Students must meet the eligibility criteria set by the U.S. Department of Education to qualify for federal student aid. The eligibility criteria can be found on the Federal Student Aid website. The FAFSA application will determine your eligibility.
In addition students must meet the following School specific criteria:
U.S. Federal Loans are generally available to eligible students who have received an unconditional offer to study at Queen’s; will be studying at least half-time and are not in default on a previous loan or exceeding federal loan limits.
To maintain eligibility throughout the year, students must be making satisfactory academic progress; cannot take more than 150% of the normal time to complete a programme (approved leave of absence will not be considered in the calculation) and cannot study in the U.S.
If you withdraw or drop below half-time enrolment you must email the U.S federal loan administrator immediately.
Study Abroad Study abroad outside the U.S is permitted as part of an eligible program at another eligible (Title IV) school. The study abroad School must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education. A list of approved schools can be found here.
The U.S. Department of Education published new regulations that now permits Students to undertake study aboard within the Unites States at an eligible (Title IV Funds) institution, OR an ineligible institution outside the U.S. as long as it does not exceed 25% of a programme length.
Internships and Placements Internships and placements that are apart of your programme (ie one you are required to or have the option to participate in) and are provided at an ineligible Title IV organisation must not exceed 25% of the programme length.
- Ineligible and eligible courses
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Masters or PhD programmes
- Non-degree programmes e.g. leading to a diploma or certificate
- Nursing and Midwifery
- Programmes taught within colleges associated or affiliated with QUB
- A programme offered in whole or in part by distance learning, includes online teaching
Students who have chosen to study an ineligible course may wish to consider a U.S. private loan.
- Loan types
There are three types of Direct Loans available at Queen's:
- Direct Subsidised Loans are available to undergraduates only. Subsidised Loans are Federally guaranteed loans based on financial need as determined by the Department of Education. Interest does not accrue on the loan while you are in school at least half time, or during any future deferment periods. The federal government "subsidizes” the interest during these times.
- Direct Unsubsidised Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. Unsubsidised Loans are Federally guaranteed loans that are not based on financial need. Interest does accrue from the time the loan is disbursed to the school. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
- Direct PLUS Loans are available to graduate students or the parents of dependent undergraduates. Direct PLUS Loans are available from the U.S. Department of Education and is not based on financial need. Interest does accrue from the time the loan is disbursed to the school. During any period when you’re not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized when you have to start making payments.
Further information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
- How much can I borrow?
Annual and aggregate limits for Subsidised and Unsubsidised loans
Dependent Students Independent Students (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans) First Year Undergraduate $5,500 in total—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. $9,500 in total—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. Second-Year Undergraduate $6,500 in total—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. $10,500 in total—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. Third-Year Undergraduate $7,500 in total—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. $12,500 in total—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. Graduate or Professional Students N/A $20,500 unsubsidised loans only Subsidised and Unsubsidised Aggregate Loan Limit Dependent Undergraduate Students $31,000 in total—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. Independent Undergraduate Students $57,500 in total —No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. Graduate or Professional Students $138,500 in total —No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidised loans. This includes loans received for undergraduate study.
Direct PLUS Loan for graduate students
PLUS Loans are normally available to make up the difference between the unsubsidised loan amount and the full cost of attendance of your programme, minus any scholarships.
If you wish to apply for a PLUS Loan, you need to complete the PLUS Request Process on the U.S. Department of Education website. Interest rates and repayment terms can also be found there. The request process involves a credit check and depending on the results of your credit check you may need an endorser.
Direct PLUS Loan for parents of undergraduate dependant students
Parents of dependent undergraduate students can take out a Parent PLUS loan to make up the difference between the subsidised and unsubsidised loan and the full cost of attendance of your programme, minus any scholarships.
If your parent wishes to apply for a PLUS Loan, they need to complete the PLUS request process on the U.S. Department of Education website. Interest rates and repayment terms can also be found there. The request process normally involves a credit check. Repayments start at the beginning of the loan period.
- Satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
The University is required to establish a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy in accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations. Student eligibility for U.S. Federal Loans is dependent on meeting SAP standards. Student progress is reviewed at the end of each payment period to ensure students are making adequate progress towards completing their degree programmes. The University does not have the right to waive the SAP requirement for any student and it is separate from the academic requirements to remain on the course.
A student is making satisfactory academic progress when they are meeting both quantitative and qualitative standards. In addition, students must be enrolled at least part-time and studying outside the USA.
Full details can be found in the SAP policy here.