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United States (US) student loans

This information is for eligible US citizens and eligible non-citizens about US federal loans to study at the University of Otago. US international students at Otago may also access financial aid in the form of Veterans Affairs benefits or private loans. Information in this section includes the following:

On this page:

Further information:

To have your loan eligibility assessed you need to contact the University of Otago directly to let the team know that you are interested in obtaining loans while studying at Otago. We are not notified of your interest by the US Department of Education.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The University of Otago is a participating institution in the US Department of Education’s William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Our Bachelors', Masters' and Doctoral programmes are eligible programmes (with the exception of medical and nursing programmes which are NOT eligible).

Programmes at Otago that are not eligible include:

  • Diplomas
  • Diploma for Graduates
  • Graduate Certificates
  • Graduate Diplomas
  • Postgraduate Certificates
  • Postgraduate Diplomas
  • Undergraduate Certificates
  • Certificate of Proficiency
  • University of Otago Foundation Year Certificate and English Language Centre courses

About the loan programme at the Federal Student Aid website

Find out if you are an eligible non-citizen at the Federal Student Aid website

Glossary of Terms

General information about Direct Loans

Direct Loans are made available to students attending university at least half time. Please note that Immigration New Zealand require international students to be studying full-time while in New Zealand. The US Department of Education is the lender, and you receive the loan money through your university.

Direct Loan subsidized

This loan is based on financial need. The loan is "subsidized" because the government pays the interest while you are attending university at least half time. Repayments on Direct Subsidized Loans start following a six-month grace period after you leave university or drop below half-time enrolment.

Further information about Direct Loans

Direct Loan unsubsidized

Students may qualify for a Direct Unsubsidised Loan regardless of their financial situation since need is not a factor in determining eligibility for a Direct Unsubsidised Loan. Because it is “unsubsidized”, you are responsible for paying the interest from the time the money is disbursed.

Further information about Direct Loans

Parents of dependent students

If eligible, parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow this loan to meet the study costs of their child(ren). The parent must not have an adverse credit history.

Further information about Parent PLUS Loans

Graduate students

If eligible, a graduate student can borrow this loan to meet the study. The student must not have an adverse credit history.

Further information about Grad PLUS Loans

Application dates

Application dates for future students

If you will be a student at the University of Otago and you plan to fund your studies with the help of funds from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, it is highly recommended that you start this loan process as soon as you have received your offer.

Please complete the 2022–23 FAFSA if you will be starting in semester 1, 2023 or the 2023–24 FAFSA if you will be starting in semester 2, 2023.

Complete the FAFSA form – Federal Student Aid

We encourage the University of Otago applicants to submit their FAFSA with the code G21568.

Application dates for current students at the University of Otago

If you are already a student at the University of Otago and you have previously borrowed funds from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, we will contact you before the end of year about your loans for the following year.

Consumer information

Universities participating in US financial aid programs are required to disclose certain consumer information to students.

University of Otago US Federal Student Aid consumer information disclosures (PDF)

Loan enquiries

Financial Aid Administrator
International Office
Ground Floor, Clocktower Building
90 Union Place East
Dunedin

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

Email us.financialaid@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 8582