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US Federal Loans (Direct Loans)

Information about US Loans available for eligible students to study at the RCA.
William D Ford Federal Direct Loans 

Direct Loans (formerly known as Stafford Loans) are educational loans to assist US citizens with the costs of studying. Unsubsidised Loans and Plus Loans are available through the Direct Loan programme operated by the US Education Department. Please note that postgraduate students are not eligible for Subsidised Loans.

You should consider the Unsubsidised Direct Loans first, as usually this is the cheapest way of borrowing. If you need additional funding you should then consider a Direct Plus Loan. The maximum total borrowed from Direct and private loans cannot exceed the annual maximum Cost of Attendance. For Direct Loan application details please see How to Apply for a US Federal Loan. Please note that only on-campus degree students are eligible for Federal Direct Loans at the RCA. 

Students studying for the MA/MSc in Global Innovation Design are not eligible for US loans because for Route B a period of study is spent in the USA, and for all Routes there are periods of study spent at ineligible institutions. You may be eligible for Private Loans instead (please see below).

The Graduate Diploma Art & Design is not currently eligible for US loan funding, however students may be eligible for Private Loans instead (please see below).

The School Federal Direct Loan Code is G09423 – Royal College of Art.

If you have any questions about applying for US loans, please contact the [email protected]

Types of US Loans
Types of loans 3 - Dec 2019.jpeg, 2019

There may be further changes as Congress continues to negotiate and decide the federal aid package. To keep up to date with changes to US Federal Loans please see Federal Student Aid.

Postgraduate Unsubsidised Direct Loans

Unsubsidised: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods. The maximum postgraduate Unsubsidised Loan is $20,500.

Unsubsidised Origination fee: 1.059% (for 2019/20 – after 1 October 2019)

Postgraduate Research students are eligible to borrow loans during full-time, part-time (half time) and extension of writing up (continuation) research status periods. Extension of enrolment and under examination research statuses are not eligible.

Direct Plus Loan

Unsubsidised Direct loans have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options so if you are eligible you should apply for these loans first. You may need to take out additional loans to top up your funding.  You should first consider Grad Plus Loan for postgraduate degree students. Please note that Plus Loans are subject to credit checking and applicants cannot have an adverse credit history.

Plus Origination fee: 4.236% (for 2019/20 – after 1 October 2019)

Private Loans
There may be some private loans available to US students studying abroad. Private loans are subject to credit checking. Some RCA students in the past had Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans. We are not currently aware of other US loan providers of private loans for international study but we do not have a preferred lender list. You should consider terms and conditions carefully in comparison with Federal Direct Loans. If you choose to apply for a private loan, please send details of the lender and loan required as soon as you can to [email protected] so that the loan application can be reviewed and certified in time for the start of term.