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US federal government loans

Eligible students from the United States can apply for US federal government loans to help pay for study at UQ.

UQ is accredited by the United States Department of Education to administer US federal government loans to eligible US students and parents through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.

For information about the available loans and limits, see the US Federal Student Aid website or email financialaid@uq.edu.au.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a US federal government loan, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate,
  • pass an Ability-To-Benefit (ATB) test approved by the US Department of Education,
  • meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves,
  • have completed high school education in a homeschool setting recognised under US state law, or
  • have satisfactorily completed 6 credit hours or the equivalent coursework toward a degree or certificate.

You also need to meet all of the following:

  • be enrolled for at least half-time of a full-time study load in an eligible degree program (bachelors, masters by coursework or research, MPhil or PhD),
  • be enrolled internally at UQ (distance, external or online courses don't qualify),
  • agree to and maintain satisfactory academic progress,
  • be a US citizen or eligible non-US citizen,
  • not be in default on any education loan or owe a refund on an education grant,
  • be free of convictions of any offence under US state or federal law involving the sale or possession of a controlled substance,
  • comply with Selective Service Registration requirements (for 18–25 year-old males),
  • pass a credit check as required by the US Department of Education (for PLUS loans), and
  • submit all documentation required by UQ to verify your eligibility and determine your financial need.

Other conditions

  • All non-Australian citizens must also comply with the conditions of their visa.
  • Nursing programs are not eligible for US federal government loans.
  • Certificate, diploma, postgraduate certificate and postgraduate diploma programs are not eligible for US federal government loans.
  • If you're undertaking a research program, US federal government loans cannot be awarded if you undertake your research in the US.
  • It's a requirement under the Australian ESOS Act that all international students are enrolled full-time.
  • To comply with US Department of Education Regulations, Doctor of Medicine (MD) applicants who are US citizens, permanent residents, or nationals must submit Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) results with their UQ application.

How to apply

To request a loan, you must follow the steps below each academic year. If you're a new student, you'll need to complete these steps before starting study at UQ.

Application opening and closing dates depend on which semester you'll start studying:

  • Semester 1: 1 August – 31 October
  • Semester 2: 1 May – 30 June.

Step 1:  Complete the US Department of Education's requirements

Apply for a loan by completing the US Department of Education application requirements.

On your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, ensure that you list The University of Queensland (school code: G10692).

For future reference, make sure you keep a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).

As UQ is a foreign school, we will not be sent a copy of the FAFSA. Because of this, you'll also need to complete UQ's requirements. 

Step 2: Complete UQ's requirements

To complete UQ's requirements:

  1. Download and complete the US loan request form (PDF, 203.8 KB).
  2. Email your completed form to financialaid@uq.edu.au.

Step 3: Review your application

We'll assess your application and may ask you to provide additional information. This can take up to 10 working days. 

When our assessment is complete, we'll send you a UQ financial aid award letter. Review the information in your letter to make sure everything is correct.

See an example financial aid award letter (PDF, 460.61 KB)

Step 4: Complete the bank deposit form

If you're satisfied with your loan award letter, complete a bank deposit form:

Email completed forms to financialaid@uq.edu.au.

For information about selecting a bank account, see our frequently asked questions.

You'll receive loan funds on the first day of classes, so if you're a new UQ student, you won't be able to use the loan to pay for your acceptance or tuition fee deposits.

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to common questions about US federal government loans:

Applying for US federal government loans

Can I still apply for a loan even if I have a scholarship?

Yes, however, your eligibility will be adjusted based on the amount of the scholarship. We'll deduct the total scholarship amount from your total cost of attendance (COA) – the remaining amount, if any, will be the amount you may be eligible for.

You'll need to indicate that you're receiving a scholarship when you complete our US loan request form (PDF, 203.8 KB).

Do I need to open an Australian bank account?

Many students open an Australian bank account because it's easier to access when they're in Australia. However, some students choose to keep their American account and have funds deposited internationally.

We suggest researching the fees associated with your bank account (e.g. how much will it cost to withdraw or transfer funds internationally).

For more information on how your US loan funds will be paid, contact the UQ Financial Aid Office.

Receiving your US federal government loan

When and how will I receive my loan?

You'll receive the funds at the start of each semester as long as you've completed all the necessary documents.

The amount shown on your UQ financial aid award letter will be electronically drawn from the US Federal Reserve and deposited into the UQ bank account in US dollars.

We will then convert the funds into Australian dollars, deduct your tuition fees and pay the balance into your nominated bank account. The funds can take:

  • 7 to 10 business days to appear in a US bank account
  • 3 to 5 business days to appear in an Australian bank account.

The US Department of Education deducts origination fees before depositing the funds into UQ’s bank account. Information on fees is covered in the online entrance counselling and can be found in the disclosure statement sent to you when you receive your loan. 

Can I adjust the loan amount at any time?

It depends on a few factors, such as:

  • when you request the change
  • the amount you request
  • if you've already received your loan.

If you initially requested the full amount and you haven't received your loan, you can contact the UQ Financial Aid Office to adjust the amount.

If you've already received your loan, you'll need to contact your loan servicer for advice. 

If you did not request the full amount when you applied and want to request additional funds, you can do so at any time before the academic year ends.

Are there any fees attached to my loan?

See the US Federal Student Aid website for advice on loan fees.

Information on all fees and rebates are covered in the online entrance counselling and can be found in the disclosure statement sent to you when you receive your loan.

I plan to take a leave of absence from my program. Will this affect my loan?

Your leave of absence (LOA) must meet the criteria in the Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR 668.22(d) to be approved as a temporary interruption instead of a withdrawal.

Contact the Financial Aid team for more information. 

What do I need to do if I decide to withdraw from UQ?

We recommend getting in contact with a student adviser to discuss your plans to withdraw from UQ.

You can then contact the UQ Financial Aid Office to see if you're eligible for a refund.

Once you've officially withdrawn from UQ, you'll need to complete exit counselling.

Does UQ have a refund process?

See section 2.1.4 of our Student Refund Procedures for advice on refunds of financial aid. 

Repaying your US federal government loan

Who is my loan servicer?

When you receive your loan, you'll be sent information from your loan servicer to the address listed on your Master Promissory Notes (MPNs), which should be an American address.

If you have not received any information from your loan servicer, contact the UQ Financial Aid Office.

How can I start repaying my loans?

You'll need to contact your loan servicer to see what your repayment options are.

I am being asked to start repaying a federal student loan from a previous institution – how can I request an in-school deferment?

If you've received an in-school deferment form, forward the form to the UQ Financial Aid Office for completion.

Alternatively, contact the UQ Financial Aid Office and we'll amend your enrolment status through the National Student Loan Data System to confirm your enrolment at UQ.

What is UQ’s cohort default rate?

UQ’s official 3-year cohort default rate for the 2016 fiscal year is 4.2.