Using Financial Aid

Main Content

Most forms of financial aid will apply and there some scholarships specifically for study abroad. SIU, or your program provider, will supply you with a program budget letter upon request. That will need to be submitted to Financial Aid after you have applied for the program. Please note that you must have a FAFSA on file for the appropriate term and be registered for the class in order to apply for aid. The one exception is that Financial Aid will provide a preliminary estimate for summer programs before the official summer aid application is available. Please see the NAFSA Financial Aid Guide for Undergraduates and our handout, SIU Study Abroad: Financial Aid Issues, for further information.

First Steps

Study abroad for academic credit is eligible for most forms of financial aid. Please see the Financial Aid Office web site  for further information on the general aid requirements and eligibility. Please see our handouts NAFSA Financial Aid Guide for Undergraduates and SIU Study Abroad: Financial Aid Issues for information specific to study abroad.

You must have a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file with SIU Carbondale. One partial exception is that some institutional aid such as for academic merit or for athletes may not require a FAFSA.

You should not indicate that you plan to study abroad on your FAFSA for the year when you plan to go abroad. Adjustments to your financial aid budget will be made locally so you should just indicate SIU Carbondale as your institution.

You should request an estimate of your potential financial aid for study abroad before applying for a program. This is particularly critical for summer programs. Please see Budgeting for more information.

Talk with your family; family members may be sources of financial and decision-making support.

Undergraduates should contact Academic Scholarships http://scholarships.siu.edu/index.html)  and/or your scholarship donors to verify that your scholarship funds are transferrable to study abroad (if applicable).

SIU has a variety of institutional scholarships (http://scholarships.siu.edu/search/index.php), including the Salukis Abroad Scholarship, which may be used for overseas study. Some of these may be specifically for study abroad, but most will be for specific majors or qualifications.

There are also a variety of competitive external scholarships either specifically for overseas study or which may be used for it.

Applying for a Program

You should have a realistic sense of the funds that might be available to you, but please keep in mind that most students who study abroad use a mix of regular aid, personal/family resources, institutional aid and even fund-raising. If you are determined and creative, there is likely a program out there that will match your needs!

Meet with Study Abroad Programs to consider what options are available to you.

You must have applied and been accepted for a program before you can apply for financial aid.

Once you have been accepted, the Study Abroad programs can work with you and your provider to establish a budget.

Some programs, particularly our study abroad affiliates, will have scholarships specifically for their programs. Make sure that you check on these when reviewing their program information.

There are some national, competitive scholarships for which you can apply before being accepted by a program, but even in that case you must have prospective programs identified.

IMPORTANT: There is a separate application for summer financial aid which is due on April 1. The Study Abroad Financial Aid Estimate form is not an aid application; it is intended simply to give you a sense of your potential aid for a given term.

Veteran's Benefits

Veteran's benefits may be used for study abroad when certain conditions are met. These are outlined on VA Benefits web site: http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/docs/factsheets/Post_911_study_abroad_fact_sheet.pdf. There are variations depending onthe time and type of service and other variables so you should first contact the SIU Veteran's Center office for assistance.

Disbursement

You must be registered for the minimum academic credit to be eligible for aid. The requirement for full aid will vary, but the general requirement is 12 credits during Fall and Spring and 6 credits during summer for undergraduates. Graduates should contact either Financial Aid or the Graduate School.

You must be registered for a study abroad course even if you otherwise meet the minimum requirements for minimum registration. Additional financial aid for study abroad generally can only be disbursed if you are receiving academic credit for overseas study.

Disbursement of financial aid is based on the SIU financial aid calendar which means that aid cannot be disbursed earlier than ten business days prior to the start of a semester. Disbursement of aid for SIU faculty-led Global Seminars may be based on the start date of the related class.

All financial aid will disbursed to your Bursar account. Refunds will be processed per the normal Bursar procedures.

We recommend that you should set up a Proxy (http://oit.siu.edu/salukitech/siu-proxy/index.php) if you will need for a parent or other person to be able to make a Bursar payment for you or review your financial aid.

Pre-Departure Costs

You will probably have certain costs that will be due prior to the disbursement of your student aid. This is particularly the case for southern hemisphere programs which take place during our Fall semester as they start earlier. Such costs might include:

• Program application fees and deposits

• Passport (apply at the time you apply for a program or before)

• Airline tickets

• Visa application fees and cost of obtaining supporting documents*

• Housing Deposits and fees*

• Immunizations and any required medical screenings*

• Start-up costs at your host site*

         *These items are more common for semester programs.

Financial Aid does offer short-term loans if you have pending aid. http://fao.siu.edu/types/loans/short-term.html

Billing

Payment for our short-term, faculty-led Global Seminars will be made to Study Abroad Programs in advance of the program departure date unless arrangements have been made to defer billing. (see Deferred Billing).

Semester programs and exchanges offered directly by SIU Carbondale will be billed through the Bursar. This includes all exchanges, ISEP, Swansea University, Salzburg College and Universidad Veritas.

Semester and summer programs offered through our affiliates or other study abroad providers will be billed directly by the provider. This includes programs offered through AIFS, CEA, CIEE, ISA and GlobaLinks. In addition, there will be one credit of SIU registration plus the study abroad administrative charge. Each student must be enrolled in a study abroad placeholder class.

Special arrangements may be made in the case of SIU institutional scholarships or veteran’s benefits which must be processed through the Bursar.

Deferred Billing

Study Abroad Programs will defer the portion of your Global Seminar program cost that will be covered by financial aid as verified by the Financial Aid Office on the Preliminary Estimate Form. You must complete the Deferred Billing form.

Most of our affiliated program providers also offer deferred billing with confirmed financial aid. Please see their web sites for details.

Prior Loans

For external programs--not SIU faculty-led Global Seminars or exchanges--you will need to obtain a loan deferment form if you have had student loans in the past. This must be completed by your host institution. This is required even if you are not taking out a loan for the study abroad semester or else you will start using your loan repayment grace period.

The reason for this is that each semester SIU must verify to the loan agencies that you are registered for enough hours. In this case, SIU can only verify your direct enrollment at SIU. We cannot verify the hours that you are enrolled overseas. That must be done by your host institution. If there is any question, you should also verify that that school is recognized by the loan guarantee agencies.

We have forms at the office or you can download it from http://www.edfinancial.com/forms. Select the In-School Deferment option. This assumes that you had a direct loan. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have the appropriate form for your loan providers. Please note that we cannot guarantee that the loan deferment request will be accepted.

Ask your local coordinator for help with the process. We recommend that you keep copies of anything that you send to the loan servicers.

Summer Aid

Generally speaking, loans are the only form of aid available in the summer whether you are studying in Carbondale or overseas. The exceptions to this are the study abroad scholarships and any form of grant that is specific to you. For example, a graduate student on an assistantship should be eligible for a summer tuition waiver. It is important that every student check individually with Financial Aid to see what applies specifically to you.

Notice

The information in this section is based on existing financial aid information for study abroad to the best of our knowledge. That is subject to change and in all cases the official university policy is that presented through the Financial Aid Office.