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Step 1 – Complete a FAFSA
The first step toward applying for US Federal Aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Make sure you complete the one relevant to the study period you are applying for. If you are applying to commence study at JCU in July 2019 or February 2020, you will need to complete a 19/20 FAFSA. If you are applying to commence in July 2020, you will need to complete a 20/21 FAFSA. Don’t forget to list JCU as your preferred school and enter the school code: G12206.
Step 2 – Await eligibility confirmation from JCU
JCU will receive a copy of your FAFSA once you have applied.
If you have received an official JCU Letter of Offer to study in the next main Teaching Period, for an eligible program, the JCU Financial Aid Administrator will send you an Award Letter. Award Letters cannot be issued too far in advance therefore if you have applied early you may not receive your Award Letter until closer to commencement. If you have not received your Award Letter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that deadlines do apply and if you are submitting your FAFSA close to, or after, commencement of the study period you will need to contact email@example.com as an Award Letter will not automatically be issued after the deadline.
Step 3 – Accept your JCU Offer of Enrolment
If you are a new student, you must formally accept your offer and pay a deposit before your loan application will be processed any further.
You cannot use federal aid as the deposit. The full commencement deposit payable is stipulated on your Letter of Offer; however federal aid applicants can apply to reduce the deposit amount. Usually the minimum deposit acceptable is A$1000 towards the first semester tuition fee, plus the full OSHC & SSAF stipulated on your letter of offer.
The Award Letter will detail the loan amount/s you are eligible for, provide instructions for what you need to do to accept both the loan and JCU offer, as well as indicate if you are eligible to accept with a reduced commencement deposit.
Step 4 – Accessing your loans
Your US Federal Aid will be released directly to JCU in 2 separate portions usually around the commencement of classes in the two main study periods, February and July. Students who commence mid-year will receive their disbursements in July and again the following February.
Where you have borrowed enough to cover tuition and living expenses, tuition fees will be deducted first, and any remaining credit balance refunded to your nominated bank account. You can generally expect to receive a refund around the 2nd week of classes.
Step 5 – Maintain enrolment / deferment status
Once you have borrowed federal aid, whether through JCU or another school previously, you will have a record in the US Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
When you apply for federal aid through JCU, we will report your enrolment status and estimated completion date to NSLDS. If you change your enrolment status, such as withdraw, complete early, or your estimated completion date changes, this will be reported to NSLDS.
As long as you are enrolled at least ‘half time’, you are eligible for deferment of loan repayments. At JCU the definition of half-time is 6 credit points in either study period 1 or study period 2 subjects. If you are considering taking block (intensive) classes, please contact the JCU Financial Aid Administrator.
If you have had Perkins loans in the past or a private student loan, you will need to obtain a ‘deferment application form’ from the Servicer for those loans as they do not use NSLDS.
Step 6 – Authorised Official
As the US Government has strict guidelines that all universities have to follow to remain eligible participants in the Federal Aid program, all queries and/or paperwork relating to US loans must be signed by the authorised JCU Financial Aid Administrator. Loan documents cannot be signed by lecturers, academic advisers, or other university staff.