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Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Student Guide to Financial Aid for Study Abroad

Tips to ponder when considering studying abroad:

  • Timing is critical! Meet with the Financial Aid Study Abroad Contact to help with planning and budgeting.

  • There will be deposits and other payment deadlines prior to the term of the Study Abroad program. Financial aid such as Pell, HOPE, and other federal grants pay based on the hours enrolled for each term. Federal Stafford and PLUS loans may provide excess funds to meet these early expenses.

  • If you will or have received a refund for the term prior to your study abroad term, remember that is an available resource. In addition, consider resources from employment and family. Plan ahead and budget money for your study abroad term. Please keep in mind, besides the program costs paid to the Center for International Education, there will be other expenses such as food and personal purchases during your study abroad trip.

  • Refunds for CSU students are available during the second week of the semester. Make sure you have activated your CougarOne account and consider selecting 'Easy Refund' for funds to be transferred quickly to your CougarOne card during the term of your study abroad program.

  • An internet search for alternative educational loans may be an option you want to explore. Please note that credit checks are required for alternative educational loans. Also, lenders issue a paper check for these loans during the term you are attending study abroad. You may want to confirm with your bank about granting a 'general power of attorney' to a parent or close family member that can sign and/or deposit the check and see that your school expenses are paid.

  • Keeping in mind your resources, search for study abroad programs that fit within your price range and all expenses are covered.

Timing: This is an approximate time-line. Please be aware that certain study abroad programs may have payment deadlines that require these steps to be accomplished earlier than the suggested times.

  • Six - seven months prior to the study abroad term: Search for study abroad programs, meet with a Center for International Education (CIE) staff person, and complete an application for a study abroad program. Obtain an estimate of study abroad costs in writing for your program from CIE. (CIE located in International House, corner of Clearview Circle and University Avenue, main campus; CIE contact: studyabroad@columbusstate.edu)

  • One semester prior to the study abroad term: Search for study abroad scholarships; be aware of scholarship deadline dates set by CIE and complete applications.

  • Two months prior to the study abroad term: If you have not already done so, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Two months, but one week after you completed the FAFSA online: Schedule a meeting with the Financial Aid Study Abroad contact, Winoma Alexander (alexander_winoma@columbusstate.edu) to explore possible financial aid resources for study abroad expenses. She is located in Enrollment Management, University Hall (first floor), main campus. Be sure to bring your estimate of study abroad costs and payment deadlines from CIE. You should have this meeting before paying any non-refundable program fees.

  • Final check just prior to the study abroad: Check with Financial Aid to confirm your financial aid award is in place with all requirements satisfied.