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Funding for students from the USA

Silhouette of students walking onto stage of the Britten Theatre
The loan application process and eligibility is not the same for foreign schools as it is for schools in USA. Different Federal Regulations apply to foreign schools. It is important that you read this information. 

Direct (Stafford) Loans

There are three types of loans available as a combination

  • Subsidised: maximum annual value, no interest charged while you are in school.
  • Unsubsidised: maximum annual value, interest charged while you are in school.
  • PLUS Loan: covers the rest of the costs but subject to credit rating and the borrower may need an endorser. For undergraduates, the loan can only be borrowed by the parents. For postgraduates the loan is borrowed by the student.

The maximum annual and aggregate values of these loans are also available on the Student Aid website.

More information, including your responsibilities and obligations, is available on your government’s Student Aid website.

Federal Regulations require that to qualify for these loans the student’s course must be:

  • On campus. Any course which involves any distance learning is not eligible.
  • No part takes place in USA or at a non-eligible school.
  • A degree course. That is Bachelor, Master or Doctor.
  • Diploma or Certificate courses at RCM are not eligible for Direct Loans but may be eligible for private loans.
  • At least half time. That is continuously attending/studying at least half of a full-time load such that if full time is10 classes per week, then half time is 5 classes per week.

Federal Regulations require that to qualify for these loans the student must:

  • be a US Citizen or eligible alien;
  • complete entrance counselling;
  • be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). You must maintain at least a C grade throughout the course and complete within a given timescale (for full details see the RCM SAP Policy);
  • complete exit counselling.

Federal Regulations require that the school retain records of all loans, proofs of eligibility and counselling for Compliance Audit. These are held for six years under UK Accounting law but the US Dept of Ed may require some are retained for longer.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Private loans & preferred lenders

RCM has no preferred lender. Students and parents are free to use any lender which does not require any obligation or liability of the school. We believe that Sallie Mae is currently the only lender working with students at foreign schools.

Private loans are not subject to Federal Regulations and may be used for Diploma or Certificate courses.

All arrangements made are between the borrower and the lender. The school only sets disbursement dates and certifies that the value requested is within the Cost of Attendance.

Other Loans & Grants

The following, which may be available in USA, are not available at foreign schools

  • Pell Grants or Loans
  • Work-Study or Athlete programs

The generosity of charitable trusts and donors enables RCM to offer some scholarships.

How much can I borrow? (Cost of attendance & net price calculator)

Each year, the RCM sets the Cost of Attendance which comprises:

1. Your tuition fee

Please refer to the RCM's published information on tuition fees.

2. Cost of living

After your tutition fees, add in your living costs for the year. For 2020-21 these are:

  • Bachelor £29,596 which is $39,954 to cover 36 weeks
  • Master/Doctor £33,751 which is $45,564 to cover 50 weeks

3. Deductions

Then deduct any other source of funding.

Borrowing & disbursments

You can borrow up to the Cost of Attendance, but the value of each loan might be adjusted to compensate if your EFC (expected Family Contribution) is high or if you are already close to the maximum aggregate allowed.

The loans are disbursed as equal thirds on 25 September, 22 January, 30 April, Any refund (living money) is paid to the student by bank draft (cheque) or bank transfer.

To see your exact Cost of Attendance and your loan eligibility, download and use the CoA Spreadsheet. This also serves as the Net Price Calculator disclosure.

Cost of Attendance

How to apply for Direct Loans, also called Stafford Loans

The loan application process and eligibility are not the same for foreign schools as for schools in USA. Different Federal Regulations apply to foreign schools, so the process will not be the same as you may already have experienced at a school in USA.

The school cannot start to process your loans without the information in these documents so it is important that you carefully follow these application instructions which will make the process both simple and quick.

  1. Download and follow all the instructions in the Application Guide which has a flowchart to help you through the process
  2. Go to FAFSA the RCM school code is G12335.
  3. Entrance Counselling.
  4. Download and complete the CoA Spreadsheet in which you state the value you wish to borrow which must be equal to, or less than, the CoA value.
  5. In one email, send your SAR, MPNs, (Credit Check if applying for a PLUS Loan), Counselling completion and CoA spreadsheet to the application email address.

Application Guide for Federal Loans

Cost of Attendance

How to apply for private loans

We believe that Sallie Mae is currently the only lender working with students at foreign schools.

  1. Download and complete the CoA Spreadsheet in which you state private loan and the value you wish to borrow which must be equal to, or less than, the CoA value.
  2. Go to My Global Ed and apply for the loan.
  3. Send an email attaching your CoA spreadsheet to the application email address so that the school has sufficient information to certify the loan.

Cost of Attendance

What if I decide to withdraw or interrupt?

This has an effect on loans.

If you are considering taking time out or withdrawing, then please download and read the Withdraw Policy which tells you about refunds and how it affects your loans.

Withdrawal Policy

Where to send your application documents & for more information

Federal and private loans are handled by the Finance Department. For further information contact Shazzie Busby.

To submit your loan application, attach all the documents to an email and send to Shazzie Busby.

Normal office hours are: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm (UK time)

Best time to call from USA: Monday – Friday 2pm – 4pm (UK time)

Shazzie Busby

Finance Assistant

+44 (0)20 7591 4844

shazzie.busby@rcm.ac.uk