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Financial Aid for American Students Studying Abroad

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it is a federal funding program to help pay for higher education, available to US Citizens or eligible non-citizens. Each university has different requirements for utilizing aid for studying abroad, as well as the structure of the application processes associated with going abroad. If you are unsure if you are receiving aid or unsure of how to apply for the FAFSA, visit your university’s financial aid office.

Depending on your financial aid package, some- or all- of your funds may be available to help pay for your study abroad. More often than not, a semester abroad is cheaper than a semester at your home university – a win-win situation! FAFSA is not a mandatory requirement for going abroad, but it helps make study abroad more accessible to those struggling to afford their experience.

How much does financial aid cover for study abroad?

That is a great question! Financial aid for American students studying abroad is on the minds of many. The price of going abroad can seem daunting, but the benefits of participating in an abroad program are invaluable! Statistics show that students who do a program abroad are more likely to be offered jobs. One survey showing that 64% of employers seek out employees with international experience and cross cultural communication skills.

Viable options do exist to help fund your abroad experience. One great option is utilizing financial aid packages from your home university. This often requires following a few simple stipulations for your abroad trip. For example, you must be receiving credit for your program and you must be considered a full time student (i.e. taking at least 12 credits). For all of Kaya’s semester long study abroad programs – this is easy to fulfill.

How to get started?

While it might seem like an overwhelming process when you start, do not let this stop you from having a once-in-a-lifetime experience living in Peru, interning in Vietnam or visiting one of the many other locations on offer! The Kaya team is happy to work with your university’s study abroad office to ensure your placement meets all the requirements. With our help, you’ll know exactly what to put on your financial aid application for studying abroad. Though there is some extra paperwork, it is worth it in the end, as you will reap the benefits and look back on your memories of going abroad for the rest of your life!

In short, it is important to remember there are many resources available to you to help fund your study abroad program.  For more information, check out FAFSA to read more about FAFSA and Financial Aid for study abroad.