Manage your financial aid , Te whakahere i tō pūtea āwhina

How you get federal loan money and meet financial aid conditions during your degree. Check what to do before you finish studying.

Disbursement of your loans

You get financial aid in instalments called 'disbursements'. We pay your tuition fees and fees first. Then, if you have chosen living allowance funds, we refund the rest of your federal aid to you as your living allowance. You put this money towards your living costs.

You need to meet conditions set by the US Government and Massey to:

  • continue getting disbursements of your loans
  • qualify to apply for more federal student loans.

Number of disbursements

If you're a new undergraduate student, you get four total disbursements during your first year of study, in two payments each semester. We apply your federal funds to a quarter of your tuition fees each time before giving you your living allowance.

From your second year onwards, you are a returning student. You get one disbursement each semester for the rest of your degree. We apply your federal funds to half your tuition fees each time before passing on your living allowance.

How you get disbursements

We pay your living allowance into your New Zealand bank account. Around four weeks before each disbursement, we email asking you to confirm you:

  • are eligible
  • want the disbursement.

If you don't reply yes by the deadline, your disbursement may be delayed. You can also cancel all or part of your future disbursements.

2024 disbursement dates

Your award letter has the disbursement dates that apply to you. Your disbursement dates depend on your year of study and your qualification.

Check the table for the dates of the disbursement process. Each October, we give the dates for the following year.

Annual schedule of disbursements for Massey students getting US financial aid.
Disbursement 1 Disbursement 2 Disbursement 3 Disbursement 4
We email you about the disbursement 19 February 22 April 10 July 2 September
Deadline for you to confirm to us 26 February 29 April 15 July 9 September
We disburse your US Financial Aid to Student Account 27 February 30 April 16 July 10 September
Your living allowance is in your NZ bank account 8 March 10 May 26 July 20 September

Meet financial aid conditions

You agree to conditions when you sign your federal loan agreement. If you don't meet these conditions, you may:

  • not get disbursements
  • get a warning or be put on probation or suspension
  • not qualify for more financial aid
  • have to return some or all of your loan disbursements.

We need to check you're meeting financial aid conditions set by the US Government. You also need to meet conditions set by Massey University and Immigration New Zealand.

Read about Academic Standing

Check the academic progress condition at Immigration New Zealand

Satisfactory Academic Progress

We need to check you're making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in your degree. Satisfactory Academic Progress is at least a C grade average, which is about the same as a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.0. You need to reach this minimum level by the end of your second year.

We check your grades at the end of each semester and before each disbursement.

If you're a:

  • first-year undergraduate, we first check your grades at the end of your second semester
  • doctoral student, we ask your supervisor to confirm you meet the milestones set by the Graduate Research School.

Maximum eligibility period

If you have a direct subsidised loan, you need to complete your degree within the 'maximum eligibility period'.

The maximum eligibility period is 150 per cent of the published length of your degree. For example, if the official description of your degree says it usually takes 3 years of full-time study, you can get financial aid for 3 years plus 1.5 years. So you can get financial aid for 4.5 years in total.

You need to count any previous study time in your maximum eligibility period. This includes changing your undergraduate degree and transferring cross-credits.

If your degree takes longer than the maximum eligibility period, your financial aid is suspended.

Warnings, probation and suspension

If you do not meet the conditions of US financial aid, we may send you an email and letter telling you that you are on:

  1. financial aid warning
  2. financial aid probation
  3. financial aid suspension.

We tell you within 31 working days of final grades coming out each semester. Your status lasts for the next semester.

If you show Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) during the next semester, you:

  • get loan disbursements as usual
  • qualify to apply for more financial aid.

If you don't meet the SAP condition, you automatically move to the next stage. We contact you with details of each stage.

Financial aid warning

If you do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for one semester, you get a financial aid warning that lasts for the next semester.

You may get your financial aid disbursements during the next semester.

Financial aid probation

If you do not meet the SAP condition for two semesters in a row, you are put on probation for the next semester. Being on probation means you do not:

  • qualify for financial aid
  • get disbursements.

You can appeal against your probation.

