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
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:
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.
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).
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
Be a citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen of the United
Not be in default or owe a refund on any federal education grant or
loan unless satisfactory arrangements have been made to repay the
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
Please visit the
US Department of Education website and click on the "Funding" tab for further information on US
For more information on US federal loans, call the Federal Student Aid
Information Centre toll-free on 1-800-4-FED-AID.