How to apply

Please note that deadlines do apply and if you are submitting your FAFSA close to, or after, commencement of the study period you will need to contact as an Award Letter may not be issued after the deadline.

To be considered for financial aid, you must complete the following:

Continuing students may be able to complete a renewal FAFSA. Please note that your FAFSA application is only valid if completed 90 days or less before the commencement of the relevant study period. (For example: if you are starting studies in Semester 2 2015 (starting 27 July 2015), your application is only valid if submitted after 27 April 2015.)

  • You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) 1-4 weeks after you submit your FAFSA. This can be viewed online at the FAFSA website.
  • Check your SAR is accurate, and if not make any necessary changes.

Your SAR provides necessary information for Murdoch to assess your eligibility for Federal Student Aid and to determine your Cost of Attendance (COA) and Financial Needs Assessment (FNA). These calculations will form the basis of your Financial Aid Award within the borrowing limits

  • Entrance Counselling is required for undergraduate or postgraduate students before you can receive your first Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized or Direct PLUS Loan. Continuing students can skip this step. This step applies to first time applicants only.
  • Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), which is a formal and binding contract with the U.S. Department of Education that indicates your intention to repay your loan. This needs to be completed annually for students studying at Foreign Institutions. Funds cannot be disbursed unless you complete this form. If you are a graduate/professional student and wish to borrow Grad PLUS loan, you must also sign a Grad PLUS MPN. Graduate/professional courses for FSA purposes include students Vet and Law as an undergraduate degree at Murdoch University.

Once the above items have been completed Murdoch University will be able to determine the loan type you are eligible for. We will then calculate your Cost of Attendance (CoA) and Financial Need Assessment (FNA) and issue a Financial Aid Award letter. Award Letters cannot be issued too far in advance therefore if you have applied early you may not receive your Award Letter until closer to commencement, normally about 30 days before the start of semester.

  • • Accept an Offer of Admission from Murdoch by paying the deposit as outlined on your offer letter – unfortunately you are not able to accept your offer with Federal Student Aid. Please accept at least 4 weeks before the start of semester so you will have ample time to apply for your student visa and travel to Australia.

What happens next?

Once you return the signed award letter confirming the amount you would like to borrow your US Federal Aid will be released directly to your student record. This is called a disbursement and will be made in 2 separate portions usually in the two main semester study periods. Students who commence mid-year will receive their disbursements in July and again the following February.

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.


Once the amount of your certified loan(s) is finalised, it is recommended that you create a budget to plan for the coming year.

Please ensure that you have enough funds to cover accommodation, books, supplies and personal expenses during the first two months of study in the event that there is a delay in your financial aid being certified and disbursed.

Remember that minimizing debt now will help you manage your loan more easily once you graduate and that it is always cheaper to save than to borrow. When making spending choices whilst studying in Australia, you should always spend with the aim of minimizing your debt; live like a student now so that you don’t have to live like a student after you graduate.