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U.S. Student Loans

U.S. citizens and permanent residents interested in applying for the Direct Loan program should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), external link, opens in new window application online.

Once your FAFSA application is submitted, you will need to notify our office that you have applied for FAFSA by completing our internal google formFederal Student Aid Supporting Documents Google Form, external link, opens in new window. We will not be able to proceed with your FAFSA application until the Google Form is submitted.

We will determine the loan type(s) and the actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year. However, there are limits on the amount you may receive each year and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits).

Your eligible Direct Loan amount is calculated by the following formula:

The Cost of Attendance = (COA) - (EFC) - (EFA)

Cost of Attendance (COA) includes loans, books, supplies, living expenses, personal expenses and transportation costs for the 8 or 12 month period you will be in school.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is based on the student's (and if applicable, the student's family's) income and assets, as reported on the FAFSA form. The EFC is reported on the SAR and the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). It is based on an eight month period of enrolment.

Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) includes scholarships, grants, loans or work that is awarded on the basis of post-secondary enrolment.

Alternative/Private Loans are loans that provide supplemental funding above the Federal Direct Loans. Students must have a satisfactory credit history in order to qualify. Students may borrow up to their cost of attendance minus any financial aid that they receive for that year. Alternative loans have different interest rates, fees and repayment options that U.S. government loans. Sallie Mae offers the Private Smart Option Student Loan.

  1. Complete the FAFSA Application, external link, opens in new window (School code: G10720). For more information please visit the FAFSA help guide, external link, opens in new window.
  2. As part of this process, you will be required to complete an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) form, external link, opens in new window for each type of loan you wish to apply for and complete the Financial Awareness Counselling, external link, opens in new window.
  3. Complete the google formFederal Student Aid Supporting Documents form, external link, opens in new window
  4. Once your government loan is certified by Ryerson, we will email you your Direct loan award letter for the year. You will use this email as proof of funding for your Student Visa.
  5. All official Ryerson communication will be communicated to students through their Ryerson email address. As a new student, you will need to activate your RAMSS account in order to create a Ryerson email address (after the first week of August).
  6. Funds will be posted to your RAMSS account at the beginning of each term. All loan amounts issued are in U.S. dollars. The U.S. exchange rate is effective the day the funds are posted to your account.

If you are coming to Ryerson from the United States, you can apply for financial assistance through your country’s student loans program. If you need forms completed, drop them off at the ServiceHub or email them to us at funding@ryerson.ca. Please make sure to email through your Ryerson email, along with your student number and the type of loan you are applying for! You can expect a response from us within 3 to 5 business days.

  • Dual Citizenship students (U.S. and Canadian): Students cannot receive government student funding from more than one country per year.
  • Department of Veteran Affairs: Ryerson University does participate in the GI bill benefit programs. Apply online on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website, external link, opens in new window. Maximums allowed under this program are listed on the Tuition and Fee Payment charts, external link, opens in new window. The VA does not award benefits for distance learning, independent study, exchange program and internship abroad courses.
  • Nursing (CE, Undergraduate and Graduate level): These programs are ineligible for Federal Direct loans.
  • Distance education courses: Any course which does not include an in-person classroom attendance is ineligible for U.S. federal loan funding.
  • Exchange/Internship programs: If any component of a program is taken at a partnering institution as an exchange please be aware that students are ineligible for federal student aid.

Loans from previous study periods may be deferred while you are studying full time. Students should review the Federal Student Aid website, external link, opens in new window for details on deferment.

Maintaining Eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress

Important: As per regulation #34 CFR 600.51(d), students taking distance/online courses are not eligible to receive U.S. Direct Loans through Ryerson University.

Note (July 2020): As a result of COVID-19, under the CARES Act, external link, opens in new window, students are permitted to receive FAFSA funding while taking distance/online courses as an interim measure. This exception is in place until further notice and is subject to change.

Students must be enrolled full-time (4+ courses per semester) to maintain U.S. Direct Loan eligibility. A student may drop to half-time status (2-3 courses per semester) and still remain eligible. Students who drop below half-time status (1 course or withdraw entirely) will lose eligibility.

As per U.S. government regulations, students must maintain certain academic standards in order to remain eligible for all types of U.S. Direct Loans (as per the Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility, Federal Regulation - 34 CFR 668.34, external link, opens in new window).  

