American Students

The NFTS Welcomes American Students

American students thrive at the NFTS with many going on to win major international awards and the number of American students studying with us continues to grow.

2020 NFTS Directing Animation graduate Renee Zhan’s graduation film O! Black Hole has been selected for multiple prestigious animation film festivals and was shortlisted for the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation. Alongside another NFTS grad, her action/animation hybrid has been selected as the fifth short film to be made via the BBC Films and NFTS Bridge to Industry Talent Development Programme.

Tim Reckart from Arizona was nominated for an Oscar and won an Annie Award for his NFTS graduation film Head over Heels and Kristina Yee from California won Student Academy Award Gold for her graduation film Miss Todd.


The NFTS offers more behind the camera courses than any other film school in the world with courses ranging from Cinematography to Directing and Screenwriting to Digital Effects. 
The School is a Postgraduate Institution and typically students who apply would have completed a US Bachelor's degree, which is equivalent to the UK Bachelor's.

Financial Support

The NFTS course fees are very competitive in relation to the leading US film schools and University film programmes.

US Government Loans

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States you are eligible to apply for funding under the US Government William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

You must also meet the criteria set by the US Department of Education in order to be eligible for US Federal Loans. The eligibility criteria are subject to change at the US Department of Education's discretion and are beyond the University's control. You should check the latest eligibility criteria on the Federal Student Aid website.

In addition to the criteria specified on the Federal Student Aid website, you must be accepted on to one of our full-time postgraduate MA courses. You must remain continuously enrolled and resident in the UK for the duration of the course. If your enrolment/residency status, including any placement, changes at any time, you must inform the student loans administrator straight away.

Origination fee

The origination fee is a charge made by the US Department of Education (USDE) to cover the administrative charges related to your loan. For information on origination fees charged by the USDE please see Federal Student Aid.

Please note: the loan origination fee is subject to change by the USDE.

The NFTS does not charge any loan fees. The USDE funds received by the School are converted into the equivalent GBP according to the daily exchange rate. Fluctuations in exchange rates cannot be used to increase the Cost of Attendance.

How much can you borrow?

As a postgraduate student, you might be eligible for the Unsubsidised loan and the plus loan. The amounts are currently as follows:

Annual Maximum Unsubsidized

$20,500 per year

Aggregate maximum:

$138,500 including undergraduate loans (maximum of which $65,500 is Subsidized)


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), just as you did under the FFEL Program. We will use the information from your FAFSA to assist in determining your eligibility for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

- To apply for a PIN if you do not already have one, or for customer service regarding a previously assigned PIN, visit the Federal Student Aid PIN Web site at

- After the department processes your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Please retain the SAR for your records and be prepared to provide it to us if we ask.

- The NFTS ID number is G24967.


PLUS loans

If you would like to apply for a PLUS loan:

- Go to the Student Aid website and complete the application: 

- Apply for your Plus Loans Credit Check

- Take a screen shot to email to the NFTS, addressed to or include the email sent to you about your credit check.

- Retrieve a Master Promissory Note (MPN)


Direct Loan MPN Completion

You must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for each loan type you wish to borrow. Although you may have previously signed an MPN to receive FFEL or Direct Loan Program loans, these MPNs cannot be used to make Direct Loans at our school.

The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. In some cases, a Direct Loan MPN can be used to make loans for up to ten (10) years. However, you will need to complete a new Direct Loan MPN each academic year that you receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan at our school.

You may complete a Direct Loan MPN electronically via the Student Aid website
To complete a Direct Loan MPN electronically, you must have a Federal Student Aid PIN. This is the same PIN used to complete the FAFSA.

Direct Loan Entrance and Exit Counseling Completion

If you are a graduate/professional student and have not previously received a FFEL Stafford Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling before you can receive a Direct Loan.

