Funding for US students

About Direct Loans

UBC is an approved Title IV institution, allowing UBC students from the US to access Direct Loans.

At UBC, the Direct Loan program includes:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Parent and Grad PLUS Loans

UBC can provide Direct Loan funding to students who meet the basic eligibility requirements.

Maximum funding amounts depend on whether you’re classified as a dependent or independent student by the answers you provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Find out how UBC calculates your eligible funding. If you have questions about your funding eligibility or assessment, please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students enrolled in school with at least 6 credits per term with financial need in approved programs. Financial need is determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The US Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan during the following times:

Learn more about Direct Subsidized Loans on the Federal Student Aid website.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students must be registered in at least 6 credits per term in approved programs. Graduate students must be considered full time and be enrolled in at least one course for the entire term of funding. These loans are not based on financial need.

Interest on Direct Unsubsidized Loans is charged starting from the disbursement date. You can choose to either pay interest while you are in school or have it added to the principal balance of your loan.

Learn more about Direct Unsubsidized Loans on the Federal Student Aid website.

Parent and Grad PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans both require a credit check. Interest is charged starting from the disbursement date.

PLUS loans have a higher interest rate than Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and interest builds up during your course of study.

Parents of undergraduate students (Parent PLUS Loans)

The Parent Plus Loans can help parents pay for the educational expenses of dependent children studying at the undergraduate level.

Learn more about Parent PLUS Loans on the Federal Student Aid website.

Graduate students (Grad PLUS Loans)

Graduate PLUS Loans are a good option for graduate students who meet one of the following:

  • You have applied for maximum Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • You have reached your annual limit of $20,500.
  • You have reached your lifetime limit and require additional financial aid.

Learn more about Grad PLUS Loans on the Federal Student Aid website.

Direct Loan program eligibility

In addition to your basic eligibility requirements, there are additional program requirements that you must meet in order to receive and maintain your loan funding while at UBC.

Undergraduate students eligibility requirements

All undergraduate student applicants must meet all the following requirements:

  1. You must be registered in and maintain at least 6 credits in the entire term for which you’re applying for funding:
    • You must be registered only for in-person and on-campus courses.
    • Registered courses must be for credit. Audited and waitlisted courses do not meet this requirement.
    • For summer session eligibility, you must be registered in courses across both terms from May to August.
  2. You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (pdf) throughout your studies with a cumulative average of 60% and by completing two thirds (67%) of cumulative credits attempted at the end of each funded term.

Graduate students eligibility requirements

All graduate student applicants must meet all of the requirements:

  1. Be considered full time and be enrolled in at least one course for the entire term in which you’re applying for funding:
    • Be registered only for in-person and on-campus courses.
    • Registered courses must be for credit. Audited and waitlisted courses do not meet this requirement.
    • For summer session eligibility, you must be registered in courses across both terms from May to August.
  2. You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (pdf) throughout your studies by maintaining continuous registration in each term. You must also complete your program of study in a timely manner which is within 5 years for master’s students, and within 7 years for doctoral students.

If you're a dual Canadian or American citizen

You may be eligible for Canada Student Loans through your home province. If you have any residency affiliation, through you or your parents to the province of Ontario, you may be an exception. Please contact your Enrolment Services Advisor for more information.

Distance Education courses

Students participating in any ineligible courses (e.g., Distance Education, online, and flexible learning classes) will lose Direct Loan eligibility for the duration of their degree.

Under the temporary CARES Act, US students will be allowed to take Distance Education courses until the end of Term 2 of the upcoming 2022 Winter Session (September 2022 to April 2023) and retroactive to March 1, 2020 without it negatively impacting their eligibility for Direct Loan funding.

Co-op terms

Co-op is a great way to gain work experience as you study. Most co-op placements arranged through your undergraduate program are eligible for Direct Loan funding.

If you're considering doing your Co-op in the US, please connect with an Enrolment Services Advisor first to fully understand the financial implications for your future Direct Loan eligibility. Co-op placements in the US might make you ineligible for future Direct Loan funding.

If you're a graduate student, please check with an Enrolment Services Advisor to confirm if your co-op is loan-eligible.

Exchange programs

There are many opportunities offered by Go Global for students to spend a term or entire year studying abroad.

If you're considering going on exchange and are eligible for US loans, contact an Enrolment Services Advisor to understand your financial options before you apply for exchange.

