International student financial assistance

US Federal Aid

Flinders University School ID: 011091(00)

Direct Lending Code: G11091

Online topics deem students ineligible for federal aid

Students in receipt of federal loans may not enrol in topics that are delivered online.  Enrolment in a topic that contains online delivery as the only method of delivery will result in you being ineligible for federal loans for the remainder of your course.  Homework and assignment submission is not considered an online component for this purpose.

Eligibility criteria

Students who are US citizens or eligible non-citizens may be eligible under the Direct Loan Program if they are:

  • enrolled at least half time (typically 9 units minimum per semester)
  • are making satisfactory progress
  • are not enrolled in any online topic and 
  • are not in default on a previous grant or loan

The following courses are eligible for US federal aid:

  • Bachelor degrees (including Honours)
  • Master degrees
  • PhDs 

Please note that students enrolled in a Nursing course or undertaking nursing topics are not  eligible for US federal aid.


Loans available

The Direct Loan Program offers the following loans to Flinders University students:

Subsidized

(Undergraduate students only)

Subsidized Loans are awarded to students on the basis of financial need as determined by the US Department of Education.  The US federal government will pay the interest on your loan while you are enrolled in university and during authorised periods of deferment.
Unsubsidized Unsubsidized Loans are awarded to students regardless of financial need.  Unlike a Subsidized Loan, interest accrues from the day the Unsubsidized Loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.  Whilst you are studying, you can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accrue and be capitalised (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan).  Capitalising the interest will increase the amount you have to repay.
PLUS Loans
(Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
Parents can borrow a PLUS Loan to help pay your education expenses if you are a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time.  Parents must pass a credit check or have somebody else, who is able to pass the credit check, agree to endorse the loan. Interest is charged on the loan from the date of disbursement until the loan is fully repaid.  For PLUS Loans that are first disbursed on or after 1 July 2008, the borrower has the option of beginning repayments either 60 days after the loan is fully dispersed or waiting until 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half time basis.
PLUS Loans for Graduate Degree Students Graduate degree students are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan program.  You must have applied for the maximum annual Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans before applying for a Graduate PLUS.  Repayment begins within 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed.

Interest rates

Loans first disbursed on or after 1 July 2017 and before 1 July 2018 will have the following fixed-loan interest rates:

Direct Subsidized Loan (Undergraduate students) 4.45%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Undergraduate) 4.45%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Graduate students) 6%
Direct PLUS Loan (Parents and Graduate students) 7%

Loans first disbursed on or after 1 July 2018 and before 1 July 2019 will have the following fixed-loan interest rates:

Direct Subsidized Loan (Undergraduate students) 5.05%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Undergraduate) 5.05%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Graduate students) 6.6%
Direct PLUS Loan (Parents and Graduate students) 7.6%

 

For further information on federal aid interest rates, including historical rates, visit the Federal Student Aid website.


Loan fees

 Federal student loans first disbursed on or after 1 October 2017 (and before 1 October 2018) are:

  • 1.066% for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • 4.264% for Direct PLUS Loans

 Federal student loans first disbursed on or after 1 October 2018 (and before 1 October 2019) are:

  • 1.062% for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • 4.248% for Direct PLUS Loans

For further information on Federal Aid loan fees, including historical rates, visit the Federal Student Aid website.


Aggregate limits

The maximum limits of Direct Loans effective 1 July 2008 are as follows (all amounts in US dollars):

  Subsidized Amount
($US)
Unsubsidized Amount
($US)
Dependent Undergraduate Students
1st Year $3,500 $2,000
2nd Year $4,500 $2,000
3rd Year $5,500 $2,000
Independent Undergraduate Students
1st Year $3,500 $6,000
2nd Year $4,500 $6,000
3rd Year $5,500 $7,000
Graduate Students
  0 $20,500

 

Maximum Direct Loan amounts allowed at graduation
Dependent Undergraduate Students $31,000
Independent Undergraduate Students $57,500
Postgraduate/Professional Students $138,500

Deciding how much to borrow

The amount you will be able to borrow will depend on:

