Financial aid for study in Australia

It is possible to take US federal financial aid with you to Australian institutions.

It’s possible to take federal financial aid with you to Australian institutions. If you are a study abroad student, speak to your study abroad adviser about using your financial aid package to study in Australia. If you are studying for a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in Australia, you can also take your federal aid loans with you to Australia.

US Financial Aid

Many Australian universities participate in the US Federal Government loan programs.

Types of Loans

The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program has three major categories, including Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, and Consolidation Loans.

  • PLUS Loans are for the parents of undergraduates.
  • Grad PLUS loans are for graduate students.
  • Consolidation Loans combine multiple loans into one loan.

The Stafford Loans are for undergraduate and graduate students, and fall into two groups:

Subsidised: Students must demonstrate financial need to qualify for the subsidised Stafford Loan. The federal government, on behalf of the borrower, pays the interest that accrues while the student is in school, during authorised deferment periods, and for six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. The borrower begins paying the interest when the loan enters repayment.

Unsubsidised: Students are not required to demonstrate financial need to qualify for the unsubsidised Stafford Loan. Unlike the subsidised loan, the borrower must pay all the interest that begins to accrue immediately upon disbursement regardless of enrolment status or loan deferments. Interest can be paid monthly or quarterly or be capitalised (added to the principal balance).

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a loan, the you must:

  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrolment at least half-time in an eligible degree or certificate program at an eligible institution.
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Be in good standing and making satisfactory academic progress if currently enrolled.
  • Be a citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen of the United States.
  • Not be in default or owe a refund on any federal education grant or loan unless satisfactory arrangements have been made to repay the outstanding debt.

Stafford Loan Limits

The US federal government has set annual and aggregate limits on the amount of money a student can borrow under the Stafford Loan program. A student may receive a subsidised loan, an unsubsidised loan or a combination of the two for each academic period.

However, the total amount of all the Stafford Loans may not exceed the loan limits for the academic period. This total amount is calculated on the student’s dependency status, grade level and length of the program of study that the student is enrolled. An academic period may be one semester, two semesters or three semesters. Most Australian universities are on a two-semester system.

Please visit the US Department of Education website and click on the "Funding" tab for further information on US student loans.

For more information on US federal loans, call the Federal Student Aid Information Centre toll-free on 1-800-4-FED-AID.

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