William D. Ford Direct Loan for American students – University of Copenhagen

William D. Ford Direct Loan for American students

The University of Copenhagen participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, which is a US federal funded loan for American students. Hence, the University of Copenhagen is eligible to certify loans for American students enrolled in a degree-granting programme.

However, students intending to study medicine or veterinary science at UCPH will not be able to fund their studies with Direct Loan.

Types of loans and loan amounts

The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program consists of a number of different types of loans. The University of Copenhagen is eligible to certify loan applications for Stafford loans and PLUS loans.

  • Subsidized Stafford Loans: for undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
     
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: not based on financial need, for independent postgraduate students; interest is charged during all periods; even during the time, a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
     
  • PLUS Loans: unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

It is also possible to take a private loan. However, the university is not part of such a process.

Loan amounts based on cost of attendance

The maximum a student can borrow is the estimated Cost of Attendance, COA, which is set by the University of Copenhagen. The annual COA is made up by the tuition fee and the estimated cost of living for students in Copenhagen during the academic year (September to June). Included is room and board, books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, mandatory field trips, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for a personal computer and two return trips a year to the US). Any tuition waiver or other grants and scholarships are deducted from the COA.

We have made two examples of a cost calculation for your convenience.

There are fixed limits to the amount of money you can borrow each year in subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans (please see table to the right). As long as the full Stafford loan has been applied for, parents of dependent students or postgraduate students can apply for PLUS loans to top up the Stafford loans. Thus, the maximum amount in PLUS loan is the Cost of Attendance minus the Stafford loan.

Loan disbursement

According to US regulations, the University of Copenhagen is required to disburse your loan funds in multiple installments that coincide with scheduled semester start dates. Usually, your loan period is based on an enrolment for two semesters per year, and you will receive two disbursements, one at the start of each semester. If you have not already paid your tuition fee, once the University has received the amount of the disbursement from the US Federal Government, this fee is deducted before any surplus is forwarded to you.

How to apply

The first step in applying for a US Federal Loan is to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The Federal School Code for the University of Copenhagen is G06690. To apply electronically, you must have a Federal Student Aid PIN.

Once your FAFSA is completed and processed, it will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR). The University of Copenhagen will use the SAR to determine your eligibility for a loan as stipulated by the US Department of Education.

It is vital that you send your details (full name, SSN and DOB) to the contact person (see below), since this report is not automatically sent to the university. After you make contact, your contact person will guide you all the way and let you know if any action is needed on your behalf.

As a part of the application process you will be required to complete Entrance Counseling online and to sign a Master Promissory Note for each type of loan you wish to take.

Entrance counseling

A student, who has not previously received a loan, must complete an entrance counseling session. The purpose of the entrance counselling is to ensure that you understand your responsibilities regarding the loans. The entrance counselling is done online The University of Copenhagen must not make the first disbursement of a loan unless or until an entrance counselling has been completed. Parent Direct PLUS Loan borrowers are exempt from the entrance counselling.

Master promissory note

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loans and any accrued interest and fees to the US Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. You must sign an MPN for each loan.

Arrival letter

To establish eligibility and the intention to study at the University of Copenhagen all new students must sign an Arrival Letter before the loan can be processed. A late arrival – later than the middle of August – will thus offset the date the loan is disbursed to you.

Terms and conditions

In order to stay eligible to receive Direct loans a student must make academic progress and receive pass grades. The University of Copenhagen is thus required by U.S. Federal Law (34CFR 668.16) to define and enforce standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, SAP for students who wish to access U.S. financial aid. The most common and general rules are described below. However, if you get into a situation where we have to notify you because you do not follow the minimum requirements there will be a process of warning, probation, denied, reinstatement, appeal, and perhaps even refund. For detailed information, please, see UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY.

Students who receive U.S. financial aid are evaluated at the end of each semester. This evaluation process will consider your progress under the following criteria:

  • Academic Standing
  • Maximum Timeframe.

To receive U.S. financial aid you must meet minimum standards for both of the above-mentioned components while simultaneously adhering to both the academic progress rules of your study programme, and the Danish Immigration legislation. Whichever regulation is the strictest, will be the one you need to follow. Thus, while a student may maintain their eligibility for U.S. Title IV loans, institutional academic progress rules and student visa restrictions may affect the student’s ability to continue within the programme. Conversely, a student may lose eligibility for U.S. Title IV aid and still meet institution requirements for continued enrolment.

Academic standing and the Danish 7-point grading scale

The Danish 7-point Grading Scale consists of five passing marks (12, 10, 7, 4 and 02) as well as two non-passing marks (00 and -3).

In tests and examinations that according to the rules on the individual study programmes, etc. require documentation in the form of tests, examinations or leaving certificates, students are assessed according to the following grading scale (7-point Grading Scale):

  • 12: For an excellent performance
  • 10: For a very good performance
  • 7: For a good performance
  • 4: For a fair performance
  • 02: For an adequate performance
  • 00: For an inadequate performance
  • -3: For an unacceptable performance.

Students who receive U.S. financial aid must achieve a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2 or higher at the end of each semester.

If a student receiving U.S. financial aid withdraws from exams, the student is assessed on an individual basis to ascertain whether there are any exceptional issues behind the withdrawal. The assessment includes looking at the timing of the withdrawal, and whether the student is attempting to maintain the required GPA by withdrawal from courses.

Maximum Timeframe

Students who drop below half time are not eligible for U.S. financial aid. It is possible to be eligible again by passing courses and regaining speed above half time.

A coursework student is entitled to receive aid for 150% of the allocated course timeframe. For example:


Undergraduate

  • 3 year degree – eligibility for aid: 4.5 years
  • 4 year degree – eligibility for aid: 6 years
  • 5 year degree – eligibility for aid: 7.5 years.

Graduate

  • 1 year degree – eligibility for aid: 1.5 years
  • 2 year degree – eligibility for aid: 3 year.

Refund policy

The University of Copenhagen has a refund policy for international students attending this institution. The following is an addendum for students who are receiving U.S. Title IV financial aid.

Pro-rated refund calculations are required for any student in receipt of U.S Title IV aid who withdraws before completing 60% of the payment period. If the students withdraws after the disbursement of the loan but at a time where a refund of the tuition fee is still possible, a determination must be made as to whether any of the refund money must be returned to the U.S. Title IV program.

If the University of Copenhagen is required to return money on your behalf to the U.S. Title IV program if you withdraw early, you may be required to repay that money to the University of Copenhagen. If the university determines that refund money must be returned to the U.S. Title IV aid program, the distribution of money returned to the lender/guarantor will be as follows:

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Stafford
  2. Direct Subsidized Stafford
  3. Direct PLUS.

The university will return any remaining refunds to you or your parents. However, you could also be required to pay back money to the U.S. Title IV program if you withdraw early from the university while in receipt of aid.

We strongly recommend you contact Coordinator – International Degree Programmes and Grants Ms Eva Raimondos-Møller if you are considering early withdrawal to discuss your options and the possible implications.

Exit counseling

Before you withdraw, graduate, or drop below half-time attendance (regardless whether your plan is to transfer to another school), regulations require that you complete an exit counseling session for your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. The counseling session provides information about how to manage your student loans. To begin your exit counseling, please go to studentloans.gov.

Contact person

Please write to Coordinator – International Degree Programmes and Grants Ms Eva Raimondos-Møller in case you have any questions about US Federal Student Aid at the University of Copenhagen.