I am confused, which loans are best for me?

The Direct Subsidised /Unsubsidised loan has an interest rate of 6.6% which will accrue from the day the loan is disbursed to you.

The Direct Plus Loan is next best, it has an interest rate of 7.6% which will accrue from the day the loan is disbursed to you.

Are there any fees?

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

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

For example the charges for 2019/20 AY were set as follows;

  • Subsidised /Unsubsidised Direct Loan 1.059%
  • Direct PLUS Loan 4.236% 

Remember to take this into account when deciding how much to borrow.

  • The fees charged for a typical subsidised loan of $20,500 will rise be approximately $217.
  • The fees charged for a Plus loan of $52,000 will be approximately $2,200  

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!

What is the Direct Loan Fee Rebate?

The Direct Loan Fee Rebate was abolished in July 2012, hence the higher origination fee rates.

Should I apply for a Private Loan?

You can apply for private loans. However, the terms of the loan will not be as good as those obtainable through the Direct Loan program. The main advantage of these loans is that they can be obtained without completing the FAFSA process and the credit checking involved may be less stringent.

Can I get a PEL Grant?

No, they are not available to students studying at foreign schools.

I would like more information on the loan types. Where can I get it?

You can find more information on the www.studentloans.gov website. Look at “Direct Loan Overview” in the “Learn More” section. You can also get more information by undergoing entrance counselling, located in the “Manage My Direct Loan” section.

Where do I complete my FAFSA online?

Go to www.StudentLoans.gov which is the main site for U.S. students applying for financial aid. It has links to the fafsa website.

Is the BVetMed a graduate programme?

Yes. Although it is undergraduate in the UK, it is considered a graduate course by the U.S. Department of Education.

Am I a “dependent” or “independent” student?

All our courses eligible for financial aid are masters programmes in U.S. terms, therefore all students are “independent”.

What is the full SAR?

There are two versions of the SAR, the full SAR and an abridged version. The full version is between 6 and 8 pages and will contain a summary of your previous loans. If that is included, it is the full SAR. We cannot process your loan request without one.

I have signed a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before, do I have to do one again?

A new MPN is required each academic year for the Subsidised/Unsubsidised Direct loan, and another for the Direct Plus loan. If you want to increase the amount you have borrowed you do not need to complete another MPN.

I have completed the direct loan PLUS process, which included the credit check, does this mean my credit has been approved? Will I definitely not need an endorser?

When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. We will be able to see the result. To be eligible to receive a PLUS loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you have passed credit check you do not need an endorser. For more details see the FSA Applying for Direct Loans site.

How do I apply for a loan?

First you apply through the FAFSA website to establish your eligibility. Then you apply to the RVC for your loan. You do this via our online portal Rover, using the Apply for US Direct Loans option. You will be required to upload your SAR, MPN(s) and Proof of Entrance Counselling. You will also need to submit your budget request (how much you want to borrow) using the Cost of Attendance Budget Tool. For more information on how to apply see How to Apply for a U.S. Direct Loan

Why do I have to submit my SAR and MPNs via the Rover online application option, can’t you access them online?

Some members of the Financial Aid team can access the MPNs and SARs, but we won’t know when they are there and don’t have the time to keep checking.

How do I convert my SAR (or other documents) into a PDF file?

If you do not already have any software to do this, download CutePDF - it's free (Windows only - Mac users (OS X) do not need additional software). Once installed when you print a document you select “CutePDF Writer” from your list of printers and Windows will allow you to save the document as a PDF file.

Is there a maximum amount of Direct Plus Loans to cover the cost of education?

There is an annual limit to loans, in that students can only borrow up to the maximum cost of attendance. See Borrowing Limits

Will my living costs be the amount quoted in the Cost of Attendance?

The cost of attendance (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.

We recommend that you do not apply for the maximum available to you. Should you borrow your full COA and run out, you will not be allowed further loans (unless there are exceptional circumstances).

What if my budget exceeds the COA?

