cycle can be submitted from  late June onwards.

  • The LSE School code (OPE) is G06693

There is an entitlement to Subsidised (Undergraduates only) and Unsubsidised loans which have fixed limits depending on whether the student is dependent, independent or postgraduate. These may be topped up to the full cost of attendance with a PLUS loan which is not an entitlement, but is subject to credit checking and may be declined by the Ed Dept.

Loan Limits for:

All Students

Dependent Students   

Independent Students


Subsidised Loan

Unsubsidised Loan

Unsubsidised Loan

Undergraduate year1




Undergraduate year 2




Undergraduate year 3









  Balance up to Cost of Attendance

The U.S Department of Education charge an origination fee on all loans and this is deducted from each disbursement. The value of the fees and the disbursements are shown in the Cost of Attendance spreadsheet. For more detailed information, see the Education Department's Student Aid website

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The LSE is required by USDE Regulations to ensure that all students receiving Federal aid (subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS) are making satisfactory academic progress. If you fail to meet SAP you will become ineligible for US Direct Loans. For further information and the School policy please see: Satisfactory Academic Progress

Eligibility by course type

There are some programmes which are ineligible for Title IV Direct Aid, you will be advised by the Fees Office during the application cycle if your programme is ineligible.

  • General Course Students, your loans are handled through your home college, you should apply to your 'home' college.

  • Summer School students who are also taking an LSE degree are eligible for Federal Loans.The Summer School costs can be added to your Cost of Attendance for your degree,but cannot be disbursed in advance.

  • Summer School students who are not taking an LSE degree are only be eligible for a private loan from Sallie Mae and must apply on line

  • LSE Degree Students may borrow up to your Cost of Attendance.

  • Joint courses with U.S. schools are ineligible for loans

  • Double degrees with U.S. schools are ineligible for loans 

  • Joint programmes with China are eligible for loans for the time spent in the UK, for the time spent in China only private loans are available

  • If you course has any requirement to study in the U.S the course will become ineligible

  • Global Media and Communication MSc dual degree: Your loans are handled through your home School for both years of the programme, you should apply directly to your home School.(University of Southern California)
  • MPA Programme: Columbia as the Home institution shall
    • Determine students' eligibility for Title IV funds
    • Calculate and disburse Title IV funds
    • Columbia's financial aid policies and procedures shall apply to Columbia/LSE Students. 

How to apply: Federal Loans

COVID-19 - How will this impact my loan application and disbursement for 2020/21 Academic Year

Higher Education Act (HEA) prohibits any part of a program of study at a foreign institution to be taught online. 

The United States Congress’ recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which provides regulatory relief to foreign institutions affected by the global pandemic. This act waived the section of HEA which prohibits online learning for a defined period, as defined in the CARES act.

Many countries may end their state of emergency by the Summer, including the United Kingdom. This means the waiver allowing distance education will last only through the subsequent loan period (Term 1 at the LSE). Without further Congressional action, students will lose access to federal loans with immediate effect (Term 2 onwards).

Loan Application Process

Note: Applications for 2020/21 entry can be submitted week commencing 30th June 2020.

Applicants may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance which is set by the school, the maximum loans you can receive cannot exceed the yearly cost of attendance less any financial aid you may be receiving. This financial aid includes:

  • Sponsorship

  • Financial aid from the LSE such as scholarship and or award

  • Other Financial aid from the UK including private loans

  • Other Financial aid from the USA including private loans

Our Cost of Attendance spreadsheet has this information  built into it and includes the letter which notifies you of the loans you should anticipate, their disbursement dates and values.

The cost of attendance spreadsheet is broken down into two sets of costs:

  • Weekly costs in GBP

  • Suggested single costs in GBP

When completing the Cost of attendance, please take note of the section 4, the “Maximum Govt. Loan you can borrow” when completing section 6, “Your Request – you may reduce these values”, should not exceed the amount listed in section 4.

You must follow the instructions in the process flowchart found below, this flowchart outlines steps you are required to undertake on-line and the correct order.

The chart also confirms what you must print, scan or pdf and send to us.You must complete the Cost of Attendance spreadsheet, including the checklist of the things you need to send us by email.

Documents to download to start your application:

Please note our School Code: G06693

If any documents are missing from your email to us, we cannot begin processing, we will email and advise you.

When you have finished, send the completed spreadsheet, with all the documents attached by email to fees@lse.ac.uk subject field: USL indicating your Surname & forename and Student ID number.

When completing the CoA, please take note of the section 4, the “Maximum Govt. Loan you can borrow” when completing section 6, “Your Request – you may reduce these values”, should not exceed the amount listed in section 4.

When we have completed our loan packaging we will email you a letter confirming the loans we have originated.

Document file formats: Please ensure your submit your COA as an excel workbook and all other document as PDF.


Bank details for disbursements 

We are partnered with Western Union Business Solutions to facilitate the processing of your loan payment. 

