Loan disbursement and exit counselling

Disbursements / Receiving your Loan

Federal Loan Disbursements

The first disbursement of Loans will not be paid until students are registered at Glasgow Caledonian University. In case of any unforeseen events, please ensure you have personal funds in place to cover your living costs for the first four weeks of the academic year.

There will be two equal instalments for undergraduate students and three for postgraduate taught students on the following dates;

  • 25 October 2021 for continuing students
  • 7 February 2022
  • 30 May 2022 (Postgraduate students)

The disbursement dates provided are estimated.

The actual amount of each disbursement in GBP(£) will be dependent upon the exchange rate used to convert USD($) to GBP(£) on that date. Your loans will also be subject to an origination fee.

The University will deduct your tuition fees for the academic year in equal instalments from each disbursement. If you are in University accommodation, the University will deduct your accommodation fees from each disbursement.

Tuition and accommodation deductions will be made in Pounds Sterling and the remaining loan amount will be credited to your bank account in US Dollars on each of the above disbursement dates. The University cannot know in advance or guarantee the exchange rate used at the point of each disbursement.

Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to receive the next disbursement.

Deadline Dates

For your federal loan to be disbursed on the first disbursement date above we will need to receive your complete application by the 31st of August before the academic year you start your studies. We cannot guarantee that applications submitted after this deadline will be approved in time for the first disbursement if there are any outstanding matters related to your federal loan application.

Any application received after the 31st August will be processed and we will contact you to let you know the date of your first disbursement.

Any applications made throughout the year must be received a minimum of one calendar month before the next disbursement date in order to be processed in time for that disbursement.

For details of Private Loan disbursement dates, please see our Private Loans webpage.

Loan Requirements During your Studies

NSLDS Reporting

Glasgow Caledonian University is required, in accordance with Federal Regulations, to report your enrolment status to the US Department of Education via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) every 60 days. Reporting students as studying full-time or half-time at GCU will defer any previous Federal US Loans taken out before you started your studies at GCU.

If you are not taking out Federal US Loans during your study at GCU, but you wish to defer your previous US Loans as you are now studying, please email

The University is required to confirm enrolment status as follows on the NSLDS system:

  • Students studying full-time will be reported as F, or H if studying half-time, and will remain as eligible to receive Federal US Loans all year.
  • Students who are studying less than half-time will be reported as L and will be ineligible for Federal US Loans. Students who have completed their studies but are awaiting the outcome of the exam board will be reported as L.
  • Students will be reported as G for graduated once the exam board confirm the student has successfully completed their studies.
  • Students who suspend for more than 180 days or who withdraw  from their studies will be reported as W and will ineligible for Federal US Loans.
  • If your mode of attendance is reported as less than half-time, withdrawn or graduated, you will no longer be eligible for any in-school deferment requests. You should refer to the Repayment terms of your loans when the status of your studies change.
Postgraduate Students
  • The end of a programme for Masters degrees is September and not the graduation date. Please note if you leave the UK early and return to the US to complete your dissertation that period is ineligible for Federal Loans and you may be asked to repay some of the funds you have received.
  • For PHD programmes the end of the programme is deemed to be the date your dissertation is submitted.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To remain eligible for Federal US Loans during the academic year, students must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP), and this will be measured prior to each disbursement. Students are advised to familiarise themselves with the SAP Policy.

You will be asked to contact your Supervisor or course leader for each disbursement to complete a form to confirm whether you are or are not meeting SAP. 

Exit Counselling

Students coming to the end of their studies are required to complete Exit Counselling for each type of Federal US Loan borrowed. This is a condition of your loan terms.

  • The Student Funding Team will email you to remind you to complete Exit Counselling and ask you to email once you have completed Exit Counselling.
  • You are required to complete Exit Counselling if you drop to less than half-time, withdraw from your studies or complete your studies.
  • You can complete Exit Counselling on the website.

You will also be required to complete a form updating us on your contact details when you leave the University. We will also require contact details for the referees listed on your MPN's. The Student Funding Team will email you this form as you are nearing the end of your studies. 

