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Financial Aid Information

View the Guide to Billing and Financial Aid:

Semester & Year-Long Programs
Summer Programs

The Guide to Billing and Financial Aid (the box to the right) includes detailed information about applying financial aid to study abroad (ex. dates of dispersement, loan adjustments, special summer aid considerations and more).

Financial Aid for Semester and Year-long Programs

Students/parents who have filed the annual FAFSA form are generally offered at least enough money in the form of Stafford and Parent Plus (a loan to the parent) loans to cover their study abroad costs. If there is high need, students may also be offered grants. If offered Parent Plus loans, the parent must be willing and able to accept the Parent Plus loan, otherwise students will need to try to qualify for an alternative loan which is more difficult to obtain. To get more information about Financial Aid at CU, please visit http://www.colorado.edu/financialaid.

Perpetual Motion, London, England by Nathan Cook

Financial Aid for Summer Programs

To be eligible for federal aid for summer study abroad, you must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours). This can be a combination of Maymester/Augmester, study abroad and regular CU summer session courses.  You are eligible for summer aid only to the extent that you have not reached your annual aid limits during the previous fall and spring semesters and provided you meet all other eligibility requirements. If you borrow the maximum amount of student loans during the fall and spring semesters, you may be eligible for alternative loans, and additional Parent Plus loans.

You must notify the Office of Financial Aid that you want to be considered for summer financial aid. In addition to having a processed FAFSA on file, you must complete a CU-Boulder Summer Aid Application (see the Office of Financial Aid website). Log-into MyCUInfo and click Finances > Apply for Summer Aid. Select the summer term (M, A, B, C, D, Augmester) that best matches the dates of your study abroad program.

How/When Financial Aid is applied

Your Financial Aid will be available ten days before the start of the CU campus semester. Some study abroad programs start as early as a month and a half earlier than this.  Financial Aid gets applied to your online CU account as it usually does each semester.

The Office of Financial Aid recommends students authorize their Financial Aid to pay all university charges. More information and instructions to authorize this can be found on the following website: Financial Aid & Title IV.


Pre-Departure Costs

There are costs that need to be covered before your financial aid becomes available. These include your $550 deposit to the CU Study Abroad office, your airline tickets, potential vaccinations, your passport, and possible program provider application fees ranging from $30 to $60 and program provider deposits ranging from $200 to $500.

If you are concerned about paying for these expenses before your financial aid is available, contact a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid.  The counselor can review your circumstances and possible options.  (Enter into the Office of Financial Aid lobby area with couches; explain you have in-depth study abroad questions and ask to sit with a counselor.)  In some cases OFA may be able to allow an advance of your refund, if eligible. This is determined case-by-case by the Office of Financial Aid and only certain students will be eligible.

Other solutions for purchasing airline tickets:


  • CheapAir.com allows you to book/purchase airfare online and one of the payment options is using cash at a local Western Union.
  • STA Travel has a "Book Now Pay Later" option to reserve your flight for $49 and pay the balance one week before departure.
  • If you or a family member does not have access to a credit card, consider purchasing a Visa Gift Card and then using it to make an airline purchase.
  • CIEE program applicants: apply to the GAIN Scholarship.

Additional sources of loans and other funding beyond State/Federal Financial Aid

Using the G.I. Bill for study abroad costs

Students can use G.I. Bill funding to study abroad. Please click here for additional information.