skip to content
Information for the 2021/22 academic year including updated spreadsheets will be available by the end of May. Please wait for this to happen before applying for your loan(s). We will start to process applications for new students in June and current students from the end of July.


Applying for a Federal Loan to Study at the University of Cambridge

From 1 July 2010 the University of Cambridge began participating in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan programme. The change has been made in order to comply with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in March, ending the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL).

One of the provisions of the HCERA was the termination, as of 1st July 2010, of the bank-based Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) programme. From 1st July 2010 all new Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation loans for eligible U.S. students can now only be made under the Direct Loan Program.

US Department of Education update: As a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, SEC. 502, subsidized loans cannot be awarded to graduate and professional students (college grade level 6 and 7) if the loan period begins on or after July 1, 2012.

If undertaking any study in the US we require confirmation that the period in the US will not be more than 25% of your program of study (to confirm this to our office please ensure that you have entered your initials where requested on your 2021 22 cost of attendance spreadsheet). This information is required in order that we can ensure that your eligibility for Title IV Direct Loans will not be affected.

The University requires research students to be resident in Cambridge and actively pursuing their research throughout the year (including during the summer months when undergraduate students are not in residence), with short breaks for holidays. Students must submit a request to spend time away from Cambridge (e.g. fieldwork) or to intermit their studies please refer to General Information | Student Registry ( for further information.

Some courses such as Clinical Medicine, Veterinary Medicine/Science, Diploma, Certificate, EMBA and MAC (Master of Accounting) courses are not eligible for Direct Loans. If you are based in the US part-time MSt courses will also not be eligible for Direct Loans. If you are studying any of these courses and require a loan a Private Loan may be an option.

US regulations do not permit maintenance for a partner or children to be included in the cost of attendance. If you wish to claim for childcare costs for dependents who are accompanying you during your studies you will be required to provide supporting documenatation (e.g. screen shot, invoice etc.).

Once your Direct Loan(s) are processed and completed in our office we'll send you an e-mail confirmation. We will also attach the 'Notification of Student Loan For Academic Year 2021/22' letter which will tell you how much you will receive in loans and when you will receive them. The copy of the letter (if it's required) will be sufficient proof of your loan amounts for the academic year for the purpose of applying for your visa.