  • Your cost of attendance as determined by the University - The University will prepare a Cost of Attendance (CoA) for you, using the federal guidelines.  The CoA includes your tuition fees, living allowance and overseas health cover. An estimated CoA can be issued to you before you apply for your loan.  To request your CoA please submit an online support request via Ask Flinders.
  • Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - will be determined by the US Department of Education.  When the university receives notification of this figure via the Student Aid Report it will be deducted from the amount of Subsidized Loan that undergraduate students can borrow.  Unsubsidized Loans and PLUS Loans can be used to make up the difference, where required, up to the CoA.  Postgraduate student loans are not affected by the EFC.
  • Whether you are a dependent/independent undergraduate student or graduate student - if you are applying for a Direct Loan please refer to the table above for the loan amounts you can borrow.
  • What type of loan you are applying for - if you are applying for a Direct Loan you can only borrow within the amounts specified in the table above.  However you may be eligible for a Grad PLUS Loan or a Private loan to the full amount of your Cost of Attendance (CoA).

Cost of Attendance

Your Cost of Attendance (CoA) is an estimate of the costs you will incur during an academic year.  The CoA will be issued to you with your Flinders University financial aid award offer letter; the CoA specifies the amount that you may borrow. 

The following costs are included in the CoA:

ExpensesRate of Calculation
 Tuition fees  Annual rate for the course
 Living allowance  $20,000 per annum based on a standard 9 month academic year. A higher allowance is available for some courses with longer academic years, eg PhD, Medicine. This covers accommodation, board, personal expenses, transportation, books, supplies.
 Overseas student health cover (OSHC)  Single OSHC for the length of the course
  Flights  $2,000 for one return flight for each 12 month period

 Exchange Rate

Your Cost of Attendance (CoA) is calculated in Australian Dollars (AUD) and then converted to US Dollars (USD), using the exchange rate applicable as at the date the CoA is prepared.

Loan payments are disbursed in two instalments, normally this is one payment in Semester 1 and one payment in Semester 2.   As exchange rates fluctuate the actual amount you receive in AUD may vary from the amount that was calculated on your CoA.  Please note that it is the borrower’s responsibility to understand and accept this risk of the varying exchange rates.  A revised CoA will not be issued based on variations to the exchange rate, unless there is a variation of at least 15% in the exchange applicable to the loan period.

The only time a revised CoA will be issued, is if the CoA was prepared more than 4 months prior to the first loan disbursement.  In this circumstance, a revised CoA using the current exchange rate, would be issued closer to the disbursement date.


How to apply 

If you have already received and accepted your offer into your course, visit MyFlinders to enrol into your topics.

Once you have enrolled into your course, follow these steps to apply for your loan:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The school code for Flinders University is 011091, on the FAFSA the '0' is replaced with a 'G', so the code you will need to enter on the application is G11091.
  2. On completion of the application you will be able to view and print your Student Aid Report (SAR).  The SAR summarises all the information submitted on your FAFSA and usually contains your Expected Family Contribution.
  3. You must complete the entrance counselling before applying for financial aid.  You can do this on-line via the studentloans.gov website. Flinders University will be able to check that this has been completed before originating your loans.
  4. Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN), again via the studentloans.gov website.
  5. Submit an online support request via Ask Flinders with the following information:
  • Your Flinders Student ID and US Social Security Number
  • The amount of funds that you wish to apply for

Satisfactory Academic Progress

This policy applies to current and prospective students of Flinders University applying for or receiving US Federal Aid (Direct Loan Subsidized, Direct Loan Unsubsidized and Direct Loan PLUS).

Students receiving financial aid will be evaluated at the end of each semester.  This evaluation process will consider the students progress under the following categories:

a. Academic standing
b. Maximum timeframe

In order to continue to receive US federal aid must meet minimum standards for both of these components.

Academic standing

Students in receipt of financial aid who are completing a coursework program will be required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 4.0 (Australian scale). The following table describes the current GPA scores:

 Result  GPA
 High Distinction  7.0
 Distinction  6.0
 Credit  5.0
 Pass  4.0
 Fail  0.0
 Withdraw Fail  0.0

The following results are not used when calculating GPA scores:

  • Non-graded Pass
  • Withdraw Not Fail 

GPA scores achieved at other tertiary institutions prior to commencing with Flinders University will not count towards the assessment of Academic Standing whilst studying at Flinders University.  Results obtained for cross-institutional studies which are completed whilst a students at Flinders University will be used in GPA assessments.