You should explain why in the box provided on the COA Budget worksheet, and apply for the amount you want. We will be able to approve your budget if you give a reasonable justification and it is an allowable expense. If we have concerns, we will raise them with you.

What if I ask for less than the maximum COA, but run out of money?

You can always ask for additional funds up to the COA, and it is a simple process via Rover which will tell you the amount of additional funds available to you.

Will I pay more in origination fees if I request additional funds, than I would have if I had borrowed the same amount up front?

No. Origination fees are calculated as a percentage of the amount borrowed.

How quickly will I receive the additional funds?

Normally within two weeks. The additional funds will be split equally between an immediate payment and remaining scheduled disbursments. For example, if you request additional funds prior to your second and final scheduled disbursement, you will get 50% immediately and the remaining 50% with the final disbursement.

How will I receive my award letter?

All award letters are uploaded to Rover so if you would like a copy you can log into Rover to access it.

New students can request their award letter should they need to present the original when applying for a visa, by sending a request email to Financial Aid Office 

How will the loans be disbursed?

The loans will be paid by electronic transfer in pounds sterling, except the first disbursement for new students which will be made by cheque. The Finance Department will collect and hold your bank details for payment. To arrange payment by electronic transfer you must send a Direct Loan Payment Form to Sanjay Raikundalia SRaikundalia@rvc.ac.uk in Finance. Do not send your bank details to the Financial Aid Office as we are not disbursing the money. The form is available on Rover, or from Sanjay. New students can obtain a form from Sanjay when they collect their cheques for the first disbursement. If you do not submit a Direct Loan Payment Form by the required date, your payment will be made by cheque. All cheques must be collected from Finance in Camden.

Why do BVetMed students get three disbursements in years 1 & 2, and two in years 3-5?

The clinical years of BVetMed are longer than years 1 and 2, with the extra weeks tagged onto the summer term as you do EMS in the summer.

If we did three disbursements, your first would cover 13 weeks, the second 12 weeks and the third 19 weeks. But they would be for equal amounts.

The likelihood is students would run out of money during the summer period. Therefore, we make two disbursements, with the second midway through your loan period.

How do I defer a previous loan?

If you are enrolled at least half-time you will not need to start paying back previous loans. A deferment form can be completed by the Student Records & Finance, Student Centre in Camden and sent to the lender on your behalf. You will need to obtain the form from the lender, or ask them to contact Student Records & Finance direct.

Forms should be sent to Academic Registry, Student Centre, Student Records & Finance, Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, NW1 0TU Tel: +44 (0)20 39054709

When will you start accepting loan applications for next year?

There is a certain amount of preparation that takes place for every loan cycle. The Cost of Attendance Budget is set, and the pound/dollar exchange rate, and incorporated into the Cost of Attendance Calculator. We need to determine what the disbursement dates will be for each disbursement for each year of each course. This then needs to be uploaded here, and the information on these web pages updated for the next loan cycle.

In addition, we need to set up some data within the Department of Education's loan origination system (COD), and within our student record system prior to each new loan cycle.

This work commences in May and we complete it in early to mid June. At that point, you will be able to apply provided you have a Rover account.

Continuing students will be given access to the Rover option to apply for loans after their exam results are fully processed in Rover.

When will I get access to Rover so I can apply?

Before new students can be issued with a Rover account, the following happens:

The Admissions Office converts you from an applicant to a student in the college student record system. This is sometimes referred to as 'being ATRd'. The Admissions Office will do this when

  • You have met any conditions of your offer (Admissions have received and processed your transcript and upgraded your offer to an unconditional offer) or were made an unconditional offer
  • You have paid your deposit

When the Financial Aid Office is notified your record has been ATRd, we will request a college user account from the IT department. The initial batch (anticipated to be 50-60 students) will take at least a week to process. After that, as new students are ATRd a few at a time, they usually take a couple of days to set up your account and provide us with the details.

Once we have those details, we will set up your Rover account and email your username and password and invite you to apply for your loan. We usually do this the same or next working day.

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