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy applies to all students applying for U.S. Direct Loans under Title IV of the U.S. Higher Education Act. These types of loans include Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Direct Parent PLUS, and Direct Grad PLUS loans.

All students will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each academic year. Students who have not fulfilled the SAP requirements will not be eligible for U.S. Direct Loan funds for the subsequent academic year(s). Once the academic results are available (generally early May, or the end of August if a student registers for courses in the Spring/Summer semester), a student’s academic record is verified to ensure they have met SAP.

  • If a student has not met SAP and received U.S. Direct Loans, they are notified within 30 days of academic results being available.
  • If a student who has applied but has not before received U.S. Direct Loans and has not met SAP in the previous year, the student is notified via email once the U.S. Direct Loan application is submitted.

To maintain U.S. Direct Loans eligibility, students must fulfill these requirements:

  • Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 1.67 or higher,
  • Have an overall course completion rate of 67% or more and complete your program within the allowed timeframe (see “Maximum Time Frame Eligibility” below for more details); and
  • Undergraduate students must complete their degree within 150% of the published length of their degree completion time (in credits or in years, as applicable).
    • Graduate students must complete their program within the timeframe published by their program department (see below for more details).

It is a student's responsibility to read and understand the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.

SAP is evaluated once each year, at the end of the winter term (early May). However, students taking spring/summer classes will be re-evaluated at the end of the spring/summer term (August). SAP requirements are defined as follows:

  • Qualitative component: a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 1.67
  • Quantitative component (or pace): Complete at least 67% of a full course load each academic year; and
  • Timeframe component (undergraduate): undergraduate students must finish their degree within 150% of the published length of degree completion time. On average:
    • The standard program length is 4 years for undergraduate programs
  • Timeframe component (graduate): graduate students must finish their degree within the maximum length of the program. On average:
    • The standard program length is 1-2 years for masters programs
    • The standard program length is 4-6 years for PhD programs

Incomplete (INC) grades:

  • Are considered attempted but not included in the CGPA calculation until being replaced by a final grade.
  • Are counted in the pace calculation. Withdrawals are not counted towards the attempted credits.

Repeated course grades are included in the CGPA as per Ryerson regulations and are included in the pace calculation. The grade earned for the repeated course is substituted for the earlier grade in calculating your CGPA even if the newer grade is lower.  

Transfer Credits will be used to calculate the quantitative component (pace) of your eligibility, but will not count towards CGPA as per Ryerson regulations.

A student is considered to not have made SAP for maximum timeframe once the school has become aware that the student will not complete within the maximum timeframe and therefore, become ineligible for U.S. Direct Loans at Ryerson University for that degree.

For undergraduate students, students must not use more than 150% of the published length of their program to complete their degree requirements.

For graduate programs, school defines the maximum time frame based upon the length of the program.

Please review the chart below to determine the maximum time allotted to receive U.S. Direct Loans, based on the published length of your program:

Published length of degree

Maximum years to complete the program while receiving U.S. Direct Loans

1 year

1.5 years

2 years

3 years

4 years

6 years

4.5 years

7 years

5 years

7.5 years

6 years

9 years

You must maintain a 67% completion rate for successful progression toward a degree. Once it has been identified that it is mathematically impossible for you to complete your program within the maximum timeframe, you will lose U.S. Direct Loan eligibility. Please refer to the chart below to ensure you are on track for completing within the allowed timeframe:

Courses attempted

Earned credits needed (passed with CGPA of 1.67 or greater)

4

3

5

4

6

5

7

5

8

6

9

7

10

7

Completed Rate = Total credits completed in an academic year / Total credits attempted in an academic year

Students who are not meeting SAP requirements:

What happens

U.S. Direct Loan Student financial aid status

What student needs to do

If your CGPA drops below 1.67

All types of U.S. Direct Loan denied at the end of the academic year

Raise CGPA to required standards. You may appeal if you have extenuating circumstances (see the “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeals” section below for details)

If you do not have an overall completion rate of 67% or more and it becomes mathematically impossible for you to complete your program within the allowed time frame

All types of U.S. Direct Loan denied at the end of the academic year

You may appeal if you have extenuating circumstances (see the “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeals” section below for details)

