- Student Records and Examinations
- Making a Change to your Record
- US Federal Student Aid
US Federal Student Aid
Information for New Applicants
University College Cork (UCC) is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to certify loans under the U.S. William D. Ford Direct Loan programme.
Under this programme eligible students can obtain:
- Unsubsidized loans,
- Parent PLUS or,
- Graduate PLUS loans from the U.S. Department of Education.
Federally supported loans are issued by the US Department of Education rather than by a private lender/bank. UCC manages the loan origination and disbursement of the loan process.
For full information on the process download the UCC Federal Aid Student Guide 2022-23.
Please note: that US Federal Government regulations for Foreign Schools differ to those for US domestic schools and that the process which we follow at University College Cork is in accordance with the regulations for Foreign Schools. It is important to adhere to deadlines and to plan early as the process can take several weeks from initial application to loan origination.
Eligibility for US Federal Aid
Students from the United States of America who choose to study at foreign institutions are not eligible for grants from the US Federal government e.g. Pell Grants but they may apply for US Federal loans to fund their study. The Federal Direct Loan programme is available to US citizens or eligible non-citizens who are enrolled at least half-time, making satisfactory academic progress and are not in default on a previous loan or exceeding federal loan limits.
- Degree (Undergraduate or Postgraduate)
- Medical programmes
- Diploma Programmes
- Distance Learning Programmes
- Programmes more than 25 percent of which takes place in the USA. Study in the USA can only be at institutions of higher education that are themselves eligible for the US Title IV aid programs.
- Programs more than 25 percent of which takes place at an institution outside the USA that is itself not eligible for the US Title IV aid programmes.
Eligible students at University College Cork can apply for the following Federal Aid loans:
- Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
- Direct PLUS Loans (Undergraduate Parent or Graduate Student)
Study Abroad Information
A student’s enrolment in a programme of study abroad approved for credit by University College Cork is considered enrolment at UCC for the purpose of applying for assistance under the Title IV, HEA programmes.
US Students should note, however, some limitations. (These limitations were modified as of 1 July 2021.) US students receiving Direct Loans or Direct PLUS loans can only go on study abroad on locations in the USA for no more than 25 percent of their programme of study and only to locations themselves eligible for the US Title IV aid programmes. They can go on study abroad at institutions outside the USA that are not themselves eligible for the US Title IV aid program for no more than 25 percent of their programme of study.
View current eligible foreign schools.
How to Apply
To view more information on the loan application process choose from one of the following options:
Log onto the U.S. Department of Education FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website and make an online application.
The school code for University College Cork is GØ67Ø4.
Once you have completed your online application you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail approximately two weeks after their application has been processed.
If you have provided an email address, you can then request that your Student Aid Report be sent via email.
The following documents must be sent to the Financial Aid Administrator in University College Cork:
1. Student Aid Report (SAR).
2. Official Offer Letter/Acceptance to University College Cork (copy).
3. Scholarship Letter/Funding Letter if applicable (copy).
4. Copy of current passport.
5. Signed Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans via the Student Aid website. Please refer to step four below for more information.
6. Signed Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Credit Check by selecting ‘Complete PLUS Request Process ‘ via the Student Aid website for Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS loans. Please refer to step four below for more information.
7. Completed Loan Entrance Counselling via the Student Aid website. Please refer to step three below for more information.
The purpose of loan entrance counselling is to help students to better understand their responsibilities in relation to their loans. It is a federal requirement.
All students attending the University College Cork and who wish to apply for US Federal loans must complete loan entrance counselling.
Loan Entrance Counselling can be completed at the Student Aid website.
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which the student promises to repay their loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the US Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of their loan(s).
All MPNs issued in respect of foreign studies at a foreign school are valid for one year only. New MPNs are required to be completed for every year of study at a foreign school. The school code for University College Cork is GØ67Ø4.
One MPN is completed in respect of the Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans. A separate MPN is required should the student wish to take out a Graduate PLUS or Parent PLUS loan.
Master Promissory Notes can be completed online at the Student Aid website.
Students must request all PLUS loans on the Student Aid website.
In applying for a PLUS loan a credit check will be carried out on the individual requesting the loan. No PLUS loan can be certified until this credit check is completed. The student must select Complete PLUS Request Process to initiate the credit check.
If the student or parent has an adverse credit history, they may still be eligible to receive a Direct PLUS loan. They can obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS loan if the student/parent is unable to repay the loan. In the case of a parent borrowing on behalf of their dependent student, the endorser cannot be the student on whose behalf the parent is obtaining the Direct PLUS loan.
