Loan Limits

Certified Loan Amounts

Students are eligible for different amounts of Direct Loan per year depending on their grade level and dependency status. The level of subsidised and unsubsidised loan is decided by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), shown on your Student Aid Report. The following tables show the level of loans available for 2021/22.


Dependent Undergraduates

Initial Subsidized

Additional Unsubsidized

Combined (maximum) Levels

1st Year




2nd Year




3rd Year and Up




Independent Undergraduates




1st Year




2nd Year




3rd Year and Up





Graduate/Professional Students








In addition to the annual limit on Direct Loans, the following lifetime limits apply:

Lifetime limits

Undergraduate dependent lifetime limit

(no more than $23,000 may be subsidised)

Undergraduate independent lifetime limit

(between subsidized and unsubsidised, no more than $23,000 may be subsidised.)

Graduate or professional lifetime limit

(no more than $65,500 may be subsidised)

Cost of attendance

Cost of Attendance/tuition

You can borrow up to your cost of attendance and tuition fee costs in total. Usually your borrowings will be made up of government funded Direct Loans topped up by further loans.

Although being in a new city is fun, and should be enjoyed, remember that your loan(s) are for education. Each student is different, but your costs should still be broadly in line with our published Cost of Attendance (see below). If your Cost of Attendance needs to be higher, then you must prove and justify this to the Financial Support Team within the Student Services Centre. Your money has to last the whole academic year.

Cost of living in the UK

It is important to budget sensibly while you are a student to ensure that you have enough money to live on and to complete your studies.

N.B. You will not have immediate access to your loan funds when you arrive in the UK you will need to prepare for this by bringing sufficient money with you to cover your first 4-5 weeks’ expenses.

Estimated costs

The table below is a breakdown of the essential living costs of an average Manchester student for one academic year.

The estimates are based on average annual expenditure of an undergraduate or postgraduate single student on a full-time course during 2021/22.

Estimated living costs 2021/22

40 weeks

52 weeks

(an average cost for self-catering halls)



Meals (based on a budget of £60 per week)



(including provision of warm clothing and footwear)



Local transport



Other general living expenses
(e.g. photocopying & printing, laundry, phone calls, consumables, entertainment, sports, cooking equipment etc)



UK Visa health charge



Flight Allowance







We can also authorize a one off payment of up to £500 towards PC/equipment in your first year of study (please note some MBS courses include use of a laptop therefore this cost would not be applicable).

If you require a visa to come to the UK, you are granted it on condition that you can pay your tuition fees and living expenses (for you and your family) without having to depend on finding work in the UK. See later for details on visa requirements.

Calculation of Loan Entitlement

All allowable costs in respect of US loan entitlement for 2021/22 will be calculated using the exchange rate of GBP 1 to USD 1.45.




Distance Learning Courses

Please note that any students undertaking distance learning courses are NOT eligible to receive US Government funding. This includes courses where there is only a partial element delivered online, such as our Global MBA programme.

Students undertaking distance learning courses provided by the University of Manchester can apply for Private loans to help cover costs of tuition and workshops.

COVID-19 and Remote Study

Following the suspension of face to face teaching and closure of non-essential facilities on campus, students are now able to undertake their studies remotely, including potentially from the US. Ordinarily this would be considered as distance learning and therefore make programmes ineligible for Federal loans.

However, the U.S. Senate have passed the legislation that waives the prohibition against distance education for students receiving U.S. Direct Loans for study at eligible non-U.S. institutions of higher education. This means you can continue your studies remotely, if you wish, without any implications for your Federal loan entitlement. The waiver will remain through the end of the COVID 19 emergency (as declared by government authorities in the country where the foreign institution is located) and for the following payment period (generally the following term).