Study Abroad Programs

Financial Aid & Study Abroad: Basic Facts for Students

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. Moreover, the student would be eligible to receive “grants, loans, or work assistance without regard to whether the study abroad program is required as a part of the student’s degree.”

What types of financial aid are available?

Federal and state governments, foundations, private and public organizations are primary sources of financial aid. Be sure to check with your financial aid advisor or study abroad advisor about whether your financial aid can apply to study abroad. Note the following types of financial aid:

Federal Aid

Federal aid can consist of scholarships, grants, and loans.


Financial aid, often based on financial need , that does not need to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund).

The U.S. Department of Education offers a variety of federal grants to students attending eligible institutions:

Almost all of the federal government’s grants are awarded to students with financial need. If you are interested in our grants, or in any federal student aid, you have to start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSASM).


  • The or the Guaranteed William D. Ford Loan is also called a Direct Subsidized Loan. It is available to students who demonstrate need. Federal government pays interest on the loans as long as the student is enrolled half-time. Repayment begins after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half time.
  • The or Guaranteed William D. Ford Loan can also be an Unsubsidized Loan. It is available to students regardless of need but interest is charged to the students while in school. A student may choose to make the interest-only payments on the unsubsidized loan or allow the interest to be added to the loan principal and then pay both principal and interest after leaving school.
  • Federal PLUS loans are available to undergraduate and graduate/Professional students. These loans are made via the Direct loan program. Parents are responsible for all interest charges associated with Federal PLUS Loans. Students are responsible for all interest charges associated with Federal Graduate PLUS Loans.


The National Security Education Program (NSEP) and the Fulbright Program funded by the Federal government have grants and fellowships for study and research overseas. Students should be aware that government organizations in other countries such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offer funding opportunities.

State Aid

This aid can be need-based or it can be merit based. These include grants or loans but may include tuition waivers or other types of aid.

Institutional Aid

This aid is funded by the student’s home institution. These scholarships can be based either on need or on merit. Institutional aid can come from a variety of sources, which includes alumni, faculty, endowments, etc. Some aid can be specified for overseas study but other scholarships can be restricted to the campus, state, or for domestic programs, etc.

If you are planning to attend an overseas study program sponsored by another institution, the home institution through a written agreement between the schools might allow you to use your financial aid. But students should realize that policies vary among institutions of higher education and therefore, should check with their study abroad advisors and financial aid administrators regarding enrollments with another institution