US Financial Aid

ANU participates in the US Financial Direct Loan program. This page outlines the loans available along with some financial disclosure statements. 

When exploring whether this loan program is suitable for you, please also refer to our other advisory pages on US Financial Aid covering responsibilities, payment and the application process (see the Advisory information box).

If you already receive US Financial Aid, you may find the welcome pack helpful (see the Resources box).

Eligible programs

The majority of undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and research programs are eligible for Direct loans. Unfortunately, the ANU Medical School is not registered for US Financial Aid nor are associate degrees, graduate certificate or graduate diploma programs.

Online and distance learning programs are not eligible and any joint degree programs will need to be assessed on a case by case basis. If you have any enquiries about your proposed programs eligibility for Financial Aid please contact the ANU Academic Standards and Quality Office.

Types of loans

Direct subsidised

Direct subsidised loans are for undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. ANU will review the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine the amount you can borrow. You are not charged interest while you're in school at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods. The interest rate for subsidised loans with a first disbursement date between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017 is 3.76 percent.

Direct unsubsidised

You are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidised Loan. Like subsidised loans, ANU will determine the amount you are eligible to borrow. Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidised loan from the time it is first disbursed even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount.

The interest rate for direct undergraduate unsubsidised loans with a first disbursement date between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017 is 3.76 percent. The interest rate for Direct Unsubsidised Graduate Loans, first disbursed on or after July 1, 2015 and by June 30, 2016 is 5.84 percent.

Direct PLUS

PLUS loans are for the parents of dependent undergraduate students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Direct PLUS loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students

Direct Parent PLUS loans are federally guaranteed loans that allow parents to borrow funds to pay for the educational expenses of their dependent undergraduate student. These loans are need based and parents are eligible for this loan if the child is a dependent undergraduate student as defined by the US Department of Education. Parents may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other funding. The program requires the borrower (Parents) to pass a simple credit check. Interest begins to accrue when funds are disbursed and repayment begins within 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed.

Direct graduate PLUS loans

The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is a low interest federally backed student loan, guaranteed by the US Government. Like its undergraduate counterpart, the Graduate PLUS Loan can be used to pay for the total cost of education less any aid you've already been awarded. Also like the undergraduate version, eligibility for the Graduate PLUS Loan is largely dependent on the borrower's credit rating and history, as opposed to the purely financial need-based subsidised loan.

The interest rates for PLUS loans with a first disbursement date between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017 is 6.31 percent for both Graduate and Parent Borrowers.

Direct loan limits

Annual

  Subsidised Unsubsidised Subsidised & unsubsidised
Dependent UG 1st year $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Dependent UG 2nd year $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Dependent UG 3rd year and beyond $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Independent UG 1st year $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Independent UG 2nd year $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Independent UG 3rd year and beyond $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Graduate/professional $0 $20,500 $20,500

Aggregate

  Subsidised Unsubsidised Subsidised & Unsubsidised
Dependant undergraduates $23,000 $8,000 $31,000
Independent undergraduates $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Graduate & professional $65,500 $73,000 $138,500

Private

At current Sallie Mae is the only lender offering private student education loans to students studying outside of the USA, you can view information regarding the smart option loan and submit your applications on-line.

ANU recommends that all students considering a private loan take the time to explore their options and choose a lender wisely; there may be other lenders who are offering private education loans.

Disclosures

Under federal regulations the University is required to provide students with access to disclosures about the default rate of students and average indebtedness of students. There is also some other important information included on this page about exchange rates. 

Cohort default rate

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the next fiscal year. The US Department of Education releases official cohort default rates once per year.

The Fiscal Year 2012 3-year Cohort Default Rate is 5.6 percent.

Average indebtedness statistics

Schools/universities are required to provide borrowers with general information with respect to the average indebtedness of students who have obtained loans for attendance at that school. Schools are also required to inform the student as to the average anticipated monthly repayment for those students based on the average indebtedness amounts. This information is available upon request from the Academic Standards and Quality Office.

Exchange rates

The exchange rates are constantly changing. Sample conversions can be done online, we tend to base our exchange rate calculations on the XE site.

Studying at a foreign institution means that there will always be some difference in exchange rates between the date of calculation of your Cost of Attendance (COA) and the actual receipt of your loans at ANU. ANU will not adjust COA documents due to the minor day-to-day fluctuation in exchange rates. We generally advise that students apply for their COA to be assessed and issued from ANU close to, but a reasonable amount of time before, the commencement of their session of study. Should there be a major fluctuation in exchange rates between the Australian and US dollar that will disadvantage a student you are invited to appeal to the Academic Standards and Quality Office to have your COA updated. A major fluctuation is generally defined as over 25 percent change in exchange rates. Each appeal will be considered on its merits on a case-by-case basis.