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, or PhD programme
  • are enrolled at least half-time

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

  • Direct unsubsidized loans (interest rate 6,6 % plus loan fee deducted from disbursement 1.062%): not based on financial need; total aggregate annual limit: 20.500 $
  • Direct unsubsidized PLUS loans (interest rate 7,6 % plus fee of 4.248%): help pay for education expenses up to the costs of attendance minus all other financial assistance.

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

Below is the aggregate (total) limit for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans:

$138,500 (no more than $65,500 may be subsidized loans for undergraduate study)

Interest is charged during all periods for both loans; during the studies, during grace or/and 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 is updated every January. Additional expenses for students with disabilities will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Cost of attendance AY 2019/2020

Calculate your cost attendance: MPP and MIA | PhD

These figures are set by the Hertie School and are based on current costs of living in Berlin. Please 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 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 scholarships and contact the financial aid team for further information on external scholarships.

2. 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. Next, please submit the US Loan Application Request on MyStudies by July 1st. Please make sure to save and submit the request. The request will be available by the end of May.

4. Complete the online entrance counselling course via the student loans website. The loan can only be disbursed if the entrance counselling is complete and on file. Please note that the entrance counselling is required only once and before your study period at Hertie.

5. Accepting a loan and submitting your bank information - The school will notify you (award email) of the loan amount that is approved.

You have the right to object two weeks after the award email 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 US Loan team has your most recent bank information. Without you German bank account information the loan cannot be transferred.

6. The 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 MPN (each loan type requires a separate MPN).

It is your responsibility to notify the Hertie 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 enroll 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 US loans team must first determine whether any of the money must be returned to the US Federal Aid Program)

7. Exit counselling - You have to complete a mandatory exit counselling before starting the repayment of your loan. It In order to receive your final transcript and degree the Hertie school requires you to complete the exit counselling following the instructions on the student loans website .

Deadlines and Timelines

  • June 1st - July 1st - Loan application deadline and admitted students must complete entrance counselling and Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • July 1 – August 15th- award letter will be sent
  • October 1 - due tuition is deducted from awarded sum and living costs will be disbursed to students * The Hertie 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 
  • Misrepresentation 
  • 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