US Federal Student Loans

Student Guide to Direct Loans from US Government

What type of loan can I apply for?

Direct Subsidized
Available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need; no interest is charged while at a student is enrolled at least half-time at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, during the grace period and during the deferment period.

Direct Unsubsidized
Available to undergraduate and postgraduate students; not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is at Trinity Laban and during grace and deferment periods.

Direct PLUS
Unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students; PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. PLUS loan borrowers must not have an adverse credit history.

Direct Consolidation
Eligible federal student loans can be combined into one Direct Consolidation Loan.
Student borrowers are not required to begin making payments until after they drop below half-time attendance.

How much can I borrow through Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans?

Dependent UG Sub Unsub Total
Foundation/Diploma $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
1st year BA or 1st year Foundation $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
2nd/3rd year BA or Graduate Diploma $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Independent UG Sub Unsub Total
Foundation/Diploma $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
1st year BA or 1st year Foundation $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
2nd/3rd year BA or Graduate Diploma $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Postgraduate Sub Unsub Total
MA/MMus/PhD/Postgraduate Diploma $0 $20,500 $20,500

 You may borrow an amount that is equal to the cost of attendance (COA). The COA consists of two different elements:

  • Tuition fees (the cost of your course fees)
  • Living costs (the amount that you may reasonably be expected to live on during your study)

The living cost will vary depending on whether you are living in private rented accommodation or in the Trinity Laban's Halls of Residence. It is best to make an application based on a realistic and reasonable budget. You should put together a monthly budget for yourself prior to your application.

Please find below a recommended maximum cost of attendance below:

Costs Weekly No.of Weeks Total
Room incl. utilities £180 44 £7,920
Board incl. food and Internet £90 44 £3,960
Books £10 44 £440
Travel £25 44 £1,100
Personal £50 44 £2,200
TOTAL £355 44 £15,620

Please note: The Direct Stafford Loans by themselves may not cover your total Cost of Attendance. Should you require further funding you will need to apply for a PLUS Loan.

What is a PLUS Loan?

Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans are applied for in the same way as Stafford loans. Unlike the Stafford Loan, however, the Graduate and Parent PLUS loans are subject to an adverse credit history check. Both PLUS loans are presently fixed at a 7.9% interest rate.

Parent PLUS loans are federal loans taken out by a parent on behalf of a student and are only available to students under age 24 who are studying at undergraduate level. If the parents are denied on their application for a Parent PLUS loan, their child (the student) is eligible to be considered "independent" for Stafford loan purposes. Please alert us as soon as possible if your PLUS loan is denied and provide us with the relevant supporting paperwork so we can adjust the Stafford loan amounts accordingly.

While Parent PLUS loans generally go into repayment immediately, a parent borrower can request to defer repayment during the student's studies and/or for an additional 6 months after the student graduates. Parents must request to have their loan deferred directly through the lender.

Graduate PLUS loans are available to postgraduate/professional students (MA, PhD or Postgraduate Diploma courses only) and are borrowed by the student. Graduate PLUS loan borrowers must apply for the maximum Stafford loan available to them before being allowed a Grad PLUS. This loan, like the Parent PLUS, can also be deferred during your studies but you must request this yourself, with the lender, otherwise the loan will go into repayment immediately.

Do I need a credit check?

When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible to receive a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If it is determined that you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if you obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan.

If you are a parent borrowing on behalf of your dependent student, the endorser may not be the student on whose behalf you (the parent) obtain a Direct PLUS Loan. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if you document to our satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

What is a Master Promissory Note?

To take out a Direct Loan, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN will be provided either by your school or the Department. You can complete the MPN online at the StudentLoans.gov website. The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the official PIN site. A parent borrower must also request a PIN number from the PIN site to use when completing a PLUS MPN.

In most cases, once you've submitted the MPN and it's been accepted, you won't have to fill out a new MPN for future loans you receive. Unless your school does not allow more than one loan to be made under the same MPN, you can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years. If you are applying for a Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate/professional student, you'll need to complete and sign a PLUS MPN that is separate from the one that you use for your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

You'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.

How do I apply for Direct Federal Loans - Stafford, Parent PLUS, Graduate PLUS?

STEP 1: Create your Cost of Attendance (CoA) profile using the spreadsheet that was sent to you by email, so that you are able to refer to this throughout your application process. If you have not received a CoA profile but believe you are eligible for a US Loan, then please contact us on [email protected] as soon as possible. The CoA will allow you to see how much you are entitled to borrow and to indicate to us how much you wish to borrow. Once you have completed this form, attach it to an email and send us a copy at [email protected]. Please return this to us by 31 May.

STEP 2: Complete a FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov) as soon as possible after you and your family have filed your taxes. If you are unsure of your eligibility for a US Student Loan, completing the FAFSA will be able to tell you whether this is an option for you. The FAFSA will generate your Student Aid Report (SAR) which we need when certifying you for any federal loans. You will need the school code when filling out the FAFSA and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music's code is G50120. Please complete your FAFSA by 15 June.

STEP 3: When you have completed your FAFSA, wait for the information to upload - which takes 24-48 hours. Log back in to view your SAR and check it for errors. The front page of the SAR will list any errors and the items in question will either have a '*' or an 'h' next to them. Review these issues and make corrections where necessary. We will require an error-free SAR before we can process your loans.

STEP 4:  You must now complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN) electronically through studentloans.gov. You will need a PIN (the same PIN that you created to complete your FAFSA). The MPN is the contract between you and the lender and we need one of these for any federal loan you wish to borrow. Please note you will need one contract for each of your loans (one for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and one for Direct PLUS). Please complete your MPN by 30 June.

Please note that as a student at a foreign school you are required to complete new MPN’s for each loan for every year of study.

STEP 5:  If you are borrowing a PLUS loan (Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS) you must provide us with the amount you wish to borrow. The Stafford loan has set allowable amounts detailed above and we will assume that you want the full Stafford allowance unless we are advised otherwise. To get an idea of how much you can borrow, please see the Cost of Attendance table earlier in this document.

STEP 6: Complete your Entrance Counselling only if you are new to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. This is a requirement of the US Department of Education and can be completed at studentloans.gov. Counselling must only be submitted by students borrowing Stafford loans or Graduate PLUS loans. Please complete this no later than 30 June.

STEP 7: Send an email to [email protected] with:

  • ‘US Loans’ as the subject and your surname and forename (eg. US Loan, SMITH, Matthew)
  • Confirmation that you have submitted your FAFSA and checked your SAR for errors
  • Cost of Attendance Spreadsheet completed and attached
  • MPN(s) in PDF format attached
  • Confirmation that you have completed your Entrance Counselling (if applicable).

Please send us this absolutely no later than 31 July.

STEP 8: Trinity Laban will then approve your loan on the disbursement system and issue a visa letter, confirming your loan. Your loan will then be disbursed in three instalments in line with federal law regulation. If you are a first-year Undergraduate student who has not had a loan before, the first instalment will not be available to the conservatoire until you have completed the first month of your course of study. Subsequent instalments will be available at the beginning of each term. We will attempt to disburse the loan as soon as possible following registration in person at Trinity Laban.

Please note that loans cannot be disbursed prior to the beginning of term and that students should budget to be able to live for the first month of study without access to their loan.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is required by the US Federal Loan Regulations to publish information regarding those courses that do not lead to a recognised award but are still eligible for US Loans. 

Gainful Employment Disclosure (DANCE)

Gainful Employment Disclosure (MUSIC)

Who do I contact if I have any problems?

If you have additional questions after reading the information provided on our website, please contact us as soon as possible.

[email protected]
Phone: (0044) 208305 4402