You will receive TWO emails from Western Union Business Solutions requesting you to register your bank details. Firstly you will receive an email with instructions and a password. Secondly you will receive the secure link and User ID to access the system. One you are logged in you will then have the ability to securely enter your GBP bank details for your loan to be paid directly into your bank account.

Please note: To maintain application security, your login access is only valid for a one-time use. It is set to automatically expire after 72 hours or 3 days therefore please look out for these emails as it is important you register for us to be able to forward your money. 

See Federal Loan beneficiary examples emails

Consumer information


Any student with Federal loans is strongly advised to contact the Fees, Income and Credit Control Office for advice before considering interruption/withdrawal.

Some of the loan money paid to the student may have to be immediately repaid to LSE to accompany the withdrawal notice to the U.S. Ed Dept.

The calculation is broadly that 1/365 of the LSE's published cost of attendance is earned for each day registered after your first registered date of attendance and every cent already received by the student over that value must be immediately repaid to LSE. U.S. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All students at the School are required to make satisfactory progress through their academic programme. In registering, students agree to be bound by the Academic Regulations and associated policies and procedures. These Regulations incorporate the key progression criteria and are summarised below. Full Regulations are available in the Calendar.

Quantitative Requirements

Students are expected to be in attendance at the School for the full duration of each term of their programme. All seminars, tutorials and other small-group classes are compulsory. Any student who wishes to be away for a short period and for a good reason during term time must first obtain the consent of their academic advisor. Students away through illness must inform their adviser and each member of academic staff leading the compulsory sessions from which they are absent.

Students who miss two consecutive occasions, or are regularly absent without prior approval / evidence of illness, will be reported to their academic advisor. A warning will usually be issued to enable students to seek support or improve their attendance patterns. If attendance continues to be unsatisfactory, the School may require a student to interrupt their studies or the opportunity for assessment may be withdrawn. This will result in the student being suspended for Federal Aid.

Qualitative Requirements

All students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progression throughout their programme.

Undergraduate students must achieve a minimum pass mark of 40% for each course unit (module) taken in each year of their programme. 

BA/BSc students must pass at least three of four course units (or their equivalents) taken in year one to progress to year two. BA/BSc students must pass at least seven of eight course units (or their equivalents) taken by the end of year two in order to progress to year three. Students who fail one unit at either progression point are permitted to progress but are required to resit the failed unit at the next available attempt. 

Bachelor of Laws (LLB) students must pass each of the five course units taken in year in order to progress to year two. LLB students must pass two of four course units (subject to up the failed course units being condoned) to progress from year two to year three. Students who do not meet the progression requirements are required to resit the failed units at the next available attempt.

Students who are unable to meet the progression criteria are deemed unable to progress and will be suspended for the purpose of Federal Aid until they have met the progression requirements at the next available attempt. Students who meet the progression criteria are placed in good standing for Financial Aid.

Postgraduate students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress throughout their programme, including prompt submission of all formative and summative coursework. Students must achieve a minimum pass mark of 50% for each course unit taken in each year of their programme. Some postgraduate programmes which run for longer than twelve months have progression criteria which each student must meet before being permitted to continue their studies. These criteria are specified in the programme regulations.

Recording Satisfactory Academic

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress will have their electronic record amended accordingly throughout the academic year. These records are referred to before each Federal Aid disbursement. The table below shows the status codes that may be used on the enrolment record and the implication for eligibility for Federal Aid.

Status Code

Progression Status

Eligibility for Federal Aid



Good standing


Registered, repeat tuition and exams



Break for academic failure, not registered



Break for personal reasons, not registered



Unauthorised break, not registered



Unregistered, repeat exams





Financial Aid Warning

Students that fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress will firstly be issued with a ‘Financial Aid Warning’. This warning will last for 1 payment period (ie until the next disbursement), during which time a student can still receive Financial Aid. Students that fail to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress by the next disbursement will no longer be eligible for Aid, unless they are successful in an appeal (see below)

Appeals Procedure

To appeal the financial aid suspension, a student must, within 14 calendar days of notification, submit to the Fees Office a signed and dated letter of appeal explaining why he or she shouldn't have Financial Aid suspended. A student may appeal due to an emergency condition (e.g., health, family, catastrophe, etc.) and state what has changed in their situation that will allow them to meet Satisfactory Progress at the next evaluation date. Documentation verifying the situation may be requested.

The Federal Aid Committee will consider the appeal and render a decision, which the Head of Fees, Income and Credit Control will convey in writing to the student within two weeks of the student’s appeal.The Federal Aid Committee will consider the appeal and render a decision, which the Head of Fees, Income and Credit Control will convey in writing to the student within two weeks of the student’s appeal.

