Financial Matters

The price of 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.

The federal government offers financial aid that may apply for study abroad. Scholarships administered by CUNY as well as other external opportunities are available. Consult your home college financial aid office to find out whether you qualify for financial aid or scholarships at your home college.

Recent changes in federal law have made it possible for students to use some or all of their federal financial aid for study abroad. Here are some facts you should know:

Finanical 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.

There are many forms of financial aid. Check with your financial aid office about federal forms of aid, including grants and loans, as well as forms of state or institutional aid that may also be available for study abroad.

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.

You must apply through your home institution to receive financial aid for any study abroad program you choose; once your aid package is awarded, you are responsible for making certain that all funds are forwarded to the appropriate U.S. institution which sponsors the study abroad program.

Financial aid can be used to support summer study, as long as you are enrolled for academic credit and you meet all other requirements.

It is a good idea to 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.

Information on financial aid eligibility for study abroad is available in section IX of the CUNY Tuition and Fee Manual.

Students should inquire about financial assistance at their home college’s financial aid office. 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.

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