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Advice for international students

The University has a range of scholarships for international students, which are described on our international scholarships pages.

Please use the tabs below to access further useful information that may apply to you as an international student.

Some bank accounts from back home have high spending charges for use in the UK. Others have restrictions on spending overseas. It can also cost a lot of money to get money sent over to you.

At the time of writing, you can open an account with some banks before you arrive in the UK, such as Monzo. This is a good way to avoid inconvenience when you arrive in the UK and are settling in. You may need a UK address so that such a bank can send its debit card to your address in the UK, to be ready for you to pick up when you arrive.

For international transfers, shopping around for the cheapest exchange rate is the best thing to do.

If you plan to use a credit card or bank card from your home country in the UK, check with your bank before you leave to see if your card is compatible with UK bank machines, or if there will be any additional charges. Some countries may restrict native currency withdrawals overseas so check that.

Make sure you have multiple ways of accessing your money when you arrive in the UK. It is a good idea to bring some Pounds Sterling, traveller’s cheques or a debit card with you to get by until you set up your UK bank account. If you plan to transfer money from your home bank account to your UK account, discuss this with your bank before leaving home. Avoid travelling with very large amounts of cash as this is dangerous.

It makes sense to open a British bank account that will charge you less for services.

To open a high street bank account in the UK, you must have both of these:

  1. Proof of your ID: your passport, national ID card, BRP or driving licence (it must be photo ID)
  2. Proof that you are a student: you can order a bank letter from ‘letter requests’ here.

Some banks might also want to see the following:

  1. Proof of your address in the UK:  utility or council tax bills
  2. Proof of your address overseas: a bank statement from your country of origin

There is an online guide here.

The various different UK banks hold their own information on their own websites.

Some issues you should consider before opening a UK account include:

  • The length of time it takes to open an account and receive your bank card.
  • Shop around. Banking services overall are improving, and not all banks are the same.
  • A multicurrency account can be useful as there may be no conversion charges.
  • Note than convenient mobile phone-based banking account apps are now increasing in quantity, quality and security. Always use maximum security such as fingerprint protection and 2FA where offered.
  • With a traditional bank you may need to book an appointment at your chosen branch. Please note that this may also be time consuming as many students will also be setting up accounts at the same time. Be sure that your appointment falls after you have enrolled, so that you have all of the necessary documents to open the account. If you cannot attend the appointment or do not have the necessary paperwork, contact the bank to rearrange the meeting.
  • Asking your bank for a posted monthly statement is helpful if you need to make an application to extend your student visa.
  • Some international student accounts may charge an initial or monthly fee. The additional services provided with these accounts will vary between each bank. Some banks will also offer a free, but more basic, account.
  • If you are expecting to receive money from overseas, you should ask what charges may apply and how long it will take to make the money available in your account.

Many international students take a part time job whilst at university. Visa limitations mean you won’t earn enough to pay your fees, but a part time job can help with your living costs. The working restriction should be on your BRP visa. The Careers and Enterprise team can help you apply for a National Insurance Number. Keep an eye on their website for part time work that is suitable for students. They can also help you improve your CV.

The United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has a website devoted to information for international students including working in the UK.

Make a budget plan before you arrive in the UK. For more information about this and the cost of living in the UK, please visit UKCISA. Note that the cost of living required to be shown for your visa is an estimate. Whatever you do, do not divert this money for other purposes

Take a look at our living costs section to get a better idea of how much you can expect to need whilst living in the UK.

The purpose of the Crisis Fund is to help international students who are experiencing a crisis that has arisen as a result of a significant and unexpected event that could not have been predicted in their financial planning (this includes the current Covid-19 pandemic).

All international students (including European) undergraduate and postgraduate students who are registered on a course at Salford University are eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria.