You may complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling electronically via the Student Aid website
To complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling electronically, you must have a Federal Student Aid PIN. This is the same PIN used to complete the FAFSA.
You will need to complete Entrance Counseling for each type of loan you borrow (e.g. Stafford and PLUS).
You will also be required to complete Exit Counseling shortly before you complete your studies.

You must provide evidence that you registered for Selective Service. You can obtain this via the Selective Service System.

If you are exempt from Selective Services, please provide proof in the form of Certificate of Naturalisation or another certificate of exemption


Once all of your required documents have been received, you will be sent a Cost of Attendance calculation. This calculates your tuition fee, average maintenance and general living costs, travel and miscellaneous expenses.

You are able to take the full Cost of Attendance recommended or less should you prefer. If you require a higher Cost of Attendance, you will be asked to detail why and provide evidence. We have the right to deny any increase amount requests. 

Once the CoA has been initialled, dated and approved by the Federal Loan Administrator, we can process the application via the Common Origination & Disbursement website. 

Once this has been done, you will receive confirmation of your loan and disbursement dates for the academic year. 


Disbursement of funds

The first disbursement of loans can be processed no earlier than 10 days prior to course commencement and will not be paid until student are registered. Please ensure you have personal funds in place to cover your living costs prior to enrolment/registering, which usually takes place mid-end January.

The NFTS will convert the loans to pounds sterling using the exchange rate on that day, from the bank. Once we know the amount in pounds received, the money is allocated to tuition fees as laid down in the US Dept of Education regulations, before any excess is returned to you. You will then be notified of how the loan has been allocated and when you should expect to receive the funds.

Disbursements are made in two instalments during the academic year; January and June.

We recommend you open a UK bank account, to allow for the best exchange rate and time effectiveness of transfer of funds.


The US Department of Education requires that all student loan borrowers complete an exit counselling session whenever you drop below half-time enrolment status, withdraw, take a break in study over 180 days or before you complete your course of study. If you withdraw or take a break in study over 180 days, you may have to return some of your US Federal Loan funds.

Prior to the end of your studies, you will be contacted by the Federal Loans Administrator and asked to complete exit counselling. To complete your online Exit Counselling session visit the US Department of Education Student Loans webpage.


Please visit the Federal Student Aid website for details on current interest rates for direct loans.

The interest rates are currently as follows:

Unsubsidized loan interest repayment = 5.28%

Graduate Plus loan interest repayment = 6.28%


Please see the section for below for more detailed information on federal loan repayments. 



The NFTS is based in its own historic film studio location and is only 20 minutes outside of central London by train. The School also offers special low cost train travel between London and Beaconsfield.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In order to remain eligible for Federal Aid you need to be making satisfactory academic progress by passing modules/progress reviews. If you fail to meet SAP you will become ineligible for US Federal Loans. For further information please see the SAP policy here.


When and how will I recieve my loan?

The US Department of Education doesn’t allow any loan to be disbursed before a student is fully enrolled on a programme, therefore we won’t be able to authorise any disbursement payment before you arrive in the UK and officially enroll.

You should receive your first disbursement within 4 weeks of arriving in the UK and enrolling on your course. The value you are going to receive and the disbursements dates are shown on the Disbursement Notification Letter sent to you via email when we originate your loan.

Your money will be paid in two equal installments. All disbursements are subject to the following conditions:

- You are making Satisfactory Academic Progress

- You are enrolled on a full-time MA course

- You are not in the USA

- You have not violated any federal compliance regulations (repayment default, fraud, drugs, etc.)


National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

If you take out a federal loan at the NFTS, we are required to submit the details of your loan to NSLDS every 60 days and this data will be accessible to guaranty agencies, lenders and schools determined to be authorised users of the data system. NSLDS is used for purposes of monitoring attendance and reporting


Withdrawing or Deferring

If you decide to withdraw from your course you must inform your course department and Registry immediately. 

