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Financing Your Study Abroad

As a nonprofit group of U.S. universities, USAC strives to provide you with the most affordable, quality programs possible. If you do need assistance with obtaining scholarships and financial aid, USAC will work with your home university’s study abroad, international programs, and financial aid offices. USAC itself offers many scholarships and in some cases, may be able to set up a payment plan for you. We are dedicated to helping you study abroad and will work with you as much as possible to make your study abroad a reality.

Financial Aid and Resources

You must apply for financial aid to receive it, and the process is usually time-sensitive. It is your responsibility to follow all instructions from your financial aid advisor and complete all paperwork well before your departure. It is important that during this process you take the initiative to communicate with both your university’s study abroad/international programs and financial aid offices, especially to determine whether your financial aid will need to be processed through an alternate university.

Aid is available to you in many forms: your preexisting financial aid (federal, state [some state aid cannot be used for study abroad], and/or institutional), aid specific for study abroad, scholarships, private student loans, personal savings, and parental support. Regardless of what kind or level of aid you use during a normal term on your home university campus, you should (re)consider using any and all of these resources to finance your study abroad.

Federal law allows you to receive financial aid from your home university while attending study abroad programs sponsored by your home university or other institutions. Studying abroad may have a different fee structure from that of your home university, so you should provide a copy of a USAC budget sheet to your Financial Aid office for any budget increases. A USAC budget sheet is available on your USAC Student Gateway account. Federal law also states that financial aid can cover all “reasonable” costs for a study abroad program, including:

  • Transportation to/from the program site
  • Tuition and fees for the program
  • Housing and meals
  • Other living costs
  • Textbooks
  • Health insurance
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Optional field study/tours

If you are receiving financial aid/scholarships and at any point cancel or withdraw from your program, you may be required to repay any funds that have been awarded/distributed. You are also still responsible for any outstanding balance you many have.

Financial aid resources: