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US Private Education

Students may wish to consider borrowing a private education loan for various reasons. In most cases it will be because they are ineligible for US Federal Aid, wish to study a program that is ineligible for Federal Aid, or they require additional funds to supplement their Federal Aid. Generally all JCU programs that are ineligible for US Federal Aid will be eligible for a private education loan, provided students meet the lender assessment criteria.

If you are applying for Federal Aid, please refer to the JCU website section on Federal Aid and await your Award Letter or contact the JCU Compliance Officer (Student Aid), before applying for a private education loan. Students who are eligible to apply for Federal Aid but choose not to, will be required to submit a statement confirming they are aware of Federal Aid but instead chose to borrow a private education loans.

Applying for a private education loan

There is currently only one private education loan available for students enrolled at foreign schools. This is the Salliemae Smart Option Student loan. For more information about this loan or instructions to apply, please refer directly to the lender, SallieMae.

Once you have received a pre-approval notification from Salliemae, please contact the JCU Compliance Officer (Sponsored Students).

Important Note:
Loans will not be certified by JCU until students have formally accepted their JCU offer of study. See the following steps for further information

Applying to study at JCU

Students need to apply to study at JCU and receive a Letter of Offer for their chosen program. Students also need to formally accept the Letter of Offer by completing and returning the relevant paperwork and documentation, as well as pay an upfront commencement deposit.

Students cannot use their loans to cover the deposit, this will be required upfront regardless and the amount will be stipulated on your Letter of Offer.  It is possible to apply to reduce the amount on the basis of financial aid however the amount payable upfront will not be reduced to zero. The amount will be reduced depending on the amount of financial aid expected, but will not be less than AU$1000 plus OSHC & SSAF.

Once students have formally accepted a JCU offer of study, paid the deposit, and met any conditions of their offer, JCU will certify the loan.  The loan will be released to JCU, usually in equal disbursements around the beginning of semester 1 and semester 2.


Prospective borrowers may qualify for loans under the Title IV (Federal Aid) program. The terms and conditions of Title IV loans may be more favourable than the provisions of the private education loans.