Important: We always put our students first—that’s our motto! We try to stay up to date with all processes involving studying in Australia, but sometimes these processes and requirements change. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re up to date on the ins and outs of your situation.
While most of our students are Canadians, we love to support American students as well. Every year, we support hundreds of applicants from the USA who would like to pursue degrees in physiotherapy, medicine, marine biology… or anything in between!
What’s the same?
The admissions process works the same for both American and Canadian students. If you’re unsure about your eligibility, your program options, your financing options or anything else, please reach out to our Admissions team. That’s why we’re here—we want to help you out!
We recommend you first focus on finding the program that aligns with your goals. Peruse the website, get excited about studying in Australia, and then reach out. Don’t forget to follow OzTREKK and our OzTREKK Ambassadors on Instagram to see what studying in Australia really looks like!
While much of the application experience is the same for Americans, there are a few differences you should know about, including the accreditation processes.
Regulators often vary by state. We recommend you contact your state’s professional body to ensure you understand the process and requirements for you to return to practice as a foreign-trained professional. You can also check out our Licensing Page to help you get started!
The US Federal Student Aid program is available to students studying abroad, and most of our students have made use of this loan program. If eligible, students typically apply for two types of loans:
- Subsidized: This loan is based on financial need and the amount offered is capped. The interest is also offset by the government.
- Unsubsidized: This type of loan is available to all applicants, but the interest is paid by the student.
If ineligible for a federal loan, students may choose to go to other lenders like Sallie Mae, etc.
Once a student gets an offer from an Australian university, they will create a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which will be reviewed and assessed to determine a student’s maximum loan amount. If the student wishes to accept the offer, the student aid application will be submitted to the university via FAFSA. That university will respond by advising FAFSA the “CoA” (Cost of Attendance, which includes an estimate of living costs + tuition). This amount is set by the university and is non-negotiable. Once the CoA is remitted, the student can choose to accept the financing offer via FAFSA.
If you have further questions, we recommend you contact Federal Student Aid for personalized answers to your situation.
You should know…
- If the maximum loan amount is greater than the CoA, students are only eligible for the CoA. That is, if you are approved for $100K but the total cost for your Australian studies are equivalent to $88K, you are only eligible for $88K.
- Funds are remitted directly from the US government to the university; students must apply for a university refund to withdraw the living expenses portion of the funds (this is considered an overpayment).
- Payments are made twice a year (at the beginning of each semester).
- Make sure you’re aware of currency differences. The US Federal Aid program will always be talking in USD and the Australian universities will always be using AUD. In June 2022, $1 USD = $1.45 AUD. This is important because when your annual CoA is set, one rate is used, but when the disbursement is made a few months later, the rate at that time will likely be different. Typically, there aren’t huge swings in currency, but it’s a risk you need to know about.
- The rules related to medical school vary from other professions, so you’ll need to ensure that your medical school is approved by FAFSA. Currently, UQ is the only medical school in Australia that participates in the US Federal Aid program.
- The University of Melbourne is currently in the process of recertification with the US Department of Education, and as such, is currently unable to accept US government loans. New Melbourne applicants are currently eligible to apply for private loans (through Sallie Mae and Earnest). If you are reliant on financial aid to begin your studies, please refer to the university’s international loans program and financial aid website for updates and contact email@example.com with any questions.
Important: Federal Student Aid made a temporary accommodation to the US federal loans program to support online studies (a result of COVID). If you are still studying online (by preference, choice, or other), you should contact your FAFSA contact to ensure that you remain eligible.