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US Federal Government loan FAQs

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When should I complete my financial aid paperwork?

Each student that would like to request US financial aid must complete the necessary financial aid paperwork every academic year. New students will need to complete prior to the commencement of their study at UQ. The dates below will help students plan out when financial aid paperwork should be completed and submitted:

  • Students commencing in Semester 1 – August 1 through October 31
  • Students commencing in Semester 2 – May 1 through June 30

You can find more information on the full application process at Applying for a US Federal Government loan.

I have completed the FAFSA, MPNs and Entrance Counselling online, as well as submitted the UQ US Loan Request form to the Financial Aid Office. When should I get my UQ Financial Aid Award Letter?

Generally, if all your paperwork is accurate you should receive a financial aid award letter within 10 days. Your award letter will look similar to this sample loan letter (PDF, 225KB).

Can I use my financial aid funds to pay for my Admission’s deposit to UQ?

Unfortunately students cannot use their US Loan funds as a way to pay for their deposit. As per the Department of Education regulations the US Loan funds cannot be disbursed until the first day of classes. What many students do to get around this is to request a line of credit from their personal bank to pay for the deposit. Once the US loan funds come in, it would be smart to repay the line of credit.

Am I still eligible to receive federal student loans even if I have a scholarship?

Yes, however, your financial aid eligibility will be adjusted based on the amount of the scholarship. We will deduct the total scholarship amount from your total Cost of Attendance – the remaining, if any, will be your financial aid eligibility. Please note you will need to indicate that you are receiving a scholarship when you complete UQ’s US Loan Request Form (PDF, 176KB).

Do I need to open up an Australian bank account or can I keep my American bank account to deposit the financial aid funds?

You can do either – it is really a personal preference. Many students tend to open up an Australian bank account as it is easier to access when they are here in Australia. However, some students do choose to keep their American account and have the financial aid funds deposited internationally. We suggest doing your research on the fees associated with your personal bank account – how much will it cost to withdraw or transfer funds internationally, etc. For more information on how your US Loan Funds will be paid out please take a look at our information sheet (PDF, 98KB).

When and how will my loans be disbursed?

The funds will be disbursed on the first day of each semester/rotation granted you have completed all the necessary paperwork to receive funds. The funds indicated on your UQ Financial Aid Award Letter will be electronically drawn down from the US Federal Reserve and deposited into the UQ bank account in US Dollars. Please note that the US Department of Education deducts origination fees from each disbursement, prior to depositing the funds into UQ’s bank account (information on fees is covered in your Entrance Counselling and can be found in the Disclosure Statement sent to you when your loan is disbursed).

UQ will then convert the funds into Australian dollars, deduct your tuition fees and pay the balance/living allowance into your nominated bank account if applicable. The funds can take 7 - 10 business days to appear in a US bank account and 3 - 5 business days to appear in an Australian bank account.

Can I adjust the loan amount at any time?

It depends on a few factors such as: when are you requesting the change, the amount you are requesting, and if your loan has already been disbursed to you. If you initially requested the full amount for disbursement and your loan has not been disbursed yet, you can simply contact the UQ Financial Aid Office to adjust the amount. However, if the loan has already been disbursed you will need to contact your Loan Servicer directly to figure out how to send money back. If you did not request the full amount in the initial disbursement and want to request additional funds you can do so any time before the award year ends. The UQ Financial Aid Office can assist you with requesting the additional amount.

Are there any fees associated to the disbursement of my federal student loans?

Yes, the US Department of Education will deduct origination fees from each disbursement. The fees vary depending on the type of loan. Information on fees and rebates are noted in your Entrance Counselling and additional information can also be found in the Disclosure Statement sent to you when your loan is disbursed.

How do I figure out who my Loan Servicer is?

When your loan is first disbursed you will receive communication 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 you can visit www.studentloans.gov or alternatively contact the UQ Financial Aid Office.

I would like to start repaying my loans. Do I have that option?

Yes, you will need to contact your Loan Servicer to see what your repayment options are.

Can I be enrolled half-time to receive federal aid?

Yes, you will need to be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree program at UQ to be able to receive federal aid. Visit Who is eligible? for more information on eligibility requirements.

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

If an In-School Deferment form has been provided to you please forward the form to the UQ Financial Aid Office and they can complete the form accordingly. Alternatively, contact the UQ Financial Aid Office and they can amend your enrolment status through the National Student Loan Data System to confirm your enrolment at UQ.

I have reasonable additional expenses that I believe should be considered in my Cost of Attendance calculation. How can I get this included?

If you believe that your cost of attendance calculation does not accurately reflect your actual Cost of Attendance, please submit an appeal with all supporting documentation to the UQ Financial Aid Office. A successful appeal must align with the Federal Student Aid Policy and fit within a category described within the Federal Student Aid Handbook (PDF, 258KB). The Director of Financial Aid at UQ will review your appeal and advise of the outcome within 5 - 7 business days.

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

A leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study. LOA refers to the specific time period during a program when a student is not in attendance.

An LOA must meet certain conditions to be counted as a temporary interruption in a student’s education instead of being counted as a withdrawal requiring The University of Queensland to perform a Return calculation.

If an LOA does not meet the conditions in 34 CFR 668.22(d), the student is considered to have ceased attendance and to have withdrawn from the school, and the school is required to perform a Return calculation and may need to return funds.

For an LOA to qualify as an approved LOA:

  • The LOA, together with any additional leave of absences, must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period. The 12-month period begins on the first day of the student’s initial LOA; and
  • There must be a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the LOA.

A student granted an LOA that meets all the criteria in 34 CFR 668.22(d) is not considered to have withdrawn, and no Return calculation is required. The student on an approved LOA will remain in an in-school status for Title IV loan repayment purposes.

However, if a student on an approved LOA fails to return or takes an unapproved LOA for Title IV loan purposes, The University of Queensland must report the student’s change in enrolment status to the loan holder with the withdrawal date being the first day of the student’s LOA.

Students should be aware of the possible consequences that not returning from an LOA and those who have been granted an unapproved LOA for Title IV loan purposes may have on their student loans. This may include exhausting the grace period on the student’s loan repayment terms.

If I decide to withdraw from UQ what do I need to do?

We recommend first getting in contact with your Program Advisor to discuss your plans to withdrawal from UQ. You should then email the UQ Financial Aid Office to see if you are eligible for a refund. Once you officially withdrawal from UQ you will need to complete Exit Counselling as per US Department of Education regulations.

Does UQ have a Refund process for financial aid?

The following information is an addendum to The University of Queensland refund guidelines for students receiving US Federal Student Aid funds.

If a student who receives US Federal financial aid withdraws from The University of Queensland and is entitled to a refund of tuition fees paid for that period of enrolment, a determination will be made as to whether any of the refund money must be returned to the US Federal Student Aid.

Pro-rata refund calculations apply for any US Federal loan student who is attending UQ and withdraws within 60% of the payment period. If it is determined that funds must be returned to the US Federal Student Aid, the distribution of funds will be as follows:

  1. Stafford Unsubsidised
  2. Stafford Subsidised
  3. Direct PLUS

Please note that a reduction in course load represents a change in enrolment status, not a withdrawal. If students drop subjects prior to census date, funds will be returned to the US to reduce their loan debt. Students cannot request that tuition funds be returned to them directly. When students successfully appeal financial liability for tuition and remain enrolled the same process is applied.  

What is UQ’s Cohort Default Rate?

The University of Queensland’s official 3-year Cohort Default Rate for the 2014 Fiscal year is 4.6.

How can I get more information on Consumer Information Disclosures?

For further information, please see the Consumer Information Disclosures.

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