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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Financial Aid Conversations on Thursday Series (FACTS): Study-Abroad Programs

This week’s FACTS article focuses on the availability of financial aid resources to support participation in study-abroad programs (national and international). While financial aid is typically available to help students, there are significant variations in program costs and aid eligibility among the various study-abroad opportunities; therefore, students are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and meet with a financial aid adviser to discuss their study-abroad plans and to attend a financial aid information session for the particular exchange program.

Below are important points to keep in mind when working with students who express an interest in studying abroad.

Funding the Gap. Participating in an exchange program can be much more expensive than a regular semester at Buffalo State, leaving a gap between the aid awarded and the program’s expected costs. In most cases, the gap is funded through additional student or parent loans. Loan options include:

Tip: Participating in the National Student Exchange (NSE) program is often a more affordable option for students who desire an exchange experience but do not have the financial means to travel internationally.

Paying All Schools Involved. Students who participate in an exchange program may have a balance due at multiple colleges. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that Buffalo State (host institution) and the study-abroad school(s) are paid in full. Failure to make a timely payment will result in a transcript hold on the student’s record.

Submitting Transcripts and Impact to Future Aid Eligibility. Students must submit an official copy of their academic transcript from the exchange program within a timely manner after the completion of the program. Failure to submit the transcript will result in a cancellation of federal and state financial aid.

For more information, please refer to the Financial Aid for Exchange Programs guide.

If you have questions regarding this article, please contact us at finaid@buffalostate.edu or ext. 4902. All questions and answers will be posted in the You Asked for It section of the FAO website. Click on the Faculty and Staff link (bottom left).

Submitted by: Christine M. Auman