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Financial Aid

Financial Aid for Study Abroad

If you are eligible for federal, state, university, and/or departmental financial aid awards, then in many cases you can use the same awards when you study abroad.  If you have not already, you should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — even if you do not believe you are eligible for additional aid.

For most study abroad programs, you are eligible to be considered for financial aid for no more than one academic year (two semesters) as an undergraduate student and no more than one semester as a graduate student.  Generally, financial aid is not available in the summer, but you should speak with a study abroad advisor about strategies to make a summer program affordable.

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships (OFAS) will take into consideration expenses such as airfare, increased living expenses, health insurance, and loss of employment while abroad as part of your aid package. We encourage you to speak with a Financial Aid counselor to discuss how your awards apply to the program you have identified.

Using your Financial Aid to Study Abroad

Your financial aid is generally processed as it normally is for resident credit programs (you pay tuition to SDSU).  Using financial aid for a transfer credit programs (you pay tuition to a study abroad program) is more complicated.  Contact OFAS or your Study Abroad Advisor to see if your financial aid can be used for your specific transfer credit program.
  • You may have to pay certain costs, such as application/placement fees, passport/visa fees, airfare, and insurance before disbursement of financial aid occurs.
  • Students participating in SDSU Exchange programs, CSU International Programs, and ISEP Exchange programs should have their financial aid released normally as the term begins at SDSU.
  • ISEP Direct or Independent programs may require submission of additional documents, so financial aid can be disbursed. Contact the Study Abroad office for further instructions.
  • For all Faculty-Led programs, consult a Financial Aid counselor to determine eligibility for aid during summer, winter break, or spring break. 
Costs and Resources for Study Abroad

The Office of Financial Aid must examine the accurate costs in studying abroad as well as all financial resources available to you.
  • Expenses that you incur by studying abroad may be higher than the standard cost of attendance at SDSU that includes tuition, housing, meals, and local transportation. Check with a Financial Aid counselor to determine if other expenses qualify to be added to your study abroad cost of attendance.
  • You may be able to submit a Request for Budget Increase (usually only loans)
  • All resources you receive must be taken into account when determining your eligibility; this includes scholarships or other resources you receive from SDSU or from an external entity.
  • Notify OFAS of any assistance you anticipate receiving such as outside scholarships, private education loans (alternative loans), a fellowship, a stipend, or a research or teaching assistantship. OFAS needs to know about other sources of assistance you may receive to determine that you have the right amount of financial aid. A Financial Aid counselor can explain the interaction between costs and resources, so you can maximize your financial aid.
Visit with a Study Abroad Advisor for more information and advice concerning financing your study abroad experience!