When applying to the Crisis Fund you must be able to show that:

  • you have registered for your current academic year
  • you or your sponsor have suffered a crisis which could not have been predicted and is causing you severe financial hardship;
  • the ‘crisis’ took place after you registered for your current academic year and paid any deposit required;

We are currently assessing with relaxed eligibility criteria and you do not need to;

  • show evidence of a crisis
  • have paid 75% of your tuition fees

You will need to provide with your application:

  • 3 months bank statement for accounts you hold
  • A personal statement about your current situation
  • And other evidence of any incoming money and expenditure e.g. wages, rent

Applications can be made throughout the academic year and the fund usually closes for one calendar month in August.

We aim to give you a decision in writing within five working days of receiving your completed application and we may consider cases where students do not meet all the eligibility criteria so please do contact us if you are in financial hardship.

To find out about the International Crisis Fund and Emergency Funding Support please contact us at

You can also call 0161 295 0023

Click here to view the International Crisis Fund Guidance for 2019/20

The University of Salford deals with U.S. federal loan (Title IV) funds. Rules and Regulations are different for foreign/non US schools.

NOTE: The US Loans Administrator will not receive any electronic notification that you have applied for financial aid, so please notify us of your application at

You will need to notify us each academic year, your application will not be automatically processed for subsequent years of study.

Please ensure that you have read all the guidance before beginning your application.

Only full and complete applications will be considered from 1st June 2020, we will be in touch as soon as your application has been processed to let you know of the outcome.

We cannot process your loan until all information is complete. Please refer to the flowchart attached to assist you in completing your application before submission. If you send an incomplete application it will be rejected.

These are now Federal Direct Loans that are provided by the US Government and are available to US citizens and eligible non-citizens who have firmly accepted an unconditional offer to study at the University of Salford. Federal Direct Loans consist of Subsidised and Unsubsidised Loans

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate students and parents of dependant undergraduate students can use in addition to Subsidised and Unsubsidised Loans

If you apply for a private study loan, you must email to confirm the amount of loan that you require by completing the 2020/21 Cost of Attendance (COA) and choosing private loan from the drop down menu on the Cost of Attendance tab on the COA.

Loans can only be disbursed after you have enrolled on an eligible course at the University of Salford. To get more information about The GEMS Smart Option Loan by Sallie Mae you can go to their link here:

Sallie Mae loans are paid by cheque in a single disbursement after the start of your course. You will need to come into the university to sign the cheque before we can present it to our bank for payment, so we will contact you once it has arrived. After the cheque has cleared, we allocate the loan to pay off the full balance of your fees and refund any excess funds to your UK bank account.

For basic eligibility criteria please follow the link

You must be enrolled at least half time on an eligible degree course at the University of Salford in order to receive the Federal loan. For further guidance with regards to non-eligible courses and non-eligible modes of study please see attached form.  

If any part of your course is delivered online (for example distance learning courses) or if you will be studying in the USA for any part of your course you will not be able to take any Federal loans, though you may apply for a private study loan. Students at the University of Salford often apply for the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan. Please follow the link for more information

The maximum amount you can borrow will be calculated as the University's Cost of Attendance (COA) less any Expected Financial Aid (EFA) which includes bursaries, scholarships, grants and awards. Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits are not included as aid.  You will complete this as part of your application.

Rules are different for foreign/non US schools, so please read the information before proceeding to the application instruction webpage. We will try to make it as easy for you as possible, but there are no shortcuts and you must follow the steps below carefully.

Each student must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

FAFSA applications can be completed online via the US Department of Education’s FAFSA website

Once you have completed the FAFSA, this will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR). You must enter The University of Salford’s School Code, G09006, in order for Salford to have access to your SAR. You may be told the school will receive this, but this is not the case for foreign/non US schools.  Please send your SAR as part of your application (see Step 5 for list of documents required for your application).

If you have not firmly accepted an unconditional offer to study at the University of Salford, then you cannot proceed with your application.

Applications cannot be submitted before 1st June so you should not follow the steps until you can submit your application as your credit check is only valid for a limited time.  

Please email to advise you are applying for a US Loan and we will ask that your deposit fee is waived so that you can firmly accept your unconditional offer.

