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Eligibility

Students studying on the grass

Your eligibility for aid will be assessed based on the information that you have provided on your Financial Aid Application Form and on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The US Government specifies the maximum amount a student may be eligible to borrow under the Direct Loan program annually.

Please note: The amounts that you may be awarded could be lower, depending on your eligibility as determined by Otago's Financial Aid Section.

There are a number of criteria that must be met to be eligible for a US Federal loan.

  1. You must be an eligible student.
  2. You must be enrolled for at least half time in an eligible programme of study (NB: students studying in New Zealand on a student visa are required to be enrolled in a full time course in order to meet Immigration New Zealand requirements.)
  3. You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  4. You must complete and meet all the application criteria.
  5. Students are required to remain enrolled and studying on campus to maintain their eligibility for aid.

Student Eligibility

To be eligible for a US Federal loan, you must meet all the following requirements:

  1. Be a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  2. Have a valid Social Security Number.
  3. Not be in default on any Federal loan requirements.
  4. Males aged 18 through to 25 must comply with Selective Service Registration.
  5. Not have a drug conviction that renders you ineligible to receive loans.

Programme Eligibility

You must be enrolled at least half time (a full time course is generally between 54 and 72 points in any one semester or 108 and 144 points in any one year).
Remember, students studying in New Zealand on a student visa are required to be enrolled in a full time course in order to meet Immigration New Zealand requirements.

The following programmes are eligible for US Financial Aid at the University of Otago:

  • Bachelor’s degree programmes
  • Master’s degree programmes
  • Doctoral degree programmes

Course of Study

All other programmes are not eligible; including:

Postgraduate Diplomas, Diploma for Graduates or Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates, Certificate of Proficiency; University of Otago Foundation Year Programme and Language Centre courses.

Please note that medical programmes are currently NOT eligible.

Once a student’s eligibility for Direct Loans has been confirmed and if after the completion of course approval and in consultation with senior academics, it is recommended that a student changes their course of study to another qualification, they may become ineligible for Direct Loans and may have to finance their study either through a Private Loan or other private funding. Your Cost of Attendance will also have to be recalculated.

If a student’s intended course of study is charged at a New Zealand domestic rate and in consultation with an adviser of studies, it is recommended that a student changes their course of study to a programme which is charged at an international rate, the Cost of Attendance will need to be reassessed. If your financial aid does not cover your tuition fees, you will be advised.

Student Satisfactory Academic Progress

Current University of Otago students need to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible for a loan.

Application Criteria

You must complete all steps in the application process as outlined in the Financial Aid Process

Contact Us

For all enquires about US Financial Aid at the University of Otago, please email us.financial.aid@otago.ac.nz