Once the school becomes aware that you will need to take more than 150% of the published length of time to finish your degree (for undergraduate students), or that you have reached your program length maximum (for graduate students)

All types of U.S. Direct Loan denied

You may appeal if you have extenuating circumstances (see the “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeals” section below for details)

Students not fulfilling SAP requirements will receive an email to their Ryerson email address only. Upon receiving notification, a student may appeal within ten business days from the date of the email. The appeal submission must include:

  • A letter from the student (including full name, the date, and Ryerson student number) explaining:
    • The student’s circumstances/reason(s) for not meeting SAP requirements;
      • Note: An appeal may be on the basis of a student’s illness or injury, death of a relative, or other special circumstances
    • What will change that will allow the student to satisfy SAP requirements in the future;
    • Any other relevant information.
  • Supporting documentation relevant to the appeal.

The appeal must be submitted to the Ryerson Student Financial Assistance office over email (funding@ryerson.ca). The subject heading should read “U.S. Direct Loan SAP Appeal”.

Only complete files will be reviewed. The decision made by the Ryerson Student Financial Assistance office will be sent to the student’s Ryerson email address. The appeal decision may be:

  • a reinstatement of eligibility for U.S. Direct Loans, or
  • a financial probationary period with conditions, or
  • a denial of U.S. Direct Loans.  

Any conditions pertaining to the financial probationary period status will also be listed in the email. Examples of conditions may include raising the CGPA by the end of the next semester, meeting with an Academic Advisor to develop an academic plan to ensure future academic success, etc. At the end of the subsequent semester, SAP will be re-evaluated according to the SAP policy and any conditions stipulated in the appeal decision. Failure to meet the SAP requirements or any appeal conditions will result in denial of U.S. Direct Loans.

Students cannot appeal SAP in the same year on different grounds if eligibility was not re-established after the first appeal.

Students may submit an appeal each time they are notified they have lost eligibility for U.S. Direct Loans for reasons of SAP.

If a student is denied U.S. Direct Loans after an appeal but in subsequent years meets SAP requirements, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Ryerson Student Financial Assistance (via email, funding@ryerson.ca) that SAP requirements have been met and to apply for U.S. Direct Loans. The Ryerson Student Financial Assistance office will verify SAP requirements have been met prior to originating and releasing any U.S. Direct Loans.

Ryerson University Consumer Information

As per the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, the U.S. government requires institutions offering U.S. Direct loans to disclose the following consumer information. If you require further information about the content, please contact the Student Financial Aid office.

Consumer Information Description
Student Financial Aid Information For information regarding need based and non-need based aid, as well as government aid, please refer to our SFA website.
Students with Disabilities Information about Ryerson services offered to students with disabilities is available from the Student Learning Support office. In addition rights of students with disabilities can be found in Ryerson's PDF fileStatement of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Cost of Attendance Information For information regarding the cost of tuition, fees, mandatory health insurance please refer to the Tuition and Fees website.

Bookstore: Information on the Ryerson bookstore can be found on the Campus Store website, opens in new window. Information about used vs new textbooks can be found on the RSU Online Used Book Room, external link, opens in new window.

Housing: information on residence fees can be found on the Housing & Residence Life website.

Budgeting for your expenses can be found on the RU Student Life blog: RU Money-smart? Budgeting 101, opens in new window
Refund Policy and Procedure For information about the University's refund procedure, please refer to the Ryerson Course Calendar
Return of Title IV Financial Aid Please see the Return to Title IV refund policy on this page below.
Academic Programs For information on academic undergraduate programs offered at Ryerson, please refer to the Admissions website. For information on academic graduate programs offered at Ryerson, please refer to the School of Graduate Studies Admissions website.

In addition, you may want to refer to the Ryerson Course Calendar.
Transfer of Credits and Withdrawals For credits transfers and withdrawals, please refer to the Transfer Credit Unit. For information on withdrawals please refer to the Office of the Registrar website.
Copyright Information For the University's policies related to academic integrity, please refer to the Copyright for Students page.
Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations Information on the penalties associated with drug-related offenses under the U.S. Higher Education Act can be found here on the U.S. Department of Education's website, external link, opens in new window.
Health Care - Vaccination requirements A medical surveillance program may be required based on the local risk assessment (assessing the duration of the task, the materials or equipment being used, and the potential for exposure). The physician will determine whether the employee is fit to perform the required task or if e.g. Hepatitis B immunization is required. Contact the BSO for information. Personnel who have had an exposure are advised to promptly seek medical attention.

