Financial Aid Information
Below you will find frequently asked questions (FAQs) about study abroad and financial aid. If you have additional questions, please contact our office (view the About Us link on the left).
You may also view the Guide to Billing and Financial Aid (see the box to the right), which 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 loans to cover their study abroad costs. If there is high need, students may also be offered grants. Be aware that the Parent Plus loan is a loan to the parent. 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/finaid.
Financial Aid for Summer Programs
In addition to having a processed FAFSA on file, you must complete a CU-Boulder Summer Application (see the Office of Financial Aid website). To be eligible for federal aid, you must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours). This can be a combination of Maymester, 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.
How Financial Aid is applied
Financial Aid gets applied to your CU account as it usually does each semester, but there are a number of costs that need to be covered before your financial aid becomes available. These include your $550 deposit to the CU Study Abroad office, airline tickets, vaccinations and passport, and possible program provider application fees ranging from $30 to $60 and program provider deposits ranging from $200 to $500. Plan for these expenses. Visit with a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid now who can look at your circumstances and review your 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.)It is also recommended that 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
One of the expenses you will need to pay prior to receiving your financial aid is airfare. Some ideas on how to mitigate this expense include:
- 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 financial aid option where you can reserve your flight for $300 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.
When your Financial Aid will be available
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. Be sure to have enough money to cover your costs until your Financial Aid becomes available if you will be attending an early start study abroad program.
Additional sources of loans and other funding beyond State/Federal Financial Aid
Below are some additional resources and databases of additional funding options. Please see the Scholarships page for information about study abroad scholarship opportunities specifically.
- Financial Aid for Study Abroad: lists scholarships for international study or exchange.
- International Education Finance Corporation: an alternative student loan provider that specializes in offering loans for students who are studying abroad
- IIE Passport Study Abroad Funding: a search engine for scholarships and funding for study abroad
- Studyabroad.com Financial Aid Page: sources and tips on obtaining financial aid to study abroad.
- The Fundraising Idea Bank: a general discussion board where individuals can share fundraising methods and ideas.
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.