The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (BOVTS) participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.
This webpage outlines the types of loans available, how to apply for them and when and how they are disbursed. We will also keep you informed at each step of the process by email.
You may have previously borrowed via a private lender through the FFEL Program. This program is no longer available. However, the Direct Loan Program offers the same loans but instead of a bank lending the money, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) lends the money directly to students through the student’s school. There are also some differences in the names of the loans. The FFEL Program’s Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) are called Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans and the FFEL Program’s Federal PLUS Loan is called a Direct PLUS Loan in the Direct Loan Program.
Please note that students studying outside of the USA are not eligible for PELL Grants or Perkins loans.
Full information about the loan process can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.FAFSA Website - click this text to go to the Federal Aid Website in a new tab
Types of loans and eligibility
Types of loans available
There are 3 types of loan available to students through the Federal program. These are the Direct Subsidised, Direct Unsubsidzed and Direct PLUS loans. If you are a Graduate you can apply for a PLUS loan in your own right. The maximum you can borrow through the schemes is the estimated cost of attendance.
The sum of your Federal and any private loans cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance so you should think carefully, should you decide to take out both.
PLUS loans are credit based.
Eligibility for Direct Loans and application process
Direct Loans are available to all US citizens or permanent residents with a valid social security number who have a high school diploma and are not in default on any previous student loans. Male students also have to be registered for Selective Service.
You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We will use the information from your FAFSA to assist in determining your eligibility for a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
In addition to completing a FAFSA, you will need to be accepted in a Masters degree level -granting program (ie MA) at our school on at least a half-time basis and meet other eligibility requirements such as maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and being within the borrowing limits for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
Award notification and completion
After we determine your eligibility for a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, we will notify you of the loans and amounts for which you are eligible.
This will depend upon your intended program of study, Estimated Family Contribution, other funding (including any scholarships or bursaries you may have been awarded) and Cost of Attendance. If you do not wish to borrow the full amount on your Award letter you must contact the Financial Aid Office to cancel or reduce your loan amounts.
Depending on your status, we may also include information about a Direct PLUS Loan award for which you or your parent may be eligible. (If you are a graduate/professional student, you may be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan.)
This notification will include the instructions you need to follow in order for your loan to be processed in a timely manner. Please read this thoroughly.
Direct Loan MPN completion
You must complete a new Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for each loan type you wish to borrow. Although you may have previously signed an MPN to receive FFEL or Direct Loan Program loans, these MPNs cannot be used to make Direct Loans at our school.
The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. In some cases, a Direct Loan MPN can be used to make loans for up to ten years. However, you will need to complete a new Direct Loan MPN each academic year that you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan at our school.
Note: You also have the option to complete a paper Direct Loan MPN. To do so, call the Department’s Applicant Services staff at 800/557-7394 and then return the completed paper MPN to the Department at the address included in the instructions that will be provided to you. We will be notified of your completion.
Direct Loan Entrance Counseling completion
You must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counselling before taking out your first loan before you can receive a Direct Loan.
You will also be required to complete Exit Counselling shortly before you complete your studies. Federal Student Aid also have Financial Awareness Counselling. Whilst this is not compulsory you may find it of use when planning your borrowing and spending.
Certification and disbursement of funds
Once you have completed the required processes as outlined in the email sent to you, we will originate (certify) the loans and send a confirmation letter to you.
You will be able to use this letter to support your visa application.
Federal loans can only be disbursed in 3 instalments for graduates and must be allocated to any due Tuition fees first. This will clearly affect your financial plans for the year and the options available to you.
You should contact the Financial Aid Officer by email email@example.com if you have any questions.
Please note that once originated loan information will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System.
As you can see this is a long process. In order for you to have your payment disbursed in time for the start of session you will need to have completed your FAFSA and signed the MPN by early July if possible. You will also need proof of funding for your visa application.
Disbursement of funds
Before each disbursement BOVTS is required to confirm you are still eligible to receive funds. This includes ensuring you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress and are studying 'at least half time' and you are not conducting any study or research in the US.
The loans will be disbursed to BOVTS who will then arrange to convert the loans to pounds sterling. Once we know the amount in pounds received the money is allocated to tuition and accommodation fees as laid down in the US Dept of Education regulations before any excess is returned to you. You will then be notified of how the loan has been allocated.
Excess funds are returned to you in GBP, either by cheque or bank transfer to a UK bank account. You will need to provide us with your UK Bank account details, please complete the Student Bank Form and return to the Financial Aid Office in the Admissions office prior to each disbursement. For details on how opening a UK Bank Account, please see below.
Please note any PLUS loan is allocated to your Institutional charges before the subsidised and unsubsidised.
Opening a UK Bank Account
In order to receive your Federal Funds as quickly as possible, we would advise you to open a UK bank account to use during your time in the UK.
There are many High Street banks in the local area that offer student accounts including:
These banks will normally require you to provide proof of a UK address and that you are an enrolled student.
You should be aware of our return of Title IV funds policy.
For further information on BOVTS, relating to Federal Aid requirements, please see BOVTSs' Publication Scheme and our Consumer Information pages.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School looks forward to participating in the Direct Loan Program and offering the benefits of Direct Loans to our U.S. students.
For additional information about Direct Loans, visit Federal Student Aid via: click this text to go to the StudentLoans.gov website in a new tab. or contact the Financial Aid Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. or phone 00 44 (0)117 9809252 for more information.
Satisfactory Academic Progress and other Policies
Students in receipt of Aid are expected to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, please see the policies below.