New applicants

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 2024 or February 2025 you will need to complete a 24/25 FAFSA. If you are applying to commence in July 2025, you will need to complete a 25/26 FAFSA.

To ensure that JCU receives your FAFSA, you must add the JCU school code (G12206) to your application.

JCU will receive a copy of your FAFSA once you have applied, and provided you have received a JCU offer to study (Letter of Offer) for an eligible program, the Financial Aid Offer will be sent to the email address listed on your FAFSA.

The Financial Aid Offer will include the type and amount of eligibility, as well as the steps you need to complete to apply.

Financial Aid Offers cannot be issued too far in advance therefore if you have applied early you will not receive your Financial Aid Offer until closer to commencement. If you have not received your Financial Aid Offer, please contact

Please note, if you are submitting your FAFSA close to, or after, commencement of your program you will need to contact as deadlines apply.

If you are a new student, you must formally accept your Letter of Offer and make an Advance Payment before your loan application will be processed any further.  US Federal Aid cannot replace the Advance Payment - all students are required to pay an amount upfront.  

The full "Advance Payment" generally includes a tuition commencement deposit, Student Services & Amenities (SSAF) deposit, and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

  1. Tuition commencement deposit. The full deposit will be based on the first semester or trimester tuition fee (the equivalent of 9 or 12 credit points).  US Federal Aid applicants (if approved), may be permitted to pay a reduced tuition commencement deposit. This will be confirmed by the Financial Aid office when your Federal Aid offer is issued.
  2. Student Services & Amenities fee (SSAF). This is a university compulsory fee and payment for the first semester or trimester (9 or 12 credits) is payable with the Advance Payment.
  3. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).OSHC is a requirement for Student Visa applicants, this amount must be paid in full with the Advance Payment and cannot be reduced unless you have arranged suitable alternative OSHC.

The Federal Aid Offer 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 Letter of Offer, as well as indicate if you are eligible to accept with a reduced Advance Payment.

Your US Federal Aid must be disbursed in accordance with strict US Dept. of Education guidelines. Disbursements will be released directly to JCU, usually in line with the commencement of classes in each of the main study periods.  For semester based programs, this will be February and July. And for trimester based programs, this will be February, May, and September. 

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, in each disbursement period.

New students are required to attend a face-to-face loan counselling session when you first arrive at JCU, which is where all aspects of the loan will be discussed to ensure you only borrow what is required.  This is a good time to ask any questions you may have, as this will be your opportunity to adjust the loan amount, cancel the loan, or make any changes necessary to ensure you are comfortable with the process.  No loan fees or disbursements will occur until after this step has been completed.

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 each of the main study periods. For semester based programs, this is study period 1 & 2.  For trimester based programs, this is trimester 1, 2 & 3.  If you are 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 may need to obtain a ‘deferment application form’ from the Servicer for those loans. Check with your lender.

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.