Application Process

It is essential that you print out the Application Loan Flowchart before proceeding as it contains the full instructions and you will need to read it carefully and refer to it at each step.



There are 6 steps to your application:

Each student must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA applications can be completed online via the US Department of Education’s FAFSA website

Salford’s School Code is G09006.


You should not follow the next steps until you can actually submit your application as your credit check is only valid for a limited time.

If you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer then you can complete your Federal Direct Loan and PLUS loan applications by e-signing your Master Promissory Note (MPN) at the US Department of Education’s Student Loans website You must e-sign a new MPN for each loan you take at a foreign/non US school as the multiple loan feature of the MPN only applies to loans received whilst studying at US Schools.

Save your MPN(s) – you will need to send them to us.

The PLUS loan requires a credit check, so a screen shot showing acceptance is also required or a PDF of the credit acceptance letter. If credit is declined then you will need an endorser to take a Credit Check (remember to include a screenshot of their acceptance or credit acceptance letter) and you must also include Endorser’s Addendum.

As the credit check is only valid for 90 days, please do not complete it until just before you are ready to submit your application to The University of Salford. The opening date is 1 June.

Further information:

It is a Federal requirement that any US student who receives a Federal Loan should first complete the Entrance Counselling at the US Department of Education’s Student Loans website  

Remember that you will be required to take a screen shot or attach the completion certificate to your email application.

The University of Salford require that you complete the counselling each academic year even if you have had a Federal Loan previously.

Follow the link to complete a Cost of Attendance  form. Your Cost of Attendance (COA) will be determined by adding an amount for living and study costs to your tuition fees. The maximum amount you can borrow will be your COA less any Expected Financial Aid (EFA), or Scholarships. Please complete ONLY the “Cost of Attendance” tab and save the file.  You will have to email your COA to us as part of your application. There is a checklist tab included within the COA form to help you ensure that you have completed steps 1-4 fully before attempting to submit your application.

Email all your documents as attachments to with subject header “US Loan Application Documents” followed by your name, along with details of the course you will be studying.

The Checklist in the Cost of Attendance spreadsheet has the full list of documents to attach.

Every application email should have the following attached:

  • Cost of Attendance spreadsheet
  • Screenshot of Entrance Counselling
  • Federal Direct Loan MPN,
  • and, if taking a PLUS Loan must also include:


PLUS credit check acceptance (screenshot or PDF of letter)

  • SAR
  • Register with the Selective Service, if required

You cannot apply for your visa more than 3 months before the start of term. Provided you have met the conditions of your offer, you are welcome to send in your completed loan applications from 1 June.

From 1st July, which is the earliest date that we can originate loans for 2020-21, we aim to process your completed application within 2 weeks of receipt.  Ideally, we should receive your completed application by the end of July.

We will notify you of your loan in an email that will include a letter providing specific information about any loan that we plan to disburse under your MPN, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts. You should evaluate the aid offer carefully. In the case of loans, keep in mind that whatever amount you borrow must be paid back with interest. If your living expenses are not as high as the standard allowance projected by us, you may not have to borrow as much as the amount in the award notification email. You have the right to decline the loan or to request a lower loan amount.

You will be emailed confirmation that your loan has been originated and your letter showing the amount and dates for disbursement.

Incomplete applications cannot be processed, so please ensure you have completed each step correctly and provided all requested documents to avoid delays.

All Federal Loans will be disbursed directly to The University of Salford in three equal instalments for all students on:

30 September 2020

13 January 2021

14 April 2021

Please ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover your expenditure until you receive the refunded portion of your loan for study and living expenses after fees have been deducted, if relevant.

If your loan disbursement is more than we need for fees, then we will refund any excess funds back to your UK bank account. So we can process a refund, you will need to send the 8- digit account number and 6-digit sort code of your UK account to IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH LOANS TO COVER THE FULL COST OF YOUR FEES, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE ALL YOUR FEES ARE PAID BY THE DUE DATE.

