Study Abroad Workshop Recap

Did you miss Financial Flight Plan’s second workshop of the term? This workshop was all about letting students know about their financial aid resources related to a study abroad program. Here is a quick recap to get you caught up.

The first step you have to take is making sure you have submitted a FAFSA for the academic year that you will be studying abroad. I am sure every University of Oregon student has heard of this before, but it is arguably the most important step in the process.

Studying abroad during the summer term? Make sure to submit a Summer Aid Application from our website in addition to having your FAFSA submitted. Without a Summer Aid Application, the financial aid office will not know to put together a financial aid package for you.

Now that you are set to receive your financial aid award package – what can you expect to see on there? During the standard academic year (fall, winter, and spring terms) loans, UO scholarships, and grants can be applied to study abroad program costs.The only things that apply a little different are that the Perkins loan program ends after the 2017-2018 academic year and the UO Tuition Waiver can only be applied to study abroad programs that are billed to the UO student billing account.

UO Work-Study will always be canceled.

If you receive the Pathway Oregon grant you will still be able to apply those funds to the program cost during the regular academic year. Pathway will cover what 15 credits would normally cost for one term at the UO. You will have to find additional funding (loans, scholarships, federal grants, or private loans) if your program costs exceed what Pathway is able to offer.

Studying abroad is not cheap, and due to federal regulations the financial aid office usually cannot fully fund a trip with aid only in the student’s name. If your program costs exceed the current financial aid award here are some alternative options to gather more funding. First, APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS through GEO, your academic departments, and through outside resources. The second option would be to ask your parent borrower if they would like to increase their Parent Plus Loan. If you do not have a parent borrower at the time, your parent can log into studentloans.gov (with their own FSA ID) to apply for the loan – contact the UO financial aid office to determine eligibility. The third option, and the one to be the most careful about, is to pursue a private student loan through a bank or a credit union. Although the UO cannot help in the process of finding a private loan lender, the financial aid office should be who you contact to check on disbursements of the private loan to the student billing account.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If you’re attending a program that overlaps with two UO terms the UO financial aid office can only disburse aid on the normal UO schedule. This means you will not see your financial aid in your student billing account until after you leave or that you will see two disbursements of aid at different times.
    • Example: leaving in August? You will not receive financial aid until the end of September when the fall term begins in Eugene. Plan ahead.
  • Visit the financial aid office before your trip to make sure you understand how and when your aid is going to get to you.
  • Meet with a representative from GEO early on to discuss program costs and requirements.

With plenty of planning, having conversations with financial aid and GEO representatives, and realistic standards about your study abroad adventure you will be prepared to go! If you need any questions answered, instead of waiting to see if it gets answered, go to one of your advisors! So many problems that arise while studying abroad can be solved before you leave – as long as there is communication. Safe travels!

 

Written by: Karalyn Arnett