Students in receipt of financial aid who are completing a Masters by research or a PhD will be required to maintain satisfactory progress as determined by their academic supervisor as part of the University's HDR Milestones process.

Students who transfer courses within Flinders University will carry with them the GPA from their previous course.

Students who fail to meet these academic standing requirements will initially be placed on Financial Aid warning.  Continued failure to meet these requirements may result in Financial Aid suspension.

Maximum timeframe

 A student is entitled to receive financial aid for 150% of the allocated course timeframe.

  • 3 year degree - eligibility for aid is 4.5 years
  • 4 year degree - eligibility for aid is 6 years
  • 5 year degree - eligibility for aid is 7.5 years

Students who transfer to Flinders University and are granted Credit for previous studies will have their maximum timeframe adjusted to reflect this.

Students who transfer courses will have their previous study periods included when calculating the Maximum Timeframe.

Students should be advised that whilst US federal eligibility may allow them to continue to apply for aid, individual academic progress rules and student visa restrictions may impact on the student's ability to continue with the program.

Warnings, suspensions and probation

Students who do not meet the Academic Standing requirements described above will be placed on Financial Aid warning for an initial period of one (1) semester.  Students will be notified of this in writing by email.

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid warning and who subsequently meet the Academic Standing requirements for the following semester will have the Financial Aid warning status removed.

Students who have been given a Financial Aid warning status and who fail to attain the minimum Academic Standing requirements in the following semester will have their aid suspended.  Such students may be eligible to re-apply for aid if they meet the Academic Standing requirements in a subsequent teaching period. Students placed on Financial Aid suspension will be advised in writing by email and by registered letter.

Students may appeal their suspension of aid, as detailed below.

Appeals

A student may seek to have a decision made under these provisions reviewed.  To seek such a review a student must lodge a request in writing, setting out the reason for the review request.  Applications for a review and any supporting documentation should be forwarded to:

Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships
Student Centre
Flinders University
askflinders@flinders.edu.au

Students who successfully appeal a decision to suspend their Financial Aid and have their status reinstated will be placed on Financial Aid probation for a minimum period of one (1) semester.

Note: Failure to meet these requirements do not impact on any assessment of progress made under the University's Student Progress policy.


US Constitution Day

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the US Constitution on 17 September 1787, recognising all who are born in the United States, or by naturalisation, have become citizens.

US citizens are encouraged to celebrate this day each year.  Information regarding celebrations and activities can be found at The National Archives.


Cohort default rate

The US Department of Education calculates a cohort default rate (CDR) annually to determine the percentage of Federal Loan borrowers at each university who default on their loan repayments. 

The unofficial 3-year CDR for Flinders University for the 2014 fiscal year is 5.2%.

The draft 3-year CDR for Flinders University for the 2015 fiscal year is 4.0%.


Completing or exiting your studies

Before you graduate or leave Flinders University you must complete Exit Counselling.  The Exit Counselling session provides important information regarding your rights and obligations under the Direct Loans program.  It includes repayment options including consolidation, when repayment begins, solutions to repayment problems, implications on defaulting on a loan and estimating your budget.


Useful websites and further assistance


 

Canadian financial aid

Canadian citizens may be eligible for financial aid under the Canada Student Loans Program administered by the Government of Canada.

Please note that, while Flinders University is an eligible institution for students to receive Canadian financial aid, Flinders is not a prescribed University with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you require tax forms to be completed by the university, please submit an online support request via Ask Flinders. However, we cannot guarantee that these will be honoured by the CRA.

Please also see Global Education Management Services (GEMS) for private loan options.

 

Post 9/11 GI Bill for US Veterans

Flinders University is a VA-approved institution for the purpose of the US Department of Veterans Affairs Post 9/11 GI Bill for US Veterans benefits. Please contact Student Finance and Scholarships if you wish to apply for approval for your course of studies.


Private funds

If you require financial aid not covered by government schemes, you may wish to investigate private loan options.  Please see the following websites for information on options for US Nationals: