Financial Aid for Study Abroad
Many students who study abroad do so with the assistance of various forms of financial aid. Any student who wishes to receive financial aid to study abroad must first meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss costs before meeting with a financial aid counselor.
Know the Process - Plan Ahead
Explore Your Options
- Meet with a Study Abroad Peer Mentor in Memorial Union 116 to review the basics.
- Review the Study Abroad website for types of programs, possible destinations, length of stay and overall value.
- Talk to your academic advisor about possible coursework and the best time for you to study abroad.
Study Abroad Services
Schedule a meeting with a study abroad advisor to:
- Discuss program details and application deadlines.
- Review costs and complete a budget worksheet (required prior to meeting with Financial Aid Counselor).
- Discuss scholarship opportunities.
- Obtain a link to schedule a meeting with a financial aid counselor to discuss funding.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Schedule a meeting with a financial aid counselor to:
- Discuss financial aid options.
- Review the private student loan process (if applicable).
- Determine how any additional borrowing will impact your overall loan debt.
- Discuss timelines and disbursement dates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I receive additional financial aid to cover study abroad costs?
Your cost of attendance (COA) can be increased for the semester(s) you plan on studying abroad, but that does not always result in additional federal or state aid. The Department of Education regulates student lending by putting in place an annual borrowing limit on Federal Direct Loans. If you previously declined your Direct Loan or accepted only a portion of it, you may qualify for an increase, but only up to the annual limits.
Do all types of financial aid apply toward study abroad expenses?
No. Students may not receive Federal Work-Study during a full semester or year abroad. Additionally, tuition waivers will not apply for programs that do not charge NDSU tuition (i.e. programs through an affiliate provider). Examples include:
- NDSU Staff Dependent/Spouse Tuition Waiver
- Cultural Diversity Waiver
- Graduate Tuition Waiver
- National Guard Tuition Reimbursement Program
Departmental and private scholarships may be used as long as all other requirements are met, such as enrollment. North Dakota State Scholarships, along with the NDSU Presidential, Presidential Honor, and Provost Award may be used for study abroad if requested by the student.
What if my financial aid award isn't enough?
Many students are required to seek out alternative funding or pay out-of-pocket for study abroad expenses. Private student loans and/or the Federal Parent PLUS loan are options when federal and state aid is not enough. Private loans generally allow you to borrow the amount needed to cover all study abroad expenses as long as you have a co-signer with good credit.
How much does it cost to study abroad?
It will vary depending on the country you'll be visiting, the duration of your stay and the number of credits you'll be taking. You will want to meet with an advisor or coordinator in Study Abroad Services to go over the details of the program you've chosen. It is your responsibility to know the TOTAL COST of the program from airfare to program fees and everything in between.
Can every student afford to study abroad?
It varies depending on each student's individual situation. However, if you have savings or financial assistance from your parents/family, or if you are willing to borrow a private loan that requires a co-signer with good credit, you should be able to secure funding to study abroad. Studying abroad is an investment, if cost is a concern, be sure you research programs or those outside of Western Europe and the Pacific to keep program costs down.
How do I plan ahead if I want to study abroad?
Budget, plan, and save! Studying abroad or participating in National Student Exchange should not be an impulsive decision. Explore your options well in advance so you're aware of the cost. After you've chosen a program and have met with a study abroad advisor or coordinator, you'll meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss possible resources. In addition to financial aid, other resources include earnings from a part-time job, federal income tax refund, assistance from family, and scholarships.
What are my options for paying "early costs"?
Students often use money from savings or receive help from parents/family members to cover early costs such as deposits, airfare, and insurance. Borrowing a private loan the semester prior to studying abroad may also be an option in some cases. Contact a financial aid counselor to inquire about your eligibility.
How do I apply for study abroad scholarships?
For a list of scholarship specifically available for studying abroad visit the Study Abroad Services website.
Any questions related to scholarship application or eligibility should be directed to Study Abroad Services, 116 Memorial Union, or call 701-231-7895.
How does billing work?
Some programs such as Faculty-Led and Exchange are billed to your NDSU account and due at the time of regular NDSU fee payment. Other programs like Direct and Affiliate have a different procedure and timeline for payment. If you depart before financial aid is disbursed, you must ensure that any portion of your bill not covered by financial aid gets paid so you're not assessed late fees. Please work with Study Abroad Services and Customer Account Services regarding these details. You do not want to be settling your bill while you're abroad!
How do I apply for financial aid for a summer study abroad program?
In addition to the current year's FAFSA, you must complete a separate Summer Financial Aid Application, available online mid-April.
Tips and Reminders
- Meet with a study abroad advisor or coordinator to review costs before scheduling a meeting with a financial aid counselor.
- Complete the separate summer school financial aid application mid-April if you will be studying abroad during the summer.
- Make sure you're signed up for direct deposit and/or have a power of attorney prior to departing.
- If you need money for early costs such as airfare, check with a financial aid counselor to discuss your options.