Who can apply for US financial aid , Mā wai e taea ai te tono pūtea āwhina nā Amerika

Understand who can apply for US federal loans and how your student loans are unique to you.

Federal loans often form the main part of a financial aid package for US students.

To apply for a US federal loan, you must:

  • be an 'eligible student'
  • take an 'eligible programme of study'
  • enrol for at least half-time study – 30 credits or more each semester
  • study in person on campus, not online or distance
  • show 'satisfactory academic progress'
  • meet all the application conditions.

Eligible student

To qualify as an 'eligible student', you must:

  • be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen – for example, a permanent resident or refugee
  • have a valid Social Security number
  • not be in default on any federal loan repayments – be up to date with repaying any federal loans you already have.

Eligible study

An eligible qualification is:

  • at least 30 credits each semester or 60 credits each academic year
  • either an undergraduate or bachelor's degree, or a postgraduate degree – master's or doctorate.

You cannot apply for a federal loan to study:

  • online or distance qualifications
  • non-degree qualifications, like certificates or diplomas
  • a bachelor's degree in nursing
  • outbound study abroad/exchange programme
  • joint degrees
  • foundation or ESOL programmes
  • any degrees that have an internship requirement
    • master's and phd in clinical psychology
    • bachelor's in retail and business management.

Meet all application conditions

You also need to meet other conditions to qualify for a federal loan, including making satisfactory academic progress within the maximum time frame

Check who can take out US federal student loans at Federal Student Aid

Your personal loans

Each federal loan is unique, so it's likely you qualify for different amounts of money:

  • each year
  • from other students.

How much you can borrow in federal loans depends on:

  • the type of loan you have
  • the limit on loan amounts each year
  • the total limit on the loan – aggregate limit
  • your Expected Family Contribution
  • your Cost of Attendance
  • any other financial aid or income you may have.

Loan types and limits

Learn about US financial aid

How much you need to borrow may change each year as your study continues and your life changes. For example, you may need to complete practicums in your degree, get a job or change your accommodation.

Living costs in New Zealand

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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