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US Financial Aid at the University of Otago


To have your loan eligibility assessed you need to contact the University of Otago directly to let the team know that you are interesting in obtaining loans while studying at Otago. Please do not wait for us to contact you.

Financial Aid at Otago is administered by the International Office.

Our approach allows us to effectively manage your financial aid as well as ensuring that you have access to all the additional support structures, thus enhancing your learning experience.

Undertaking university study is an investment in your future, and as such you have a number of funding options. You are encouraged to investigate all options, both on and off campus, in the US and in New Zealand. Non-University based or private scholarships are offered by a large number of organizations.

You are encouraged to go online at, or other scholarship websites and view the options available.

Otago's financial aid staff are trained professionals and we encourage you to make contact with us before you arrive on campus. This will help to give you clarity in relation to your financial aid eligibility before you move to Dunedin. We are committed to making certain that the financial aid process is clearly explained to you before you borrow funds, and that we work with you to ensure that you leave us with the lowest amount of debt possible.

For further information about the conditions and obligations of US Financial Aid and general financial literacy, please visit Federal Student Aid.

If, at any point in time, you are uncertain about a term or phrase used in our Financial Aid section of the website, please refer to our Glossary section.

Click here for the university official reports and reviews, including information about completion and graduation rates.

The University of Otago’s draft cohort default rate for year 2015 is 2.8%.

Important Information for Graduate Students

How does the Title V of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 affect me?

Effective for loans made for periods of enrollment (loan periods) beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. The terms and conditions of Direct Subsidized Loans received by any student for loan periods beginning before July 1, 2012, for either graduate or undergraduate study, are not affected by this change.

The annual loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500, but this amount will now be limited to Direct Unsubsidized Loans, as shown in the following chart:

Annual Loan Limits for Graduate / Professional Students

Loans for loan periods beginning before July 1, 2012
Loans for loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012            

Subsidised Loan Maximum: $8,500.00

 Unsubsidised Loan Maximum: $12,500.00 less any subsidised amount received

Subsidised Loan Maximum: $0.00

Unsubsidised Loan Maximum: $20,500.00

The aggregate loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $138,500, not more than $65,500 of which may be in subsidized loans.

The elimination of subsidized loan eligibility for graduate and professional students does not affect undergraduate student borrowers, who remain eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans.

Also, the BCA clarifies that borrowers who are receiving Direct Loans for preparatory course work necessary for admission into either an undergraduate program or a graduate/professional program, or for course work required for teacher certification or recertification, remain eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans. Students enrolled in preparatory course work or course work required for teacher certification are considered undergraduate students for purposes of annual loan limits.

Loans Available

Loans available through the University of Otago for US Financial Aid.

How to Apply

How to apply for US Financial Aid at the University of Otago.


Eligibility for US Financial Aid at the University of Otago

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of a student's education expenses for the period of enrollment.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The link between your academic achievement and continued eligibility for US Government funding.

Repayment Information

Repaying your financial aid.

US Financial Aid Refund Policy (Return of Title IV Funds)

The University of Otago has strict policy, procedures and practice for the treatment of refunds and return of Title IV, HEA program funds when a student withdraws from study.

US Department of Veterans Affairs funding

How to apply for US Department of Veterans Affairs funding

Online Resources and Forms

Online Resources and Forms for US Financial Aid.

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms for US Financial Aid at Otago.

Further information

If you require further clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us:

Jason Cushen
Director, US Financial Aid

Anna McLachlan
Administrator, US Financial Aid

Danielle Yamamoto Kerr
Manager, International Student Services, US Financial Aid

Kathryn (Kathy) Halliwell
Administrator, US Financial Aid

Office hours
We are open from Monday to Friday between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

We recommend that you contact us to make an appointment so that we can ensure the administrator will be available to see you.

International Office
University of Otago
Clocktower Building
90 Union Place East
Dunedin 9016

Tel +64 3 479 7000