The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers financial aid for eligible students from the U.S. to help cover the cost of higher education. Eligible students borrow directly from the ED at participating schools.
As a foreign school, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has participated in the Direct Loan Program for several years and will continue its participation in the program as an eligible school for the academic year 2023-2024.
How to apply for the Direct Loan
To see how to apply for the Direct Loan during your studies with us please click here.
US Loans Guide
For more information about US loans please have a look at the US Loans Guide. In this guide you can find detailed information on the following topics:
- General information about direct loans
- Applying for financial aid
- Application procedures
- Financial information
- Procedures at VU Amsterdam
- SAP, brief description
- Exit counselling
- In School Deferment Request
- Refund policy
- Alcohol and drugs
To start the loan application, please fill out the questionnaire and mail the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NB: Vrije Universiteit does not receive any automatic messages from the United States telling us that you have applied or re-applied for a Direct Loan. If you would like to take out a loan, you therefore have to mail us the questionnaire after making your loan application in the FAFSA system. Only then can we start the origination process of the loan on our side.
Deadlines for finalized applications 1st semester:
- 1 August 2023 - Access to Financial Aid in September
- 1 September 2023 - Access to Financial Aid in October
- 1 November 2023 - Access to Financial Aid in December
Deadlines for finalized applications 2nd semester:
- 1 January 2024 - Access to Financial Aid in February
- 1 February 2024 - Access to Financial Aid in March
- 1 April 2024 - Access to Financial Aid in May
Using your loan to pay for tuition fee
If you take out a Federal Direct Loan, you should not pay tuition fee yourself, as the VU will deduct your tuition fee from your loan amount. To do so, you need to complete both your loan application and your enrolment with VU before 20 August.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
All students applying for or receiving US Federal Aid (subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS) must progress satisfactory towards completion of the study programme at VU Amsterdam to remain eligible for federal financial aid. You can find detailed information in the SAP document.
If you have taken out loans and are considering withdrawing from your program, it may happen that you will have to return (a portion) of the funds. As such, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss the details. For more information on the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) policy please click here. Additional information regarding our refund policy can be found here.
Other useful resources:
Student loan management, loan repayment and loan default
International Office / US Loan Team
De Boelelaan 1105
NL-1081 HV Amsterdam
For additional information on U.S. federal loans, please visit the Direct Loans website of the U.S. Department of Education.