The Medical Centre provides many services, including immunizations.

Students enrolled in programs that require vaccinations should contact their departments on required vaccinations.

Information on medical consideration for students participating in an exchange program can be found on Ryerson International's Safety Abroad page.
Privacy of Student Student's rights under the Information Protection Policy are outlined on the University Administrative Policies site.
Security, Fire Safety and Missing Students Information about Security, Fire safety and precaution can be found on our Community Safety and Security website.
Student Loan Information Published by the U.S. Department of Education Student Loan information published by the U.S. Department of Education can be found on the studentloans.gov, external link, opens in new window website. The University will provide information published by the U.S. Department of Education to students at any time that information regarding loan availability is requested, including the rights and responsibilities of students and schools under Title IV loan programs.
Student enrolment reporting - National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Ryerson reports student registration through the National Student Clearinghouse, external link, opens in new window several times each academic year.

Maintaining your Eligibility

Important

As per regulation #34 CFR 600.51(d), students taking online courses are not eligible to receive U.S. Direct Loans.

Course Load

Students must be registered full-time (minimum 3 billing units per term) to maintain loan eligibility. A student may drop to a minimum half-time status (2 billing units) and still maintain eligibility, however for immigration purposes, international students are expected to maintain full-time status.

If you will be registered less than full-time, contact International Student Support to ensure there will be no difficulties with your immigration status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The U.S. government regulations (Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility, Federal Regulation - 34 CFR 668.34) stipulate that students must maintain certain academic standards in order to remain eligible for all types of U.S. Direct Loans.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) applies to all students applying for U.S. Direct Loans under Title IV of the U.S. Higher Education Act. These types of loans include Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Direct Parent PLUS and Direct Grad PLUS loans.

All students will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each academic year. Students who have not fulfilled the SAP requirements will not be eligible for U.S. Direct Loan funds for the subsequent academic year(s).

To maintain U.S. Direct Loans eligibility, students must fulfill these 3 requirements:

  • Complete 60% of all credits attempted, and
  • Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 1.67 or higher and  a clear academic standing
  • Complete your degree within 150% of the published length of your degree completion time (For example, completion of a four-year degree within six years)
Maximum Timeframe Eligibility

Students who have taken more than 150% of the published length of degree completion time are not considered to have fulfilled SAP requirements and therefore, become ineligible for U.S. Direct Loans at Ryerson University for that degree.

Published length of degree Maximum years to complete program while receiving U.S. Direct Loans
1 year
1.5 years
2 years
3 years
4 years 6 years
5 years 7.5 years
6 years 9 years

Return to Title IV Policy

U.S. federal aid regulations mandate a Return to Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation when a student receiving Title IV financial aid withdraws from the University. If a student never attends, ceases enrolment, or withdraws from all courses in the term and the student received U.S. federal financial aid, the college must determine if these funds are required to be returned to the U.S. government within 45 days of the date of withdrawal.

The R2T4 calculation may result in a reduction of the student’s U.S. federal loan(s) if the student attended less than 60 percent of the term. The R2T4 calculation is based on the following:

  • The number of days the student attended
  • The number of days in the term
  • The institutional charges assessed
  • The total amount of U.S. Direct Loan aid awarded accepted and/or disbursed.

As a result, Ryerson and the student may be required to return any "unearned" U.S. federal aid received. Ryerson may be obligated to return funds on behalf of a student.

If the amount of the loan funds returned exceeds any existing credit on the student’s account, the student will owe the funds to the University. The student should make arrangements with Ryerson's Collections office to repay the outstanding amount to the University as soon as possible.

A letter from the Financial Aid Office will be sent via a student’s Ryerson email address indicating the type and amount of aid returned to the U.S. Department of Education on their behalf.

Funds returned to the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of a student are used to repay the current year’s loans in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized U.S. Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized U.S. Direct Loan
  3. Parent PLUS for Undergraduate students
  4. Grad PLUS for Graduate students

USDL Consumer Information

As per the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, the U.S. government requires institutions offering U.S. Direct Loans to disclose consumer information. If you require further information about the content, please contact Student Financial Assistance.

