US Federal Aid Loans

There are several federal programs available for U.S. citizens (or eligible non-citizens) who are enrolled at University of Galway in a Degree, Masters or PhD program:

  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized &  UnSubsidized)
  • Federal Direct PLUS loans


Eligibility for US Federal Aid

United States students studying in foreign schools are not eligible for grants from the US Federal Government but may apply for loans. The Federal ‘Direct Lending’ Loan program is available for 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.
Eligible Programs
• Degree (Undergraduate or Postgraduate)
• Masters
• PhD
NON-eligible Programs*
• Nursing
• Higher Diploma
• Programs with any portion based in the US
• Programs at the Burren College of Art
• Medicine
*Please note: Private loans through Sallie Mae or Earnest may be an option for some students, subject to credit check and lending criteria.
*Medicine students can contact to organise private loans.


Federal Aid Loan Types

Eligible students at University of Galway can apply for the following Federal Aid loans:

• Direct Loans (which can be Subsidized or Unsubsidized)

• Direct PLUS loans (which can be Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS)

How to Apply

Students are strongly advised to allow plenty of processing time for Federal Aid application - it can easily take up to six weeks at schools outside the U.S.

The annual deadline for submitting your application and all supporting documentation is 1st August 2024. Any documentation submitted after this date may result in the first loan disbursement being delayed by up to a month.
Please note that Federal Aid regulations for universities outside the U.S. differ from those in the U.S. University of Galway liaises with the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that it follow all appropriate regulations for universities outside the U.S.
1. Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online
The application process takes time so you are advised to start your application after you have filed your taxes in April.  The first step in the application process is to complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at Please note, that our school code is G12766. 
2. Send supporting documents and a completed University of Galway Federal Aid Application form to University of Galway.
The report resulting from your FAFSA application (your Student Aid Report or 'SAR') will NOT automatically be sent to University of Galway.  As such, we will not know that you have applied until you complete University of Galway's application for federal aid.  For full details on the application process and documents required, please see the 'Federal Aid Student Application Guide' at the end of this page.  Please take the time to read this guide thoroughly before completing your application. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS AUGUST 1st. Applications received after this date may be subject to delays. If an application is submitted after August 1st please email

All student loans are subject to the maximum limit of a student's 'Cost of Attendance', which is an estimate of tuition plus living costs as determined by the University.

2024/2025 Application Guide

Download the US Federal Student Aid Application Guide 2024-25 here


Q: When can loans be disbursed?
A: Loan funds for Graduate students and second time borrowers can be disbursed 10 days prior to start of the loan period (i.e. the academic year), but you must first be registered.

Loan Funds for first-time borrowers can be disbursed 1 day prior to the start of the loan period (i.e. academic year) but you must first be registered.   

Q: Are loans done on a yearly basis or can I apply for the whole program in one go?
A: Loans are done per academic year.

Q: I am an American student but I have an EU passport. Do I qualify for EU-Fees?
A: The definition of an EU student for fee purposes is as follows:

EU nationals (i.e. holding an EU Passport/or Birth Certificate) who have been ordinarily resident* in an EU member state for at least three of the five years immediately preceding their entry to the third level course.

* 'ordinarily resident' excludes residency for educational purposes.

The EU/Non-EU fee status determined on entry to a course will be applied for the duration of the course.

An EU student who is dependent on financial assistance from a source outside of the EU will be treated as a Non-EU student for fee purposes, and accordingly, the full Economic Fee will be payable.

In order to be eligible for EU fee rates they must qualify through Nationality or Residency.

Nationality: If the student holds EU Nationality or official refugee status, and has received ALL of his/her full-time post-primary education in the EU, they are eligible for the EU rate of fees. This applies even if the student has not been resident in the EU for three of the five years immediately prior to university entry.

Residence: Irrespective of (a) above, if the student’s principal residence for the purpose of taxation has been in an EU member state for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately prior to university entry, they may be eligible for the EU rate of fees. Prior residence as a full-time student does not necessarily ensure eligibility for the EU rate of fees.

Q: Where can I find out about other funding options available to US students?
A: Please see our ‘Funding opportunities for International students’ page on our website at 

Q: Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?
A: There is a loan fee on all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the amount of each loan you receive. For details on loan origination fees please see

Q: How do I pay back my loans?
A: When you receive your first Direct Loan, you will be contacted by the servicer for that loan (you repay your loan to the loan servicer). Your loan servicer will provide regular updates on the status of your Direct Loan, and any additional Direct Loans that you receive. If you’re not sure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on

Q: When do I begin repaying my loans?
A: After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrolment, you will have a six-month grace/deferment period before you begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly.

Q: Is there any penalty for repaying the loan early?
A: There is no penalty if you pay back your federal loan early, so if you find you have borrowed more than you need, it’s a good idea to pay down the loan.

Q: How can I show immigration that I have paid my tuition fees in order to enter the country?
A: Email requesting a ‘Confirmation of Funding’ letter for immigration purposes.

Contact Us

For questions on Federal Aid, please EMAIL  Due to the difficulty posed by timezones differences, email is the preferred method of communication.