Federal Direct Loans

The American Graduate School in Paris is a participating institution in the U.S. Government Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program for its master and doctoral programs. Direct Loans become part of an eligible AGS student’s financial aid package and include Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct Plus (Grad Plus) Loans. The Financial Aid Office at AGS is always here to help students understand and plan the financing of their studies.


US citizens and eligible noncitizens may apply. Students must enroll and remain enrolled full-time or at least half-time (See enrollment status) for the duration of the program. Continuing students must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress to remain eligible. The school determines and monitors student eligibility, keeping students informed and working with them for the duration of their studies.

Determining a Financial Aid Package

Eligible students may borrow up to the AGS cost of attendance (COA) at the school. The COA includes tuition, fees and estimated living expenses (accommodation, books, travels to and from France, room and board for the academic year, etc). If a student benefits from a scholarship, it is deducted from the COA.

Direct Loan Awards

Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct Plus Loans are the Federal Direct Loans that eligible AGS students may apply for to support their education expenses. Both types have relevant parameters for students to consider in their financial planning. Brief descriptions are below.

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct Unsubsidized Loans available to eligible borrowers. These borrowers may apply for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan up to a limit of $20,500 per academic year. There is a combined aggregate limit of $138,500 for any Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans a student may have previously received.

Up to the total COA, the U.S. Department of Education also makes Direct Plus Loans available to eligible borrowers. The Plus Loan amount is determined by subtracting the Direct Unsubsidized Loans for an academic year from the COA. (Other financial support a student may be receiving participates in loan determinations). There is no aggregate limit for Direct Plus loans, though for each academic year, the maximum loan amount a student may borrow to complete their financial aid package must not exceed the COA.

Direct Plus Loan borrowers must not have an adverse credit history and must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. The Financial Aid Office works individually with each student to help them understand and plan the financing of their studies and are here to answer questions throughout this process.

Below are two hypothetical examples:

  • Student A: COA=$40,000

This student may apply to borrow $20,500 Direct Unsubsidized Loans (maximum $20,500) and $19,500 in Direct Plus Loans.

  • Student B: COA=$40,000 Scholarship=$4,500

This student may apply to borrow $20,500 Direct Unsubsidized Loans (maximum $20,500) and $15,000 in Direct Plus Loans. The $4,500 scholarship has been deducted.

Interest rates and repayment

Part of AGS’s support for students while they are planning how to finance their studies is helping students understand their Direct Loans. The current rates are 6.21% for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and 7.21% for Direct Plus Loans. There are grace periods while students are in school (either automatic or obtainable) and out of school, but the borrower remains responsible for interest accrued and the full repayment of loans. Repayment of a loan used to pay for international study works the same way as repayment of a loan used to pay for a school located inside the United States.

All Direct Loans must go toward a student’s education.

As students review this information, contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions: finance@ags.edu.

The Direct Loan Application Procedure

1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an official form used by AGS students to help students request federal assistance in paying for their studies. Questions in a FAFSA help determine financial aid.

To apply for a Direct Loan, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Complete the FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

This application will generate your Student Aid Report (SAR), which AGS will use to help determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive as part of your financial aid package.

The Federal school code of the American Graduate School in Paris is G38164 and the OPE (Office of Postsecondary Education) ID is 03816400.

2. Sign your Master Promissory Note(s) MPN(s).

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is also an official form where students promise to repay federal loans used to finance their studies at AGS.

To complete and submit MPNs, please go to https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action and sign your MPN(s) for AGS. AGS is listed among foreign schools.

Students who want the Direct Unsubsidized Loan only, please sign the Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN.

Students who also want a GradPlus loan, please also sign the Direct Plus Loan (GradPlus) MPN.

3. Complete your Loan Entrance Counseling.

Loan Entrance Counseling is a mandatory information session which takes place before students may receive their first Direct Loan for AGS. It explains responsibilities and rights as a student borrower.

To complete and submit Loan Entrance Counseling, please go to: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action.

Choose the combined Stafford and Plus counseling.

Note: The entrance counseling for Direct Loans is specific. Students who have already gone through an entrance counseling session with MappingYourFuture for FFELP loans are also required to take Entrance Loan Counseling.

4. Inform the AGS Financial Aid Office when you have completed your application steps.

Inform the AGS Financial Aid Office when all of these steps have been completed.

Financial Aid Office: finance@ags.edu
Phone: +33 (0)1 47 20 00 94

5. Inform the Financial Aid Office about how much you would like to borrow for your Cost of Attendance (COA).

Students will need to inform the Financial Aid Office at AGS in writing how much they would like to borrow. AGS will be able to increase (within the COA limit) or decrease this amount if necessary once students are at AGS. See the COA on the AGS website: cost of attendance

To support you during this process, or if you have any questions, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Office: finance@ags.edu
Phone: +33 (0)1 47 20 00 94

After the Application Procedure is Complete

Reviewing information and originating loans for students

AGS will review the student’s eligibility, contact the student if there are any questions, originate eligible loans online, and inform the student.

AGS disbursement of Direct Loans

AGS manages the disbursement of loans for the student. At the beginning of the semester, loan funds are electronically transmitted from the U.S. Treasury to AGS’s designated financial institution. Funds are changed from dollars to euros during this process. From the financial institution through AGS, funds are posted to a student’s account. The school will first apply loan funds from a student’s account to pay for tuition and any fees. Excess funds are then turned over to the student immediately as estimated living expenses of the COA. AGS regularly plans to receive disbursements for students in two equal instalments in an academic year. No disbursement will be made before the start of classes.

Renewal for Continuing Students

Students at a US Foreign Eligible School may not borrow for more than one year using the same FAFSA or Master Promissory Note (MPN). Consequently, continuing students must renew their Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Direct Plus Loan applications, indicate to the AGS Financial Aid Office they have reapplied, and indicate how much they would like to borrow for the coming Academic Year’s COA.In other words, complete Step 1, 2, 4, and 5 above.

Preparation for Departure from AGS

Students must complete Loan Exit Counseling in their last semester or in the last semester they are enrolled at least half-time. As with Loan Entrance Counseling, Loan Exit Counseling is a mandatory information session, helping students to plan for their loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins. Exit counselling is a graduation requirement, no diploma nor official transcripts will be released until it has been completed.

Please go to: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action.

If you have any questions related to any of these matters, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Office: finance@ags.edu
Phone: +33 (0)1 47 20 00 94

See also:

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Direct Loan information above is drawn from Federal Direct Loan guidelines.

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Jennifer Grant USA
M.A., School of International Relations
Class of 2008

quote leftStudying at AGS has not only provided me with an intimate learning experience, but has also given me the opportunity to take advantage of the dozens of international organizations and NGOs in Paris that offer internships.quote right

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