Suspending, Withdrawing, Transferring Course or Changing the Status of your Studies

It is essential that you email if you change the status of your studies as follows:

  • Suspend
  • Withdraw
  • Transfer course
  • Upgrade / downgrade
  • Change from full-time to half-time or less than half-time

Under US federal law, the University is required to report any changes to your enrolment within tight timescales. For students who withdraw from their studies, suspend their studies, or complete their studies earlier than expected, it may be necessary, to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation, and arrange for the return any ‘unearned’ funds to the US Department of Education.

If you are thinking of changing the status of your studies and want to know what your US Federal Loan entitlement will be, please email

R2T4 Calculation

The Student Funding Team will complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation to calculate the amount of Title IV program assistance that has been earned, using a formula provided by the US Department of Education.

If it is calculated that you have completed more than 60% of your payment period, all the assistance you were due to receive for the payment period is considered to have been earned and no funds need to be returned.

If it is calculated that you have completed less than 60% of your payment period the University may need to return funds to the US Department of Education. Any funds you have already received after your tuition fees were deducted are not to be repaid immediately, but will be repaid as outlined in your MPN.

If a student has not received a disbursement of Federal aid funds at the beginning of a disbursement period and subsequently withdraws, the amount of funds that a student has earned will be calculated and the appropriate amount will be disbursed.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from the University’s refund policy for current students. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the University to cover unpaid institutional charges. The University may also attempt to collect any Title IV program funds from you that the University is required to return.

Withdrawal dates for students that officially withdraw will be determined by the completion of a withdrawal form and an agreement between the School and the student of a last date of attendance. Withdrawal dates for students who unofficially withdraw will be the date that Schools become aware that a student ceased attendance.

Unearned Federal aid funds will be returned no later than 45 days after determining the withdrawal date.

If it is determined that refund money must be returned to the aid programme, the distribution of funds will be allocated in the following order:

  • Federal Stafford Unsubsidised
  • Federal Stafford Subsidised
  • Federal PLUS

The Student Funding Team will inform withdrawn students by email of the amount that the University is obliged to return to the US Federal aid programme, the amount (if any) that needs to be paid to the University by the student, and the amount (if any) that is due to be refunded to the student by the University.


Amending, Decreasing or Cancelling a Loan

If you wish to increase your Federal US Loans during the academic year and you have not previously requested up to the maximum in your Cost of Attendance (CoA), please email You cannot borrow more than the maximum CoA figure.

If you wish to decrease your Federal US Loans please email The reduction will be spread across any remaining funds.

If you wish to cancel your loan, please email at least two weeks before the upcoming disbursement date. There is a short period after receipt of your disbursement where you can ask the University to return federal loan funds to the US, but you will be responsible for all bank charges and fees if the payment has already been made.

If you wish to cancel your Federal Loan and the time frame for doing so through the University has passed, you can still make a payment direct to your lender. You are advised to contact your lender for up to date details on cancelling your loan – your lender details can be found on NSLDS.

If you cancel your federal loan after receiving a disbursement you are required to complete Exit Counselling.


It is important that you understand your rights and obligations when borrowing Federal US Loans. Students are advised to fully research and understand responsible borrowing and repayment before requesting Federal Student Loans. The Federal Student Aid webpage has an estimate calculator where you can calculate your estimated loan repayments.

Entrance Counselling and Exit Counselling is a condition of your loan agreement and should be completed before you start your course at GCU, and as you are coming to the end of your studies at GCU. It will inform you about repayment and money management, and advise you how to make the necessary arrangements before and during repayment.

Your Student Loan must be repaid. If you do not meet the loan repayments as required by your loan servicer, you will go into default. You are advised to keep in touch with your loan servicer and discuss your options if you are struggling to meet your repayments. You are also advised to update your loan servicer of any changes to your personal details such as address, phone number, enrolment status.

Useful guides on repaying loans and default: