US Direct Loan refunds


From 29th April 2021, La Trobe University is no longer eligible in administering the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aids (William D Ford Direct Loan). Our status has changed to be a Deferment Only institution.

Your deposit

The deposit you pay when you accept your offer (which isn’t funded by US Financial Aid) is fully refundable. If you decide to discontinue after accepting your offer but before your course begins, you will be eligible for the refund according to the University's Refund Policy.

It's important to note the La Trobe University International Refund Procedure is independent of the regulations for return of your Title IV aid to US Department of Education.

Download the Application for refund form [PDF 199KB]

Find out more about refunds at La Trobe.

All refunds

The unearned portion must be returned to the US Department of Education as follows:

  • The University will return a portion of the disbursement transferred to your fee account equal to the unearned amount up to the amount transferred to your fee account
  • You must return the balance of the unearned funds.
  • The unearned amount of Direct Loan funds must be returned in accordance with the initial loan disbursements in the following order:
    • direct unsubsidised loans
    • direct subsidised loans
    • direct PLUS loans.

Where your portion of unearned funds is not yet transferred to your bank account, the University will pay your return on your behalf with your written permission. In the case that the unearned aid results in a balance due, we'll email a revised tuition fee invoice to you and you must repay those funds.

You are strongly recommended to also refer to the information on the Title IV program requirements webpage for further details on the treatment of Title IV funds.

US Financial Aid funds

We’re obligated to return US Financial Aid funds to the US Department of Education if you:

  • withdraw from or discontinue your course after commencing
  • take an approved leave of absence (LOA) from your studies
  • underload your enrolment below half-time
  • change your enrolment to any subject that isn’t eligible for US Financial Aid, resulting in your course being deemed ineligible.

In these situations, 'unearned' loan funds that we’ve disbursed to your fee account or towards living expenses must be returned to the US Department of Education within 45 days of the determination being made. The amount to be returned will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, depending on how far through the study period you are.

If you've completed more than 60 per cent of the study period, the loan funds are deemed 'earned' and won't be refunded to you or the US Department of Education.

Determining the withdrawal or leave of absence date

If you withdraw from your course or take a leave of absence, refunds will be calculated based on either:

  • the date you withdraw from your course via our student system
  • the first day of your approved leave of absence as recorded on our student system.

If you don’t officially withdraw or take an approved leave of absence, we’ll decide on the withdrawal date or the leave of absence start date. If you didn’t provide notice because of circumstances outside of your control, we’ll ask you to provide evidence of these circumstances and we’ll use that evidence to determine the date.

If a reason can’t be determined, the withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the study period.

Determining the refund amount

Your earned funds are calculated based on a percentage of attendance. We determine this by dividing the number of days in the relevant study period by attendance.

Attendance is calculated based on the number of days from the first day of the study period to the withdrawal date, excluding any breaks of five or more working days.

Return of loan funds while enrolled in a course

Changing your enrolment can make you ineligible for US Financial Aid if:

  • you’re enrolled below half-time
  • you're enrolled in ineligible subjects.

Funds we’ve disbursed to your fee account or towards living expenses must be returned to the US Department of Education no later than 45 days from when the determination is made.

Notifying you of refund requirements

If you withdraw or are granted a leave of absence, our Financial Aid Officer will notify you of any refund requirements by email. The email will be sent to your La Trobe email address as well as the personal email address listed on your Masters Promissory Note (MPN).

The notification will include information on the refund amount and whether La Trobe will return funds on your behalf.

Contact us

If you have any questions or want to know more about US Direct Loan refunds, please email our Financial Aid Office.