The price of CUNY study abroad programs is based on the tuition costs for the number of credits you are taking. Added to this are charges for airfare, accommodations, field trips, international travel insurance and other fees. Non-CUNY programs each have their own pricing structure.
Financial aid may be used for education abroad. Both direct costs (tuition, room and board) and indirect costs (books, fees, airfare, departure taxes, estimated ground transportation costs, and personal spending) of a study abroad program are included to calculate a student’s financial aid package. Once the amount of need and the student’s own contribution is determined, some students may receive federal grants or loans equal to or even greater than they receive while studying at their home institutions.
To maximize your ability to apply financial aid to your study abroad program, you must work through the study abroad office and financial aid office on your home campus. Seek approval for your participation in a study abroad program from your advisor or other appropriate faculty member or administrator on campus. Once your home institution has granted approval for participation in a study abroad program, and if you are otherwise eligible to receive financial aid, then federal forms of financial aid must be applied toward the cost of a study abroad program.
Financial aid may be used for CUNY and non-CUNY programs. Using financial aid for non-CUNY programs requires additional steps, including a Consortium Agreement. (More on Consortium Agreements here). You are also responsible for making certain that all funds are forwarded to the program sponsor. Whether you apply for a CUNY or a non-CUNY study abroad program, you must apply through your home institution to receive financial aid for study abroad.
Financial aid can be used to support summer study, as long as you are enrolled for academic credit and you meet all other requirements. However, if your aid is only available for a limited number of terms (such as TAP), you may want to consider saving that aid type for a full semester.
Apply early! Early application allows your financial aid office to complete the review of your eligibility for financial aid and to get all of the paperwork done. Be sure to apply no later than fifteen weeks prior to departure.
As a general rule, students enrolled in any international programs (with the exception of the International Articulation Programs) are eligible to apply for federal aid programs such as Pell, FFEL loans, etc. Students are not eligible for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) if any tuition payments are made to the foreign institution either directly by the student or by CUNY. Thus, only students enrolled in International Exchange Programs and CUNY faculty-led study abroad Programs may be eligible for TAP provided the total tuition charge does not exceed the CUNY tuition payable to the CUNY institution (Section 145-2.5b of the Commissioner’s Regulations). Additional fee and expenses that are part of the cost of education overseas cannot be added to the tuition cost in determining the student’s TAP award; nor, are these costs considered “fees” if they really are tuition. TAP and federal aid requirements must be met and documented by the student’s CUNY home college.
Information on financial aid eligibility for study abroad is available in section IX of the CUNY Tuition and Fee Manual.
If you plan to study abroad on a “non-CUNY program” (that is not administered directly by a CUNY college or school, and is not offered by an organization with an approved agreement with a CUNY college or school), you will need to allow additional time to get a Consortium Agreement signed if you plan to use federal or state financial aid.
Expenses billed by the program and expenses you may be expected to cover on your own (airfare, visa fees, board, etc.) may be included in section 3 of the form. This form will be used to determine your cost of education and your eligibility for financial aid while abroad. Please note: if you do not have a Consortium Agreement on file and receive financial aid in error, you may have to pay back the award(s) and/or may lose eligibility for future aid.
You will also need to document that the courses you plan to take abroad are transferable and applicable to your degree (section 2 of the Consortium Agreement). Please allow ample time to arrange for course equivalencies—this is one of the main reasons that studying abroad on a non-CUNY program requires more advance planning. If you have to change the courses you enroll in, you must coordinate with your home college academic advisor and financial aid office to ensure that you remain eligible for your aid.