USA Financial Loans

If you are a student from the USA, you may be looking at a private financial loan to pay for your studies at UC - we are able to certify your enrolment for you.

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Financial loan programmes have specific eligibility criteria. It is best to look into the programmes relevant to you to make sure you have the most up to date information.

Please apply directly with the loan provider and send requests for enrolment and fees confirmation to or bring them in-person to the Student Hub on the ground floor of the Matariki Building.

Be sure to include your UC student ID number in your message.

Private US Loans and Veterans Affairs

You can fund your study with a private loan from the US. Apply online for the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan which is certified by UC.

If you have chosen another lender who is offering a private loan for study outside the US then UC can work with them to certify the loan for you.

Once you are approved for the private loan please email with a confirmation of your loan eligibility.

Once you have applied to your programme at UC and your courses have been approved, UC is able to certify your loan with your lender. It is at this stage that we are able to send you a Cost of Attendance (see below for details) which you are able to use to support your student visa application.

Your funds will be released near the beginning of your studies and will be sent directly to UC.

Once your cheque arrives from the loan provider, we will notify you to come in to counter-sign the cheque.UC will then bank the cheque which will take a few days to clear. Your loan payment will pay 100% of fees (tuition and non-tuition). Any additional funds will be ‘refunded’ to you to your nominated NZ bank account. 

Please note

  • UC cannot bank the cheque and refund you any balance until your courses have been approved.
  • Tuition fees are invoiced on an annual basis. We recommend you apply for a Sallie Mae loan each year unless you are required to prepay fees for the duration of your programme.

If you withdraw from the university or otherwise make changes to your enrolment removing your eligibility for your loans, your payment plan will be cancelled and you will be liable for any balance of fees to the university.

If you are unsure whether your eligibility will be affected by any changes to your enrolment please contact the UC USA Loan Office for clarification.

Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of your education expenses for your enrolment period.

COA segments

The University of Canterbury COA components are the same for all US loan programmes.

The COA will specify the total amount you may be eligible for minus any other aid you may be receiving for that award period. COA components include (all prices are in NZ dollars):

  • Tuition fees - Estimated fees are listed on your Offer of Place letter, alternatively you can see an estimate on our fees page
  • Student services levy -  Effective from 1 January 2021, the SSL will be determined by how many points you are enrolled in; 120 points will be $877.20
  • Student visa $285 per year (2021)
  • Insurance
    • $670 per year - student only or
    • $1,340 per year - couples cover or
    • $1,675 per year - family cover
  • Room and board
    • $350 per week, or
    • $7,000 per semester undergraduate (20 weeks) or
    • $14,000 per full year undergraduate (40 weeks) or
    • $18,200 per 12-month period postgraduate (52 weeks)
  • Transportation 
    • $25 per week, or
    • $500 per semester undergraduate (20 weeks) or
    • $1,000 per full year undergraduate (40 weeks) or
    • $1,300 per 12-month period postgraduate (52 weeks)
  • Text and other course costs - $1,000 per year
  • Laptop allowance - $1,500 (one-off allowance)
  • Return airfares - $2,500 per year 

Exchange rate

These allowances are given in New Zealand dollars and is reviewed and updated annually based on exchange rate. COA calculations will use the 3 month average: current exchange rate 0.711 (3-month average as 29 January 2021).

UC requires you to pay all fees at enrolment or make suitable payment arrangements.

Suitable payment arrangements 

Veterans benefits can be accepted as a suitable payment arrangement. We do require a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility outlining your entitilments before we are able to process and certify your benefits. If your benefits are less than 100%, you will need to ensure that any difference in fees are paid before we will be able to complete your enrolment.

Apply for US Veterans Benefits

Confirm your planned program of study meets the appropriate criteria by checking the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.

  1. Gain admission to UC
  2. Apply for your veterans' education benefits by submitting an application to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Your eligibility will be confirmed in the Certificate of Eligibility letter.
  3. Submit your Veterans Affairs issued Certificate of Eligibility to the USA Loans Office by sending a copy to 
  4. Enrol at UC. International students need to enrol on campus at the start of the semester.

If you have any questions, please contact us: 

US Federal Student Loans

The University of Canterbury is a Federal Student Loan Deferrment Only Institution as of 7 July 2014. New federal direct loans are no longer available. 

However, if you have an existing federal student loan you are able to defer loan repayments while enrolled at UC (full-time or at least half-time).

Please note: The University of Canterbury does not have a Federal Tax ID for the USA.

Contact Us

Phone: +64 3 369 1058