Please note in the case of dependent undergraduate students, the Parent PLUS loan is borrowed in the name of the parent.
On receipt of the necessary documentation, students will be emailed with their Loan Award Letter which outlines the loan amounts that they are eligible to borrow and also the Loan Amount Declaration form.
Students must return the Loan Amount Declaration form indicating the various loan amounts that they wish to borrow.
Students must notify the Financial Aid Administrator if they have been approved for a US Private Scholarship, any other US Scholarship or a Scholarship from University College Cork. This may affect the student’s borrowing limits.
All loans will be originated by the University College Cork with the US Department of Education.
There is an origination fee on all Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans. The origination fee is a percentage of each loan amount.
For Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans disbursed on or after October 1st 2021 through 30th September 2023, the loan origination fee is 1.057%.
The loan fee will be proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.
For PLUS loans disbursed on or after October 1st 2021 through 30th September 2023, the loan origination fee is 4.228%. The fee will be proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.
Loans will be disbursed in two payments to coincide with the start of each semester of study in September and January.
Excess funds beyond UCC fees will be disbursed to students by way of refund directly to their Irish bank account. Students are strongly encouraged to open bank accounts on campus.
It is important for students to note that they will not have immediate access to their loan funds when they arrive in Ireland. Students will need to bring sufficient sums of money to cover their first 3 - 4 weeks’ of expenses.
Students in receipt of US Federal Aid loans to fund their tuition are permitted to pay their tuition fees in two instalments, one in September and one in January to coincide with the Federal Aid disbursements.
The loan funds are disbursed directly to University College Cork, the Fees Office deducts the necessary tuition fee instalment and any excess funds will be refunded directly to the students’ bank accounts.
Please note that on-campus accommodation costs are not deducted from their loans by the Fees Office.
Students who are in receipt of Direct Loan Federal Funds from the US Department of Education must comply with Satisfactory Academic Progress Regulations to maintain their eligibility to receive loan funds. Satisfactory Academic Progress means that students are required to maintain minimum grades and course completion to confirm they are making satisfactory progression.
University College Cork will assess each student’s SAP at the end of each academic semester. Please see Appendix 1 – SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) Policy on page 11.
If the student withdraws or fails to attend their programme, they must inform the Financial Aid Administrator in University College Cork and the US Department of Education no later than 5 working days after withdrawal.
Students who withdraw from their programme of study are required to inform University College Cork in writing or call the Student Records and Examinations Office if they decide to withdraw. Students should please note that failure to attend after enrolment is deemed to be a withdrawal.
Students should note that when they withdraw, any disbursed unearned loan funds must be returned to the US Department of Education. Please see Appendix 2 – US Federal Loans: Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy on page 17.
Students who withdraw from their course of study or fall below at least half-time study at any point during the current academic year will be required to complete Exit Counselling via the NDLS website. The US Department of Education will also be notified.
Graduation - Exit Counselling
Federal regulations require that all Direct Loan borrowers who graduate or withdraw from their programme of study complete a Loan Exit Counselling Session. This session is designed to provide borrowers with important information regarding their responsibilities as well as repayment information. Students can complete Exit Counselling on the StudentLoans.gov website by selecting ‘Exit Counselling’ in the ‘Tools and Resources’ section.
Student should receive repayment information from their loan servicer approximately 3 months after they leave school. If students do not receive this information, it is their responsibility to contact the US Department of Education or loan servicer before the end of their grace period to arrange for the repayment of the loan. It is important that students plan for the repayment of their loan.
Students will have the opportunity to estimate their monthly repayments as they process through the online counselling session.
If you are attending UCC for more than one year you will need to submit a FAFSA for each subsequent year of study.
Students should refer to the for detailed information on how to apply. Please refer to the guide for every year that you are in receipt of student aid as the information is subject to change.
Once you have completed your FAFSA and received your Student Aid Report, you should complete the following:
- Master Promissory Note (MPNs) and,
- Loan Entrance Counselling if required.
Eligible students should first visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs website and apply for benefits.
UCC will need to confirm your attendance before your benefits are released for disbursement. Enrolment is certified via the providers certification platform, VA ONCE.
To enquire about eligible programmes for approval or using your VA Benefits to study at UCC, please email email@example.com.
Eligible students should first visit the Sallie Mae website to apply for a loan.
UCC will need to confirm your attendance before your benefits are released for disbursement. Enrolment is certified via the providers certification platform.
To enquire about using your Sallie Mae loan to study at UCC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.