Students: Financial Aid

Facts You Need To Know: Financial Aid and Study Abroad

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 study 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 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.
  • Students from CCIS member institutions can get help in applying for financial aid from their own study abroad and financial aid offices. Students from non-member institutions will find that the staff at the CCIS sponsoring institution, working with students going abroad, can be of invaluable assistance in working through the process of applying for aid.

Scholarships and Resources

Gilman and Boren Scholarships

Two popular study abroad scholarship programs include the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the Boren Scholarships. In 2015, approximately 2,700 students were awarded Gilman Scholarships, which average $4,000 for semester-length programs and $3,000 for summer-length programs. The Boren Scholarship was awarded to over 250 students. Boren Scholars can be awarded up to $10,000 for a semester or $20,000 for an academic year. Short descriptions are provided below, along with links to the scholarships' sites. Interested students should visit this sites, which provide detailed information about the programs and tips for submitting competitive applications.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The Gilman Scholarship is designed to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the locations where those students study. Is is open to US citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide—though preference is given to students studying in non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially outside of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Students studying one of the designated Critical Need Languages will automatically be considered for a $3,000 Critical Need Language Award, which are very limited in quantity. The application consists of 1) an online application and 2) online certifications from the applicant's study abroad and financial aid advisor. Future student application deadlines are below, but the Gilman site should be reviewed carefully by interested students.

Spring 2016 student application deadline: October 6, 2015
Summer 2016 early student application deadline: October 6, 2015
Summer 2016 student application deadline: March 1, 2016

Past fall/academic year deadline
Fall 2015/academic year 2015–2016 student application deadline: March 3, 2015

Boren Scholarship

The Boren Scholarship is designed to provide funding for US undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to US interests and underrepresented as study abroad destinations. The Scholarship focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security, broadly defined to include sustainable development, environmental degradation, disease, etc., in addition to the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being. As a requirement of receiving funding, Boren Scholars must commit to working in the federal government for at least one year following graduation. The Boren Scholarship application consists of several parts, which you will submit to a Boren campus representative, if your school has one, or The Institute of International Education, if not. The application deadline for 2016-17 Boren Scholarship application deadline is February 9, 2016. Detailed application requirements and tips for submitting competitive applications are on the Boren Scholarship website and should be reviewed carefully by interested students.

Other Resources

The following web sites provide useful information and resources available for financial aid and are a good place to begin your search for scholarships and other forms of aid: and