US Federal Student Aid

The Hertie School is able to certify loan applications for the US direct loan programme. US federal student loans for graduate and doctoral students are administered centrally by the Hertie School US loans team.

Please be sure to read through the following sections carefully and before starting the application process as it may differ from those made at US universities. 

Please visit to find out more.

Key facts

Who is eligible for US federal loans?

Students are eligible for US federal loans if they:

  • Are US citizens or hold a US passport
  • Are enrolled in the MPP, MIA, MDS or PhD programme
  • Are enrolled at least half-time

The direct loan programme at the Hertie School offers two types of loans:

  • Direct unsubsidised loans
    • Loan fee deducted from disbursement 1.057% plus interest rate (please check link below)
    • Not based on financial need
    • Total aggregate annual limit: $20,500
  • Direct unsubsidised PLUS loans
    • Loan fee deducted from disbursement 4,228% plus interest rate (please check link below)
    • Help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance.

Please note: PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be done.

Interest is charged during all periods for both loans: During the period of study, during grace and/or deferment periods. For updated information on interest rates and loan fees, click here:

Determining loan amounts

Please find our costs of attendance (COA) – eligible costs for direct loans – below. The exchange rate used is a six months average and gets updated once a year. Additional expenses for students with disabilities will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Cost of Attendance AY 2024/25

Calculate your cost of attendance: MPP, MIA & MDS

These figures are set by the Hertie School and are based on the current cost of living in Berlin. We are currently updating the Cost of Attendance for the AY2024/25. Once updated, you will find a calculation spreadsheet (Excel PDF) for your own calculation here. These are estimates – your loan does not have to match these exact figures, but you will not be permitted to borrow more than these amounts. Also please note that they are non-negotiable.


FAFSA loan application process for US students

Follow steps 1 through 7 if you wish to apply for a loan for the forthcoming academic year. Please start the loan application after you have been formally admitted to the Hertie School. For applications and further questions please contact the Hertie School US loans team.

Please pay special attention to the deadlines outlined at the end of the section!

1. Explore all options before borrowing. Apply for Hertie School scholarships and contact the Student Funding Office for further information on external scholarships.

2. FAFSA - Fill out the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application as early as possible after admission. There is no special FAFSA for students planning to attend international schools. Remember to include the Hertie School's federal school code G41287.

3. Online Entrance Counselling - Complete the course via the student loans website. The loan can only be disbursed if the entrance counselling has been completed and is on file. Please note that the entrance counselling is required only once, before your study period at the Hertie School.

4. Master Promissory Note – To take out a direct loan, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). You can complete the MPN online at the student loans website. Please note that we cannot issue a loan without the MPN and that each loan type requires a separate MPN.

5. US Loan Application Request - Next, please submit the request form on MyStudies by 31 May. (The request will be available soon) Here you will also have to upload proof of the completed Entrance Counselling and MPN. Please make sure to click the "Submit" button.

6. Accepting a loan and submitting your bank information – The school will notify you (in an award e-mail) of the loan amount that is approved. You have the right to object two weeks after the award e-mail was sent to you. You also have the right to decline the loan or to request a lower loan amount. Please make sure that the Hertie School US loans team has your most recent bank information. Without your German bank account information, the loan cannot be transferred.

It is your responsibility to notify the Hertie School US loans team immediately:

  • of anything that affects your ability to repay your loan
  • of any changes in your status, including graduation, and any changes to your name, address or telephone number
  • if you fail to enrol for the period covered by your loan
  • about renewals, deferments and withdrawals
  • about renewing your loan
  • about deferring an existing loan
  • if you withdraw from your programme, or if you drop below half-time enrolment status
  • if you receive financial aid and then withdraw from your course or drop below the half-time enrolment requirement (the Hertie School US loans team must first determine whether any of the money must be returned to the US Federal Aid Program)

7. Exit Counselling – You must complete mandatory exit counselling before starting the repayment of your loan. In order to receive your final transcript and degree, the Hertie School requires you to complete exit counselling by following the instructions on the student loans website.

Deadlines and Timelines

  • 1 April 31 May: Loan application time frame. Admitted students must also complete entrance counselling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) during this period.
  • 1 June – 31 July: Award letter will be sent
  • Early October: Due tuition is deducted from awarded sum, and living costs will be disbursed to students

* The Hertie School US loans team cannot guarantee a loan award if you do not meet these deadlines.


Consumer information and policies

The US government requires institutions which offer federal student loans to disclose the following consumer information. If you require any further information about the content, please contact us-loans[at]hertie-school[dot]org.

Institutional refund policy

2. School Policies

6. Other

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy – see Examination and Admission Rules 
  • Safeguarding Consumer Information – see German Federal Data Protection Act 
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Policy
  • Loan Disclosures 
  • Missing Student Notification – not relevant for the Hertie School since we do not have campus housing
  • Gainful Employment Regulations – not relevant for the Hertie School since we are a non-profit institution