You're automatically put on financial aid suspension for the next semester if you:

  • choose not to appeal
  • continue to not meet the SAP condition.

If you start meeting SAP requirements by the end of any semester, your financial aid will start again.

Financial aid suspension

You are placed on suspension if you:

  • lose your appeal against financial aid probation
  • take longer than the maximum eligibility period to do your degree.

You do not get any financial aid disbursements during suspension.

Suspension is permanent unless you appeal or start meeting SAP requirements.

Probation appeals

You can appeal against your probation if anything might have affected your grades.

Examples include if:

  • one of your relatives has died
  • you have suffered illness or injury
  • one of your immediate family members has suffered illness or injury
  • you have been caught up in a natural disaster.

Appeal in writing within 15 working days of getting your suspension notice. In your appeal, give:

  • reasons you are asking for an appeal
  • supporting evidence – for example, a death certificate or medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner, or a written statement from an academic supervisor.

Email your appeal to the Senior Advisor – International Financial Aid at

The Manager Global Engagement decides US financial aid appeals. While your appeal is in progress, you cannot get a disbursement.

You get the appeal decision by email within 15 working days. The decision is final and you cannot appeal against it.

If your appeal is granted, your financial aid continues as long as you meet conditions. You will get details of the conditions and how long they last. An example of a condition is progress reports.

Withdrawing from your degree

If you withdraw from your degree, you may have to return some or all of your loan disbursements. This is called 'Return of Title IV' funds.

You may also need to repay money to Massey if:

  • we have paid back your disbursements to the US Government
  • you owe university charges that financial aid doesn't cover.

Formal and informal withdrawal

If you want to stop studying, go through formal withdrawal.

Even if you don't follow the withdrawal process, you can be classed as informally withdrawing. We consider you informally withdrawn if you have not been attending university.

'Not attending university' means you have not done one of the following activities:

  • Submitted assignments or taken exams
  • Taken part in learning sessions or other academic activity – for example, lectures, labs and tutorials, online activities, specified study groups and meetings with an academic member of the university
  • Returned from an approved leave of absence

This includes not attending because you:

  • are ill
  • have been in an accident
  • have suffered grievous personal loss – for example, bereavement or serious illness of an immediate family member or close friend.

Withdrawal date

This is the date:

  • you start the withdrawal process or tell us you are going to start
  • of your last recorded attendance at university if you have not formally withdrawn
  • you drop below half-time study
  • you may need to start repaying your federal loans – check at Federal Student Aid

We use your withdrawal date to work out:

  • if you need to refund some or all of your loan disbursements to the US Department of Education – 'Return of Title IV' funds
  • how much any refund is
  • if you are owed any money.

If Massey has no records of your last attendance, you need to give us proof of the last date you attended university. Or we may use as your withdrawal date the:

  • mid-point of the semester if you're enrolled for one semester
  • break between semesters if you're enrolled for two semesters.

Repaying Massey

If you have completed less than 60 per cent of the semester in which you withdraw, Massey needs to repay the US Department of Education. In that case, you may need to pay us for tuition fees and other costs.

Stay up to date

While you're still studying, it's wise to check how much you:

  • have borrowed in federal loans so far
  • need to pay back each month for your current loans when you start loan repayments.

Work out repayments with the Loan Simulator tool from Federal Student Aid

Check loans and more with the Financial Awareness Counseling tool from Federal Student Aid

Update your contact details

Make sure you tell your lender or loan servicer when you change your address.

While you're studying at Massey, you can do this by updating the Senior Advisor – International Financial Aid, who is Massey's financial aid administrator.

Defer repayments while studying

You don't need to repay federal loans while you're studying. If you're contacted by loan servicers about repaying federal loans you've taken out before, you can defer repayments.

To defer your loan repayments:

  1. find the in-school deferment form on your loan servicer's website
  2. download and sign it, then email it to the Massey financial aid administrator at

We complete the deferment form and send it to your loan servicer.

Loan servicers at Federal Student Aid

Contact us for help

Email if you have any questions.

Amy Odom

Senior Administrator
Student Fees and Compliance – Student Registry
Manawatū (Palmerston North)

Office location Student Registry Building, Room 1.38

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