**Please open your UK bank account immediately after enrollment so you can provide us with your bank account details in order to receive your loan funds after fees have been deducted, if relevant.

Each loan installment is in USD.  As the exchange rate will be different on each disbursement date, each loan instalment will be a different amount after it has been converted from USD to GBP.  Your tuition fee will be taken in three instalments once we have received your disbursement.

The University of Salford accepts no responsibility for any variation in currency exchange rates.

This applies to US Federal Direct Loans and variations between the points of a calculated Cost of Attendance, loan origination, and between the first, second, and third disbursements. As per US Federal Regulation 34 CFR 668.164, the University of Salford is bound to supplying this statement (and if appropriate issuing any remaining funds) no later than 14 calendar days after it initially disburses the originated funds.

This also applies to US Private loans which may be subject to exchange rate variations between certifications and the negotiation of cheques received from lenders/sponsors for US Private Loans.

You will only get one third of your loans each term, this is a USDE regulation, there are deductions taken from that value.

Before we make your second and third disbursement we will require certain information from you.  We need to check that you are enrolled at least 50% of the time, as well as proof that you are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP), as specified in University Policy. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Your eligibility for Direct Loans is dependent upon your continued attendance and participation on the relevant degree programme.

If there is any change to your circumstances (for example temporary or permanent withdrawal, extensions, etc.) you must inform us and the US Department of Education immediately. 

You will be required to provide the US Loans Administrator with the name and contact details (including email address) of your supervisor/tutor within the first two weeks of the start of the academic year.  We are required to contact them and confirm your satisfactory academic progress. Please read the full SAP Policy¿ for further information.

Without this progress confirmation we are unable to process any of your Direct Loan disbursements.

Please note that in the event that a student’s SAP report is not satisfactory they will be put on probation for 3 months.  Failure to improve academic results during this period will affect future disbursements.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy: Appeal Against Cancellation of US Federal Loan

An appeal must be submitted to the US Loans Administrator within ten working days of receipt of the Notice of Suspension of financial aid.  Please use this form to appeal.

The government deducts an 'Origination Fee' from each disbursement. The spreadsheet you completed at application showed how much you can borrow and how much you actually receive after the government deducts an 'Origination Fee' from each loan disbursement. The value you are going to receive is shown on the letter sent to you by the University of Salford when we originated your loan.

The money is transferred to the UK and converted into £sterling. The school is not allowed to charge any fee or receive any commission for processing your loan, so the money received by you is exactly what the school received in £sterling.

What if I need to take time out or withdraw from my studies?

Unless this is a short term period of authorised absence (leave of absence) any period of time out will affect payment of further awards. You should notify immediately of any intention to either take time out or withdraw from your studies.

Information on suspending your studies or withdrawing can be found here, please read this in full.

Enrolment status and other changes

It is important to keep your loan servicer and the US Loans Administrator ( informed of any changes in your status, so that your loan information is up-to-date. This is your responsibility.

You must notify the loan servicer and the US Loans Administrator if you:

  • Change your local address, permanent address or telephone number,
  • Change your name (for example, maiden name to married name),
  • Do not enrol at least half-time for the loan period certified by the school,
  • Do not enrol at the school that certified your loan,
  • Stop attending school or drop below half-time enrollment,
  • Transfer from one school to another school, or
  • Graduate

Until you graduate or leave school, you must also keep your school’s US Loans Administrator informed of these changes (

Where can I find more information?

The US Department of Education website email

In addition, the following can provide more information on Federal Loans: Financial Aid Resource Publications from the U.S. Department of Education website

The University of Salford Consumer Disclosures for US Federal Loans can be found here.

If you are struggling financially please book an appointment to see one of our askUS Finance Advisers in University House. To book an appointment please call 0161 295 0023 or visit an askUS desk.

If you are unable to pay your tuition fees then contact someone from the Income Treasury Management Team in University House as soon as possible, the sooner you do this the more options you may have.