American Students

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 was 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 Visual 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 School'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.

The Origination fee is currently 1.057% for Unsubsidized loan and 4.228% for Grad Plus loan. 

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 Unsubsidized LoanThe maximum Unsubsidized loan amount is $20,500 per year. 
Annual Graduate Plus Loan

This amount is set by the school each year and based on the average student cost of living. 

The current maximum Graduate Plus loan amount is $43,625 depending on your course of study, for 2023-24. This amount will be reviewed in summer 2024 for the 2024-25 loans. 


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Upon being offered a place on your chosen course, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We will use the information from your FAFSA to assist in determining your eligibility for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid

- To apply for a FSA Student ID  if you do not already have one, or to link it to a previously assigned PIN, visit the Federal Student Aid Web site and register  at studentaid.gov

- After the department processes your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Please retain and send a copy of your SAR to  and inform the school if you intend on using Federal Aid whilst studying at the NFTS. studentfunding@nfts.co.uk

- The NFTS school code is G24967.


PLUS loans

If you would like to apply for a Direct PLUS loan:

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

- This will prompt a Credit Check to take place and will provide you with a letter from Federal Student Aid confirming so. 

- Retrieve a Direct PLUS Loans 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, i.e. Unsubsidized loan and Plus/Graduate loan for MA studies. 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.

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 Counseling

All students must complete Graduate Entrance Counselling for a new loan at the NFTS. 

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.


Although not compulsory, we recommend that you complete the annual student loan acknowledgement to help you understand your loans and how they affect your financial future. 

This can be completed via the Student Aid website: Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment | Federal Student Aid


An endorser is someone who agrees to repay a Direct PLUS Loan if the borrower doesn't repay the loan, much like a cosigner does for other types of loans. 

If you have failed a credit check, you have two options. You can appeal the decision and try to rectify the failed check, or you can have an endorser for your loan. You can follow the appeals procedure here: Appeal a Credit Decision Demo | Federal Student Aid

If you require an endorser, they will need to complete an endorsement for you. This should be completed by them, via the Federal Aid website: Endorse a PLUS Loan | Federal Student Aid.

A copy should be retained and sent to the school:  studentfunding@nfts.co.uk


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. The Cost of Attendance for 2023-24 is as follows:

Tuition fees£26,000 / £18,000
Bills & Living expenses (food etc.)£5,000
Miscellaneous (Stationery, books, social etc.)£4,000
Loan Fees£2,000









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. This usually takes place in November or December. 

Once this has been completed and approved by Federal Aid, you will receive a notification of your loan and disbursement dates for the academic year. This will also act as your proof of tuition fee payment if you require a CAS for a student visa.  

Our Exchange rate is 1.35 at the time of compiling this table for 2023-24.  Regulations allow us to set theoretical exchange rate to convert GBP costs to USD values to allow for fluctuation in the exchange rate as the year progresses. The 2024-25 rates will be confirmed late summer 2024. 


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 = 7.05%

Graduate Plus loan interest repayment = 8.05%


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.

Consumer Disclosure Information

The National Film and Television School is required by the US Government to disclose the following consumer information. If you require any further information, please contact our student funding administrator on  studentfunding@nfts.co.uk

The above table provides prospective candidates with a step by step guide on how to apply for their US Federal Loan for both Unsubsidized and Plus/Graduate Loans, including Cost of Attendance and the disbursement of funds. 

All Master of Arts (MA) courses delivered in-person by the NFTS are eligible for US Financial Aid. 

Course entry requirements and tuition fees are published on each course page under the individual, specific drop-down sections. 

Our Student Support and Wellbeing team are on hand to provide support to students during their studies. Please refer to our Student Support page for further information on student support available to NFTS students. 

Please refer to our Policies and Procedures page for further information regarding Admissions, Attendance and Fee policies. 

The NFTS has a Default Management Plan for Title IV Federal Aid. 

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 receive 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 enrol.

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 instalments. 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 maximum 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)



Intentionally misreporting information on financial aid application materials is a violation of law, subject to fine and/or imprisonment. A student should be aware that s/he will be held responsible for the integrity of any financial aid information submitted either by the student or on his/her behalf. 

Applying for and receiving federal aid funds requires that a student complete and submit various documents. The integrity of these documents and the accuracy of the information presented through them are critical to the financial aid application process. While the school has systems in place to identify and resolve discrepancies in the information it receives, in the case where information and/or documentation intentionally misrepresents a student’s financial need, federal, state, and institutional offices and agencies are defrauded.  

The National Film and Television School will also refer all credible cases of suspected misrepresentation and fraud to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, in compliance with federal requirements. If it is determined that a violation has occurred, the consequences may include, but are not limited to, making full restitution of loans for which the student is not entitled, withholding of future disbursements until the matter is resolved, and obligation to pay the resulting balance on the student account. 



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 studentfunding@nfts.co.uk