Check the US Federal School Code Lists to confirm that your partner university is also eligible to provide Title IV funds.

If you choose to do an exchange at a school in the US, you could lose your eligibility for Direct Loans for the rest of your program. We do not recommend going on exchange to a US school if you require federal loans.

If your partner university is Title IV and not located in the US, UBC can assess you for Direct Loans while you’re on exchange.

If your partner university is not Title IV, you will not be eligible to receive Direct Loans for the period of your exchange. You may want to consider private loans like Sallie Mae instead. 

Financial aid estimate

Your assessment letter will not be available until 2 to 3 months before the school year starts. If you have submitted your FAFSA for the upcoming academic year and have been admitted to UBC, you can request a financial aid estimate to determine what you may be eligible for in Direct Loans and plan your finances in advance.

Request an estimate

Timeline

It is recommended you apply for your Direct Loan at least 4 weeks before the start of the term. This will qualify for a one-month tuition deferral and ensures that you receive your funding for the start of the term. However, you can apply for a Direct Loan and submit a US Loan Request Form up to 2 weeks before the end of your study period.

Any late payment may result in a financial hold being applied to your tuition account.

If you have a Canadian bank account, it is recommended you set up direct deposit. Direct deposit allows the Direct Loan amount that exceeds your fees to be deposited directly into your bank account.

Winter Session funding timeline

October FAFSA opens for the next academic year
June to July Winter Session Registration opens
UBC starts to process Winter Session US loan applications. You must be registered to receive an assessment letter.
August Tuition deferrals are applied for students who submitted a complete US loan application at least 4 weeks before the start of school.
September

First week of Term 1 classes

First loan disbursement for the Winter Session appears on Student Service Centre (SSC)
January

First week of Term 2 classes

Second loan disbursement for Winter Session appears on the SSC

Summer Session funding timeline

March

Summer Session Registration opens

April Tuition deferrals are applied for students who submitted a complete US loan application at least 4 weeks before the start of school.
May First week of Summer Session Term 1
Summer Session loan disbursement appears on Student Service Centre (SSC)
July First week of Summer Session Term 2

Applying for a US Direct Loan

Applying for a US Direct Loan at UBC is different than it is for students attending a school in the US.

When you complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Department of Education will indicate that they'll notify your university of your application.

As a foreign school, UBC does not receive these email notifications. You must submit the US Loan Request Form below for UBC to consider you for Direct Loans. 

How to apply

  1. Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Make sure to select UBC from the school list. UBC's school code is G08369.

  2. Submit a UBC US Loan Request Form.

    1. This form is required because UBC is not notified when you submit your FAFSA. You must submit the form so UBC can access your FAFSA online.

    2. If you make changes to your FAFSA after submitting your request form, please email usloans.inquiry@ubc.ca so UBC can determine if the updates will affect your assessment.

    3. Privacy Notice: Your personal information is collected under the authority of section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). This information will be used for the purpose of evaluating your US Direct Loan application while attending UBC. In order to participate in the Title IV Direct Loan program, UBC is required to share your personal information with the US Department of Education, and their agents and contractors. Questions about the collection of this information may be directed to usloans.inquiry@ubc.ca.

  3. If you are going to apply for PLUS Loans, complete your application at studentloans.gov. There are separate tabs for Graduate students and Parents.

  4. If you are applying for Parent PLUS funding, have your parent(s) complete the Agreement to Release Funds form (pdf).

  5. Fill out a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov for each type of loan you wish to receive. There are separate MPNs for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Parent and Grad PLUS Loans.

  6. If this is your first Direct Loans application at UBC, complete Entrance Counselling at studentloans.gov.

  7. Verify your email. Log into your Student Service Centre (SSC) and make sure UBC has your current email address. You can view and update it in "Contact Summary" under Personal Info. All US loan updates and information will be emailed to you at this email address.

Other loan options

There are other options for students who are not eligible for direct loans:

UBC students from the US are not eligible for Pell Grants and Perkins Loans because UBC is considered a foreign school.

Additional resources

If you have questions

If you're an undergraduate student, please contact your Enrolment Services Advisor directly. To find your advisor’s contact information, log into your Student Service Centre (SSC) and select “UBC Contacts” under Personal Info.

Graduate, postgraduate, and all other students can contact an Enrolment Services Advisor by calling 604 822 9836 or submitting a question through the online form.