Study Abroad Financing
You found the perfect study abroad program, but you wonder how
you can possible foot the bill. You don't want to miss out on
the oppurtunity of a lifetime, so you decide to finance your
education abroad. There are a variety of options available to
finance your study abroad, including summer study abroad
programs. Financing it may not be exactly like college, but it
is close. So here is what you need to know.
College Study Abroad Financing
Usually, for studying abroad for a semester or two through your
enrolled university, the financial aid you already have will
transfer. However, for summer language courses or enrichment
programs your aid will not transfer. This is because these extra
abroad programs are not considered to contribute toward the
advancement of the student's degree. So with language courses or
gap year programs, you may need separate aid
Federal Loans - The following loans are all federal loans, and
require a FAFSA to determine your financial status.
Stafford Loans: Federal Stafford Loans can help finance a
summer study abroad program. These loans have a cap on the
maximum loan available by age. So the cap for a junior is
$5,500, so this loan is available to be used for summer programs
if you are enrolled in a university for the fall semester.
There are drawbacks of using Stafford Loans for a summer study
abroad program. One is that using a Stafford Loan for a summer
abroad will decrease your aid for college. Another is that this
Stafford money is not available until after your summer program.
The money becomes available on the first day classes start at
your university. So you will need someone to loan you the money
PLUS Parent Loans: Parent Plus Loans are loans based on your
parents credit score. This is not a need based loan, like the
Stafford. They allow your parents to take out a loan covering
all of your college expenses. So this loan could be in turn used
to pay for a summer study abroad program.
The rate is based on the 91-day Treasury Bill rate for the
final May auction of each calendar year. Now, it is at around
6%. The payment for the PLUS loan starts sixty days after it is
Another benefit of this loan is that the interest is able to be
tax deducted. The FAFSA is not actually required, but it is very
strongly recommended since this is a federal loan.
Private Loans: There are many private loans available also.
InternationalStudentLoan.com offers loans up to $30,000 for US
citizens who are studying abroad for one or two semesters. These
loans do not use FAFSA information, but instead are based on the
credit of the applicant. A Cosigner is highly recommended for
StudyAbroadLoans.com also offers a very similar loan for
students also. Both sites also offer graduate study abroad
loans. There are different repayment options also. One starts
right away, another is interest only right away, and the final
is after your education is completed. You can apply for the
study abroad loans on their websites.
If this loan does not suit you, other private college loans are
widely available on the internet. So it is relatively easy to
find different private loans that you may qualify for.
Alternative Student Loan: The Alternative Student loan from
AlternativeStudentLoan.com offers the same packages available to
the high school Alternative Student Loan. This loan is based on
the credit of an applicant, and does not require a FAFSA.
It loans up to $30,000 a year with a minimum loan amount equal
to $1,500. Preliminary approval can be made in 15 minutes, and
full approval in 5 days.
One advantage the college Alternative Student Loan has over the
the high school student loan is that it offers a different
repayment schedule. The college version offers an imediate
repayment, interest only repayment 48 months later, or deferred
repayment 48 months later.
The interest rate is variable for these loans, and is around 7
to 9%. The APR is about 9%.
Scholarships: Scholarships can almost always be used to finance
a study abroad. Some special study abroad scholarships are the
Benjamin A Gillman International Scholarship. AIFSabroad.com
also offers different study abroad scholarships
High school Study Abroad Financing
For summer high school summer abroad programs, some sources of
funding are available. If you have already graduated high
school, and plan on enrolling in college the next fall semester,
the college study abroad financing information applies to you.
Alternative Student Loan: The Alternative Student Loan is
available for students k-12. It comes from
AlternativeStudentLoan.com. It is a credit based loan and the
FAFSA is not necessary. It allows a loan up to $30,000 a year
which would suffice for any summer abroad study program. The
minimum is $1,500.
Repayment of these loans start immediately, and there are no
prepayment penalties. There is an origination fee of 6%, and the
APR, Annual Percentage Rate, is around 9%.
One benefit of this loan is that the payments will be payed
directly to you. Another is that if you are in a time crunch,
these loans can be processed in 5 days.
Other Private Loans: You may be able to find other private
loans available to finance your study abroad. These will
probably be very similar to the Alternative Student Loan above.
The only other form of financing that you may be able to find
is through scholarships. Some study abroad programs may offer
forms of financial aid to you also.
For more study abroad information, visit a Summer study abroad