US Federal Aid

US Federal Aid

ATTENTION: Students commencing in July 2018. US Federal Aid Award Letters will not be issued until April/May 2018.

Loan types

James Cook University is registered as a provider to certify and administer US Federal Aid loan applications for new and continuing US students located at Townsville or Cairns campus. There are several different loans the University can certify and administer as a participant in the US Title IV/Direct Loan Program (Federal Aid) and these are as follows:

Subsidized Stafford Loans
These are awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government pays your interest while you are in school and enrolled at least half-time.

Unsubsidized Stafford LoansThese are available to all eligible students, regardless of income. Unlike the subsidized Stafford Loan, interest accrues from the time of the first disbursement. Students have the option of deferring the interest and principal payments until repayment commences.

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
This is a loan that allows parents to borrow funds to pay for the educational expenses of their dependent student. This loan is only available to parents whose child is a dependent undergraduate student as defined by the US Department of Education.

Graduate PLUS LoansThe Graduate PLUS loan is only available to students enrolled in an eligible graduate program. Eligibility for the Graduate PLUS Loan is also dependent on the borrower's credit rating and history.

Pell Grants and Perkins loans are not available to students studying at schools outside of the US.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must:

- Be enrolled at least half time in an eligible program.

- Be enrolled internally at James Cook University and not be undertaking external (online) subjects.

- Understand the University’s satisfactory academic progress and maximum timeframe stipulations.

- Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States.

- Not be in default on an education loan or education grant.

- Not owe a refund on any Title IV funding.

- Not have been convicted of any offence under US law involving the sale or possession of a controlled substance while receiving Title IV funding.

- Be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements if you are male and between the ages of 18-25.

- File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) entering JCU’s school code G12206 for the relevant loan period.

- For PLUS loans, the borrower must also pass credit checks.

- Comply with requests for documentation if selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education and relevant Federal legislation.

- To be eligible you must also submit all documentation required by James Cook University to verify your eligibility and determine your financial need.

Program eligibility

Some programs offered at JCU are not eligible for US Federal Aid. These include:

- Study Abroad (6 month/12 month length programs) and Exchange. Students may still be eligible through the Financial Aid office at their US school.

- Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery.

- Bachelor of Dentistry.

- Bachelor of Veterinary Science.

- Bachelor of Nursing Science.

- All Graduate Certificate and Diploma programs.

- All Undergraduate Certificate and Diploma programs.

- Any program that cannot be completed without external (online) subject enrolments.

Cost of attendance

James Cook University will estimate your “Cost of Attendance” (CoA) for the relevant loan period based on the regulations established by the US Department of Education.  JCU will also advise you of your eligibility for each loan type, however the total amount of loans you can borrow will not exceed the total CoA.

You will find general information on cost of living on the JCU website however the CoA that is determined by the JCU Financial Aid Administrator can vary due to both exchange rate fluctuations and the US Department of Education regulatory limitations.

Exchange rate

James Cook University will estimate your CoA firstly in Australian dollars and subsequently convert to US dollars using the current exchange rate at that time. The USD amount will appear on your JCU Financial Aid Award letter. Subsequently, upon disbursement of the loan amounts to the University the funds are converted again, this time from USD to AUD.

The two conversion points as explained above may result in variances to the loan amount due to exchange rate fluctuations between the USD and AUD. As the two conversions above occur at different points during the year, each conversion will result in a rate risk due to movement in the USD/AUD exchange rate. It is the borrower’s responsibility to understand and accept this risk as part of studying at James Cook University and borrowing US Financial Aid. The University is unable to set any exchange rates.

Applying for Federal Aid at JCU (New students)

New students applying for US Federal Aid follow this link.

Applying for Federal Aid at JCU (Continuing students)

Continuing students applying for US Federal Aid follow this link.

Completing your studies

When you complete your program, withdraw, take a leave-of-absence or drop below half-time enrolment, JCU will notify your lender and your grace period will begin. The grace period will give you six months before you must start making monthly principal and interest payments on your loans. If you re-enter university at least halftime during your grace period, the grace period is usually renewed for another six months so you have the full grace period available when you leave university again. You must also undertake Exit Counselling online: Exit Counseling.

Students who apply for a JCU Leave of Absence from their studies may be eligible to also take a Federal Aid Leave of Absence in certain circumstances.  Enquiries should be made to the JCU Financial Aid Administrator before you go on LoA. If you are not eligible or do not apply for a Federal Aid LoA, you will be reported as ‘withdrawn’ to the US Department of Education, even if your enrolment status at JCU is LoA.

Important policies and consumer disclosures

- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for US Federal Aid eligibility

- US Federal Aid – Return to Title IV

- Admission Progression Policy

- JCU AccessAbility Services (for students with disabilities)

- Critical Incident Policy

Contact

For any further questions about James Cook University’s administration of US Federal Aid Loans please contact the Financial Aid Administrator at FinancialAid@jcu.edu.au or phone +61 747815507.