For full information and up to date interest charges, fees and repayment rules please see Direct Loan Overview

Stafford Loan (Subsidised)

This is awarded to students based on financial need. The information you supply on your FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Your EFC and the amount of your EFA, (Estimated Financial Assistance i.e.any scholarships, bursaries or awards you will receive) will be deducted from your Cost of Attendance to determine your Financial Need. Please note that Graduate/Professional students are no longer eligible for the subsidised element of the Stafford Loan.

The US government will pay the interest on a subsidised loan while you are enrolled at least half time or during a grace or deferment period.

Stafford Loan (Unsubsidised)

This is not based on financial need. Whilst studying at least half time, or during deferment or grace periods you have the option of paying the interest or having it capitalised and added to the total value of the loan therefore increasing the amount you need to repay.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan and can borrow up to the total Cost of Attendance minus all other sources of financial aid their student receives. The loan is the financial responsibility of the parents and not the student.

A parent PLUS loan borrower must meet the same citizenship and residency requirements as the student. The parent must not owe a refund on a federal student financial aid grant or be in default on a federal student loan. Repayment begins within 60 days after your loan is fully disbursed and lasts ten years.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that graduate students with good credit histories may borrow to help pay their educational expenses. A graduate student may borrow up to the total Cost of Attendance less all other financial aid received.

Students must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan.

Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan and the first payment is due within 60 days after the date the loan is fully disbursed. Graduate PLUS borrowers may receive a deferment while he or she is enrolled on at least a half-time basis at an eligible school.


Private Loans

Students who are unable to take out US federal loans or who do not meet the criteria for a US federal loan can borrow from private lenders in the US. For instance, students wishing to study a course which is not approved for federal US loans (Nursing), or students on distance learning courses based in the US but enrolled on a UK degree course at GCU.

We advise that if you are eligible for US federal loans, you investigate these before applying for a US private student loan, as federal loans are often cheaper and most American students are eligible for them. Please note that US private student loans do not enable you to borrow more funds than US federal loans.

If you wish to apply for a private US student loan, please email From May onwards, the Student Funding Team will email you a Cost of Attendance to inform you of the amount of loan you are able to borrow.

The University will work with whichever private lender you decide to use, however, please be aware that Sallie Mae is the only lender we currently work with. Private loan applications with Sallie Mae must not exceed 180 days between the application date and disbursement date.

You are advised to compare the terms, charges, and interest rates before taking out a private loan.

The Student Funding Team will certify your Sallie Mae loan application once you have registered at Bristol. We will request the loan be payable in one instalment and this will be received by cheque. If you are in Glasgow, we will advise you to come into the Student Funding Team to  countersign your cheque. The University will allocate any Tuition Fees and Accommodation Fees to be paid from the private loan, and pay the student any remaining funds. If you are distance learning student, providing the amount is less than $10,000, we will post the cheque to you by courier.

Veteran Affairs Benefit

Glasgow Caledonian University is able to process applications for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funding. Eligible students wishing to study at the GCU should first visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs webpage and apply for benefits.

Students are then advised to email to ensure that the course they wish to study is approved for VA benefits. Please allow as much time as possible to check that your course is approved, as approval of a course can take a few weeks to be processed.

Distance or online learning are not eligible for VA funding at foreign schools outside of the US.

Once you have registered at GCU for the academic year and your course has been approved, we will complete and submit your enrolment information on VA Form 22-1999. The VA will process your benefit and send a cheque to the University. We will then notify you when your cheque is available for you to collect.

We are obliged to inform the VA when your enrolment status changes at any stage such as:

  • Graduation
  • Change from full-time to part-time
  • Suspension
  • Withdrawal

Please note that receipt of VA will not effect your Federal US Loan entitlement.