Withdrawal from Studies and Direct Loan Repayments

U.S. Department of Education regulations state that a school must return loan funds if a student has not completed a minimum of 60% of the payment/enrolment period.

If a student received more loan funding than was "earned," the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or the student. The amount of money to be returned is determined by a calculation that includes the number of school days completed and the amount of institutional charges fees paid ("Return to Title IV" Calculation).

If you withdraw from Ryerson, you may be required to:

  • Repay the school any "unearned" U.S. Direct Loan funds that the University returned on your behalf (as stipulated by U.S. Department of Education regulations), and/or
  • Repay part or all of your loan(s) to the designated servicer

If the student did not receive all of the funds that were earned, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.

Refunds - All U.S. Loans (Government and Private Loans)

Once a student's tuition and ancillary fees are paid, refunds of remaining funds are available for payment of book and living expenses.

To request a refund, please login to your RAMSS account and submit a refund request.

Exit Counselling

Exit Counseling provides students with information about repayment plans. It is mandatory for all graduating students with subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS loans.

Online Exit Counselling, external link, opens in new window must be completed during the final term of studies and prior to graduation. An acknowledgement will be sent to the University upon completion. If you withdraw from the University, you are obligated to fulfill this requirement.

Study Abroad and Exchange

Study Abroad Students

Students participating in a Study Abroad Program are NOT eligible to receive U.S. Financial aid or alternative loans through Ryerson. You will be paying your tuition fees to the other school (abroad). You must therefore make arrangements with that school for financial aid.

Exchange Students

U.S. students studying on an official Ryerson exchange are considered to be Ryerson students for U.S. Financial Aid. This means that:

  • you pay tuition and fees to Ryerson
  • you apply for U.S. loans following Ryerson procedures

Important: U.S. Department of Education regulations stipulate that you can receive U.S. Direct Loans while on exchange only if:

  • you attend a school that participates in the U.S. Direct Loan Program, and
  • the school attended is located outside of the U.S.

The U.S. Federal School Code List, external link, opens in new window (updated quarterly) will determine whether your intended international exchange school participates in Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs.

If you are not eligible to receive subsidized/unsubsidized/PLUS loans while on exchange, you may wish to explore a Sallie Mae loan, external link, opens in new window.

Research Students

According to U.S. government regulation, Ryerson students are not eligible for U.S. Direct Loans if research, work, internship, externship or special study is performed in the US. Students intending to pursue any portion of their program in the U.S. or a foreign country should communicate with our Financial Aid office.

Other U.S. Student Loan Options

U.S. students studying at Ryerson University can apply for Sallie Mae loans. If you decide to apply for both FAFSA Direct Loans and Sallie Mae, your Sallie Mae loans will impact your FAFSA Direct Loan assessment, as your Sallie Mae funding is counted as a resource toward your financial need calculation.

  1. Complete the Sallie Mae application, external link, opens in new window on the Sallie Mae website.
  2. Once your application is submitted to Sallie Mae, please complete the google formSallie Mae Loans Google Form, external link, opens in new window to notify our office that you applied, and to confirm some details we need to complete your Sallie Mae assessment.
  3. Our office will generate your Sallie Mae loan assessment. We will be in touch with you via your Ryerson email and/or the email address you provide on your google formSallie Mae Loans Google Form, external link, opens in new window submission to confirm your Sallie Mae loan assessment.
  4. At the beginning of each semester you apply for funding (September/fall, January/winter, and/or May/spring and summer), funds will be posted to your Ryerson RAMSS account. All loan amounts issued are in U.S. dollars. The U.S. exchange rate is effective the day the funds are posted to your account.

If your Sallie Mae funding is more than the fees owed on RAMSS, you can request a refund to have the remaining credit balance on your account mailed to you as a cheque. 

If you have any questions, please email funding@ryerson.ca for further assistance.

Students may qualify for financial aid through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

To determine if you are eligible, please visit the Veterans Affairs' Education Benefits Eligibility, external link, opens in new window page.

To apply, please visit the Veterans Affairs' How to Apply, external link page.

If you have any questions, please email funding@ryerson.ca for further assistance.