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 (30 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:

Postgraduate diplomas, graduate diplomas, and certificates are not eligible to receive Direct Loans. In addition to this, Bachelor degree, Master's, and Doctoral degree programmes that include an internship component are also not eligible to receive Direct Loans.

If a student changes their programme to an ineligible qualification after Direct Loans have been approved, the loan will be cancelled, and the student will have to finance their study through a private loan or other private funding.

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.