If a student who receives Title IV loans withdraws, takes a leave of absence for more than 180 days or drops below half time attendance, the NFTS is required by US regulations to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation and arrange for any ‘unearned’ loan funds to be returned to the US Dept. of Education. We will use worksheets provided by the US Dept. of Education to determine how much of the loan can be retained and how much is required to be returned. If it’s established that a return is required then it’s mandatory that our office arrange for any unearned loan funds to be returned within 45 days of the student’s date of withdrawal.

When considering US Federal loans the school is classed as an attendance taking institution.

The R2T4 calculation may result in a reduction of a student’s US federal loan(s) if the student attended 60% or less of a loan payment period. The R2T4 calculation is based on the following:

- The number of days a student attended during a loan payment period

- The number of days in the loan payment period

- The institutional charges during the loan payment period

- The total amount of US Direct Loan aid awarded and/or disbursed during a loan payment period


For the purposes of the R2T4 calculation, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance at an academically related activity.

Scheduled breaks of five days or more AND days that a student was on an approved leave of absence are excluded from the RT24 calculation.

The day of withdrawal is counted as a completed day.

If a student intermits (takes a leave of absence) and doesn’t return this will be treated as a withdrawal and the date used will be the date the intermission began (the beginning of the leave of absence).

Unofficial withdrawals (withdrawals without notification) we will attempt to find out the last date of activity and may use a mid-point of a loan payment period where this information can’t be established.

If a student never attended, intermits (takes a leave of absence) for a period over 180 days during a loan payment period in which they are in receipt of federal loan funds, or withdraws during a loan payment period and is in receipt of federal loan funds, we are required to determine if any of the loan funds received are to be returned to the US Dept. of Education.

A student ‘earns’ federal aid on a daily basis and if a student withdraws, any ‘unearned’ aid for that payment period will need to be returned to the US Dept. of Education. Once the calculation has been completed the student will be informed of the amount to be returned. Arrangements will be put in place for the school to return any designated amount to the student’s loan(s) with the US Dept. of Education. The student will be informed if any of the loan funds received are required to be repaid in accordance to the terms of their promissory note.

Loan funds returned to the US Dept. of Education on behalf of a student are used to repay the current year’s loans in the following order:

Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan

Federal PLUS (Graduate) loan 


Missing Persons

Students attendance is regularly monitored. To prevent concern that a student could be missing, Students are required to notify their course department and Registry if they intend to be away for any period of time during their studies. This notification should be sent via email and a follow up in person where able. Please contact the School for further information.



It is important that you understand your rights and obligations when borrowing US Federal Loans. Students are advised to fully research and understand the responsibility of borrowing and repayment before requesting Federal student aid. The Federal Student Aid webpage has an estimate calculator where you can calculate your estimated loan repayments. Repayments begin approximately 6 months after completion of studies. 

Entrance counselling is a condition of your loan agreement and should be completed before you start your course, and as you are coming to the end of your studies, you will be reminded to complete Exit counselling. It will inform you about repayment and money management, and advise you how to make the necessary arrangements before and during repayment.

Your Student Loan must be repaid. If you do not meet the loan repayments as required by your loan servicer, you will go into default. You are advised to keep in touch with your loan servicer and discuss your options if you are struggling to meet your repayments. You are also advised to update your loan servicer of any changes to your personal details such as address, phone number, enrolment status.


Student Visa

You will need to apply for a Student visa to study at the NFTS as our MA courses are two years, full-time in duration. You can apply for a student visa a maxium of three months before the start of your course.  You will need to make your application at your nearest Visa application centre.

For detailed information about the application process and requirements, including help with the online student visa application form, please see our Students from abroad page.


Vaccinations Policy

Advice about vaccinations is outlined in your student offer letter. It is recommended that you ensure you have had both meningitis and MMR vaccines before attending the school. Please consult with your family doctor in order to confirm this.


Retention Rate

Information on the School’s retention rate is available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)



Our credits tell the story. The NFTS has a graduate employment rate of over 90%.


Further Help and Advice

If you would like to speak with someone at the NFTS then please don’t hesitate to email

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