US citizens and eligible non-citizens must meet eligibility criteria set by the US Department of Education to qualify for US Federal Student Aid.

To be eligible for the US Department of Education's Direct Loan Program loans, students must:

  • be an eligible US citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • not be in default or owe a return payment on any federal student loans
  • enrolled in a full degree program (graduate diplomas and graduate certificate programs do not qualify for US Federal Student Aid).

To remain eligible while you are enrolled, you must:

  • be enrolled at least half time (45 points in Trimester 1 and 2, 15 points in Trimester 3) in an eligible programme
  • not be enrolled in any online or distance courses in whole or part
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • be on track to complete your degree programme within 150% of the allocated course timeframe (maximum timeframe).

Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the FAFSA website to be considered for Federal student aid. A student's eligibility for aid will be assessed based on the information provided on the FAFSA and the Victoria University of Wellington US Federal Student Aid Application Form (PDF).

Programme eligibility

The following programmes are eligible for US Federal Student Aid at Victoria University of Wellington:

Victoria University of Wellington’s Bachelor degrees are eligible programmes at Undergraduate level, and our Masters and PhD degrees are eligible programmes at Postgraduate level.

The following campus locations are eligible for US Federal Student Aid:

  • Kelburn Campus
  • Pipitea Campus
  • Te Aro Campus

Please note that these are not branch campuses. Victoria University of Wellington's faculties are located at different locations throughout the city.

Ineligible Programmes

Postgraduate Diplomas, Graduate Diplomas, and Certificates are not eligible programmes to receive US Federal Student Aid Direct Loans.

The following programmes are also ineligible for US Federal Student Aid:

  • Bachelor of Engineering
  • Master of Applied Statistics
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Music Therapy
  • Master of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Nursing Science
  • Master of Teaching and Learning (Primary)
  • Master of Teaching and Learning (Secondary)

Please note that any Bachelor degrees, Master's, and Doctoral degree programmes that include an internship component are not eligible programmes for US Federal Student Aid Direct Loans at Victoria University of Wellington.

Students enrolled in an online programme are not eligible for US Federal Student Aid.

Students studying an ineligible programme may elect to apply for private education loans.

Contact financial-aid@vuw.ac.nz, if you have any questions about your eligibility.

Foundation Studies Programme

The Victoria University of Wellington Foundation Studies Programme is delivered by our partners at UP Education and is excluded from US Federal Student Aid Funding. The Foundation Studies programme is Title IV ineligible.

Find out more about our Foundation Studies Programme.

Application criteria

You must complete all steps in the application process to be considered for a loan.

Direct Loans for US Study Abroad and exchange students

As a foreign institution, Victoria University of Wellington is not authorised to certify student loans or deferments for US students who plan to attend this university for a trimester or for a full-year Study Abroad or exchange experience.

The financial aid coordinator at Victoria University of Wellington will complete a consortium agreement with your home university, so the financial aid office at your home university can process your financial aid application.

Contact financial-aid@vuw.ac.nz for more information.