Is financial aid available for study abroad?
Yes! The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1992 mandated that a student can receive financial aid for study abroad if the student is enrolled in a program approved by the home institution.
Basic Requirements (for SIUE students applying for study abroad through SIUE's Office of Study Abroad):
- SIUE registration (at least half time) for study abroad during study abroad period
- Degree seeking status
- Not on academic or financial aid probation
- FAFSA on file for study abroad period
- Eligible for Title IV aid programs
- Gather Information - Begin researching your study abroad options AT LEAST one semester prior to the semester you wish to study abroad.
- Meet with Study Abroad Coordinator - Meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator and decide on the study abroad program that best meets your needs. Have the Study Abroad Coordinator complete a "Student Request for Assistance: Study Abroad" form with a breakdown of all expenses for the program to which you are applying.
- Submit the "Student Request for Assistance: Study Abroad" form to the Financial Aid Office – Submit the "Student Request for Assistance: Study Abroad" form to Student Financial Aid Office at least 90 days before departure to determine the amount of aid you are eligible to receive to apply toward your expected term(s) of study abroad. Keep a copy of this sheet as a reference guide.
- Review FORM with a financial aid advisor - Meet with a financial aid advisor to review assessment of financial aid opportunities three weeks after submitting your study abroad expense information if you have not received an award letter.
NOTE: Financial aid cannot be officially allocated or released for study abroad until you have received official acceptance into your study abroad program and have been registered for SAB (Study Abroad) for the term abroad. The Study Abroad Coordinator can obtain preliminary information on anticipated financial aid eligibility prior to SAB acceptance and registration if necessary.
- Sign and return your award letter & COMPLETE YOUR promissory note and ENTRANCE COUNSELING - Within two weeks of receipt, return to the Financial Aid Office the signed, accepted award letter. Complete your EMPN (promissory note) and entrance counseling online.
- POWER OF ATTORNEY – Set up a family member with power of attorney, if appropriate, to sign financial documents for you, including checks. Provide the name of this individual to our office.
- See a financial aid advisor 15 days before departure - Check with the Financial Aid Office 15 days before departure regarding the date the Bursar's Office will disburse your funds and release excess cash if your departure date is prior to the beginning of the standard term. The Financial Aid Office (SIUE) does not directly pay the costs incurred at the foreign institution. It is your responsibility to pay the charges at the other school with the excess financial aid refunded to you and/or your personal funds.
A useful resource from NAFSA:
Financial Aid for Study Abroad: An Undergraduate Student's Resource
How much will study abroad cost, especially in relation to the cost of study at SIUE?
There is no simple answer to this major question. The cost of participation in a study abroad program depends on a host of factors and these should be taken into consideration as you select the program that is right for you. These factors include:
- Program type – Exchange program or direct placement?
Exchange Programs - Through exchange programs, students generally pay the cost tuition, room and board at the home institution (SIUE), but study at the foreign institution.
Direct Placement - Through direct placements at foreign institutions, students pay the program cost to the foreign university or to the program provider. Direct placements will generally be more expensive than an exchange type program for SIUE students.
- Duration of Program – While some of the costs of participating in a program are the same, regardless of the length of time spent studying abroad (e.g. roundtrip international airfare, passport), other costs vary according to how long one is away, (e.g. room and board, tuition, etc.). Thus, the longer the program, the more expensive it is, in absolute terms. However, the per week/per credit cost of a summer program may actually be proportionally greater than the per week/per credit cost of a semester long program.
- Location – Programs in Western Europe tend to be more expensive than those in most other parts of the world (e.g. Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, or South America). Because it costs more to live in most cosmopolitan areas, programs based in larger cities typically cost more.
- Cost of living and currency exchange rate in host country
- Program cost inclusions and exclusions – Keep in mind that not all study abroad programs bundle expenses in the same way. As you compare programs, be aware of what expenses are included in the program cost. For example, room and board is not always included in the program cost. Find out exactly what is and is not included in the program cost, as anything not included will affect the overall cost. Some, all, or none of the following may be included in the program cost:
- INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE (rarely included)
- MEDICAL INSURANCE
- FIELD TRIPS AND EXCURSIONS
- LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
- BOOKS AND SUPPLIES
Keep in mind that some programs provide more services than others. Extra services, such as an on-site program coordinator, are generally more expensive.