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Study Abroad and Financial Aid

If you are currently receiving financial aid, you may qualify to use your financial aid towards the cost of your study abroad program. Even if you are not currently receiving financial aid, you may still qualify, but you must first fill out a FAFSA and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid to determine your eligibility of funds.

Factors to consider include:

  • The semester in which you plan to study abroad
  • The number of credits you will have acquired at that time towards accomplishment of your educational goal
  • Are you already receiving the maximum amount of grants available to you?

Other factors to consider include:

  • Are you open to utilizing a student loan or PLUS loan at this time?
  • When payments for the study abroad program fees are due?
  • When will disbursement of aid take place?
  • Most students who utilize financial aid to study abroad do need to take out a student loan.
  • To apply for a student loan, you must fill out an application through Financial Aid at least 4 weeks+ prior to when you will need the money. This is a separate process beyond applying for financial aid in general (submitting the FAFSA).
  • Keep in mind that all financial aid (grants and loans) are not disbursed until several weeks into the semester in which your study abroad program is taking place.
  • The manner in which you utilize to secure financial aid, therefore, may differ based on the type (length) of your program.

Short Term Programs (~3 weeks)

  • Complete payment of program fees is typically due 2 months prior to the departure date. Payments are typically due in 3 installments starting from the time you apply.
  • Financial aid you qualify for on the basis of your study abroad experience will not be disbursed until after the program begins.
  • In this case, you should talk with Financial Aid to see if you qualify to taking out a student loan in the semester or two PRIOR to your study abroad experience to see if you can get funding ahead of time.
  • Alternatively, if you have the means to borrow the money from another source (parents/grandparents/savings account/credit card) to may payments now until your aid is disbursed later, that may be a viable option.

Semester Abroad Programs (CLC/ICISP)

  • Program deadlines are set to provide students with a little extra time to work through financial aid matters since most students who participate in semester abroad programs require loans.
  • The Center for International Education will work with Financial Aid to obtain a projection of the anticipated financial aid award amount you are eligible for during the semester in which you plan to study abroad.
  • Since the aid will not be disbursed until after you depart on the program, CLC will bill you for the total amount due, but will pay your program fees based on the anticipated financial aid.
  • You are responsible for paying the difference between what you will be receiving in aid and the program costs. This approach reduces what you have to front until your aid is disbursed.

To discuss your specific situation and financial aid eligibility, please make an appointment to see:

Janet Giertych
Financial Aid Specialist
Financial Aid
B116
847/543-2369
jgiertych@clcillinois.edu