State and federal financial aid from your home institution can often be applied to the costs associated with studying or interning abroad. This includes Stafford Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Pell Grants and more. You will need to confirm with your financial aid office that the aid you qualify for may be put toward a study abroad program. Upon acceptance into the program, your CIS Abroad Program Coordinator will provide you with the necessary financial aid paperwork OR you may download your financial aid forms and detailed instructions to get a head start.
Rest assured that we will work closely with you and your institution’s financial aid office in order to make this process as smooth as possible. Following are a few steps to guide you in the process. If you or your parents/guardians have questions, feel free to give our office a call or send us an email. We’re happy to help!
Step 1: Understanding Financial Aid
Financial aid is any aid that you can receive to study towards your degree at your home university. This includes ALL loans, grants and scholarships (federal, state, institutional and private). Under federal law, all federal financial aid that you qualify for (loans and grants) can be used to study abroad if the program you are attending has been approved for credit by your home institution. With state or institutional financial aid, your home institution will decide if the aid can be used to study abroad.
Step 2: Meeting with the Right People on Campus
If you’re considering participating in a CIS Abroad program, it’s a good idea to meet with your study abroad/academic advisor as well as a financial aid officer at your home school. Ask:
- Does your home university allow institutional aid to be used for study abroad?
- Does your home university have a direct billing arrangement with CIS Abroad ? If so, your financial aid will go to your school and they will pay CIS Abroad for the program fee.
- Be sure to ask what each office will need to facilitate the process.
Step 3: Submit our Program Budget to your Financial Aid Office
The amount of financial aid that you receive is determined by the cost of the program and your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from your FAFSA. By submitting your program’s budget to your financial aid office, you will be able to determine the amount of aid you will receive toward your study abroad or intern abroad program. Program budgets include all expected costs such as tuition and fees, living costs, books and supplies, health insurance and estimated transportation costs including airfare and program travel.
Step 4: Complete the CIS Abroad Financial Aid Forms.
After you have been accepted to a CIS Abroad program, you will be required to have your financial aid officer complete the CIS Abroad Proof of Financial Aid form. It must be returned to CIS Abroad by the payment deadline for your program. If financial aid covers only a portion of your program fee, you are responsible for paying the remainder to CIS Abroad by the payment deadline.
In order for CIS Abroad to apply your financial aid to your invoice, the CIS Abroad Proof of Financial aid form must meet these conditions:
Your school must give you final approval with no conditions attached.
- The approximate disbursement date must be listed.
- The total actual amount of aid must be included on the form.
- Consortium Agreement: Should you need a consortium agreement, please give it to your Program Coordinator for completion.
Step 5: Payment
- You will receive an invoice from CIS Abroad at least 60 days prior to your departure of your program. Payment of that bill, in part or in full, is due at least 30 days prior to departure.
- Any student receiving financial aid to cover all or part of their bill must pay a deposit of $500 toward the cost of the program by the payment deadline regardless of financial aid awarded. This value excludes the $200 application deposit as well as applicable housing and program deposits. This deposit helps to cover the costs you incur until your financial aid is disbursed.
- Once your financial aid is disbursed (usually after you are already overseas), you will be responsible for making sure that money goes to pay your bill at CIS Abroad. This is VERY IMPORTANT because, if your bill doesn’t get paid when the money comes in, you can be withdrawn from the program. Make sure that you pay attention to your disbursement dates and that you or a family member are ready to make final payment to CIS Abroad within a week of the financial aid disbursement date.
Talk to your financial aid counselor if you have any questions! If you have any questions about how to begin or about any of the steps along the way, just give us a call. We will work with you and your home institution to make the process as painless as possible. Your Program Coordinator is the primary point of contact for all billing and financial aid questions. Please call us toll free at 877-617-9090.