Please submit your appeal via the Finance Hub


Further information and frequently asked questions


All Federal loans originated by the LSE will be disbursed in the three equal instalments during the first week of each term

The actual GBP sterling you receive will vary as it is dependent upon the exchange rate from USD $ to GBP £ at the time of disbursement.

The expected disbursement dates for 2020/21 are

  • September     28        2020
  • January          18        2021
  • April                04        2021

All disbursements are subject to the following conditions:

    • You are making satisfactory academic progress.

    • You are enrolled at least part time(Half time).

    • You are not in USA.

    • You have not violated any federal compliance regulations (repayment default, fraud, drugs.

    • You will be advised by email that a disbursement is due and its value and how much is due to be deducted from it. When you receive this email, you may contact us to reduce or cancel the disbursement.

    • If you do not advise us in advance to not draw down your disbursement, then you will be responsible for all interest charges and for its repayment.

To ensure your loan is disbursed in time the LSE FICC must have received your completed application by September 14 2020. Any applications received after this date will be deemed late applications and as such disbursements will fall outside of the advertised dates. If you fall into this category we will email you to advise of the next available disbursement dates.  

When your maintenance loan payment be available

  • You will receive an email from WUBS requesting that your provide your U.K. bank details. If you do not have a U.K bank account you will be issued with a GBP draft which you will need to pick up and cash. We strongly recommend that yoy open a bank account as soon as possible.  
  • When we initiate disbursement, if there is anything which blocks yours, we will immediately contact you by email and tell you what to do. Make sure that the email address LSE has for you is current.
  • If you did not get your complete application pack to LSE before September 3rd your loans may be delayed.
  • If your loan disbursement is not enough to cover one third of your tuition and one third of your LSE hall fee, then there may not be a cheque for you to collect.

How to collect your cheque

You will be sent a notice with collection instructions,once you receive this notice please go to the Student Services Centre to collect your cheque. You must bring your LSE student card with you.

Staff are not allowed to release your cheque if you do not have your LSE card with you. 

What to do with your cheque

You must bank the cheque which takes 3 days to "clear" before you can start to spend it. It takes up to 10 days to open a bank account in the UK before you can bank the cheque.You can't start to open an account until you are registered and have a proved address.

How much money you will get and in which currency

You will only get one third of your loans each term, this is a USDE regulation, there are deductions taken from that value.

The government deducts an 'Origination Fee' from each disbursement. The COA spreadsheet you completed at application showed how much you can borrow and how much you actually receive after the government deducts an 'Origination Fee' from each loan disbursement. The value you are going to receive is shown on the letter sent to you by LSE when we originated your loan.

The money is transferred to the UK and converted into £sterling. The school is not allowed to charge any fee or receive any commission for processing your loan., so the money received by you is exactly what the school received in £sterling.

LSE will deduct one third of the tuition fee and one third of any LSE hall fees, as known at the time, the balance is paid to you by £sterling cheque

Please ensure you have sufficient funds to cover two weeks of maintenance costs should you loan be delayed for any reason.


The School are required to confirm attendance student every 60 days with NSLDS, this update is submitted electronically and the information will be available to your loan servicers immediately.

Entrance & Exit Counselling 

Federal Regulations require you to complete entrance and exit Counselling, this is audited. The school is required to ensure that you have completed entrance and exit counselling, this is also audited and the findings are reviewed by the USDE. There are no exception to this.

Entrance counselling:

All students wishing to borrow via the Direct Lending programme are required to undergo entrance counselling, this process will assist your understanding of the loan programme and underline your rights and responsibilities

You can complete entrance counselling via Student loans Gov website, you will need the pin you used to access FAFSA. Please be aware the LSE will not process your loans if you have not submitted confirmation of your entrance counselling with your loan application.

Exit Counselling:

U.S. regulation required all students who withdraw, graduate, or drop below half-time attendance (even if you plan to transfer to another school) to complete exit counselling

Exit counselling helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. It provides useful tips and information to help you manage your loan

1. You must complete NSLDS Exit Counselling. This is done on-line NSLDS just like your entrance counselling, just go to NSLDS and work through the pages (you will need your FAFSA log-in and PIN) . You can also download the PDF guide exitcounselguide

2. You must send proof that you have successfully completed the counselling. Scan/PDF the final “congratulations” page and email this to fees@lse.ac.uk Please enter USL Completed Exit Counselling in the subject field of the email.
Further information:

Key links:

Military and Veterans benefits

For further information please visit our Military funding  page.


529 Plans

If you have a 529 Plan, you may be eligible to use this for your studies at the LSE. You should check with your plan administrator, but as LSE is a Title IV approved school (code G06693) it is likely that you will be able to use your plan here.

Please forward any forms that need completing by LSE to the Fees,Income and Credit Control team. Please email fees@lse.ac.uk 

What is a 529 Plan ?

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. Legally known as ‘Qualified Tuition Plans’, they are sponsored by States and are authorised by section 529 of the IRS code.

For further information please see click here