How do direct loans work?

The way Direct Loans work can be summarised as follows.

  • You apply for financial aid via the FAFSA website
  • You apply to the RVC Financial Aid Office for the loans types and amounts you require, via Rover
  • We assess your eligibility, the amount of loan we approve and originate the loan
  • We ask the U.S. Department of Education to disburse the funds to us
  • Our finance department keeps the amount due in tuition fees and gives you the rest
  • We tell the U.S. Department of Education when you leave RVC
  • The U.S. Department of Education passes your loan on to a bank which acts as servicer (i.e. ensures the loan is paid back)

Who is eligible to apply?

U.S Citizens and/or Green Card holders on the following full-time courses can obtain Direct Loans:

  • Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine (5 Year Programme)
  • Accelerated Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine (4 Year Programme)
  • MSc One Health (Infectious Diseases)
  • MSc Veterinary Epidemiology
  • Intercalated BSc Comparative Pathology
  • Intercalated BSc Bioveterinary Sciences
  • BSc Veterinary Nursing

Research and foundation degree students are not eligible, nor are distance learning students. Students on study abroad programmes at RVC should apply to their host institution for funding.

RVC Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy Statement

Federal funds are only available to students that maintain satisfactory academic progress. Read the college's full SAP policy for

Benefits of the Direct Loans program

Direct Loans and FFEL Program loans have the same annual and aggregate loan limits, the same deferment and cancellation provisions, and most of the same repayment plans (Standard, Graduated, Extended, Income-Based). The interest rates for FFEL Program Stafford Loans and Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized Loans are also the same. Direct Loans also have some benefits that are available only in the Direct Loan Program:

  • Up-front interest rebate
  • Income Contingent Repayment Plan (in addition to the Income-Based Repayment Plan)
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
  • No interest charged (for up to 60 months) during qualifying periods of active duty military service (for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008)

Borrowing Limits

The amount you can borrow will also be affected by the College's Cost of Attendance (COA)

The COA is the maximum amount you may need to borrow to cover tuition fees, study related costs and living costs for the academic year.

Most students borrow less. You can apply for additional funds (without exceeding the COA) later in the year if you need them. You can also cancel a disbursement if you do not need the money.

Your costs will vary depending on your tuition fees, the length of your course year and which campus you are studying on.

We have developed the Interactive Cost of Attendance Calculator see the How To Apply Step 4 which will tell you your maximum COA. You should also use it to set your budget and request your loan.

To determine your COA

  • Open the Interactive Cost of Attendance Calculator
  • Ensure you are looking at the Cost of Attendance Calculator worksheet (Click on the COA Calculator tab in the bottom left corner)
  • Select your course and accommodation category.

The spreadsheet will display your COA.

For more information –see the How To Apply Step 4 Work Out Your Budget and Submit Loan Request (Loan Amount Declaration [LAD] Form)

Origination fees

All Direct Loan types are subject to an origination fee charged by the Department of Education.  

The Department of Education charges origination fees as follows at the point of originating the loan  

The fees are currently;

  • Subsidised /Unsubsidised Direct Loan 1.057%
  • Direct PLUS Loan 4.228%  

Note If you are borrowing enough to cover the cost of your tuition fees only, make sure you take the origination fees into account. This catches someone out every year!

Analysis of Debt of Graduating Students

The question we are asked most is “how much do I need to borrow?” and it is impossible for us to answer. Costs vary from student to student depending on the standard of their accommodation, whether they have dependents or a partner in the UK, the amount travel home in the holidays will cost, etc. and that individual's attitude to debt.

Analysis of Loan Debt Incurred By U.S. BVetMed Students Graduating July 2022 

Number of Students

Median ($)

Mean ($)

Minimum ($)

Maximum ($)



306,004 35,710 468,322

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