Financial Aid

Study Abroad FAQs

As an aid recipient, you can use your aid for approved study abroad experiences. It does require planning, and your aid may not cover all costs.

The Student Financial Aid Office is available to assist you in determining aid eligibility. Talk to our office as you begin your planning so as to know what aid you have or don't have prior to locking in a study abroad experience through deposits or flights. Many common questions are discussed below to help you begin the planning.


Planning

Contact the Student Financial Aid Office at least one full semester before beginning the study abroad program.

Doing so with this advance notice allows you to know the required paperwork and complete it in advance to allow financial aid to disburse to the student bill for your term abroad in a timely manner.

In addition to completing necessary paperwork, financial planning is the key to ensuring that your anticipated expenses abroad will be covered by your financial aid, income or savings, and family assistance. For more information regarding financial planning visit the UC International Preparing to Go Abroad webpage.

Many affiliate programs have specific forms to be completed in order to verify the financial aid awards that are being used for the program.  In addition, some students may require a letter indicating financial aid in order to receive a visa for their county.  This documentation can be obtained by submitting a completed contractual agreement, academic credit approval and host acceptance letter and contacting David Jenkins.


Financial Aid Eligibility

Yes. Students can often utilize their scholarship, grant and loan aid sources that are awarded by the University of Cincinnati, provided you review the enrollment requirements. There may be some limitations. For instance, do not assume a tuition-based scholarship will simply pay UC tuition amounts at any program of study. 


The key to using financial aid for your study abroad experience is ensuring that the classes you take while abroad may apply to your academic major degree program. A degree audit will be performed to ensure you have untapped elective hours or that your coursework meets your specific, remaining major degree course requirements that give you eligibility for your aid. 

Scholarship and grants may require full-time enrollment while loans generally require a student to be enrolled for at least half time. Part-time enrollment rules continue to apply while you are in study abroad.

Yes. Students can use most scholarships and grants that are awarded by the University of Cincinnati, provided you review the enrollment requirements. Some scholarship and grants will require that you are enrolled full time. Additionally, some scholarships will require their use when full-time when on study abroad as students cannot elect to hold scholarships for future terms. Finally, do not assume a tuition-based scholarship will simply pay UC tuition amounts toward a study abroad program particularly when that program has different tuition rates.

Students with scholarships should consult who gave them the award (on-campus office or off-campus agency) to see how their scholarships work with study abroad. Key is knowing exactly how your specific scholarships will apply to your abroad program.

Yes. All students that receive funding that process through the financial aid system (grants, scholarships, and loans), must complete the appropriate financial aid agreement.

Not necessarily. Each student situation is unique.

Study abroad students may be eligible for a budget adjustment that would allow for additional expenses to be included in their cost of attendance. A change to your costs can make you eligible for additional funding.

Budget adjustments do not change the student’s eligibility for specific federal or state grant programs, and they may not increase the amount a student can borrow in a federal loan program. Typically, a budget adjustment will only increase the amount of money a student can borrow in a private loan or a Federal Parent PLUS Loan.

At the same time, students studying abroad may be eligible for travel award from campus offices that can increase their overall aid for the term abroad.

Yes, many students will participate in a study abroad experience sponsored by another U.S. school. To receive financial aid if the other school is Title IV-eligible (able to process federal financial aid funds), you must complete the Consortium Agreement, along with your Study Abroad Academic Credit Approval Form and host institution acceptance letter. Even if the school sponsoring the study abroad experince may not be processing your federal aid, their participation in the federal aid programs allows UC to process your aid for that term.

As always, the courses enrolled abroad must apply to your major degree program for aid eligibility.


Financial Aid Paperwork

Paperwork can be unique for some study abroad programs. However, at minimum, students will need 3 items:

  • Contractual or Consortium Agreement
    • Official form to designate where you are getting aid
    • Outlines coursework and contacts for study abroad program
  • Study Abroad Academic Approval Form
    • More fully outlines intended coursework and UC applicability
    • Ensures that the student's academic program has been involved in study abroad planning
  • Study Abroad Program Acceptance Letter
    • Formal notification from study abroad program that you can participate
    • May be an email, letter or form showing acceptance

A contractual agreement is for students attending a foreign educational institution where the UC student is NOT enrolled in an abroad program sponsored by another Title IV-eligible institution.

A consortium agreement is used when the study abroad experience is hosted by another U.S. educational institution approved to disburse federal Title IV funds.

Most U.S. colleges and universities are eligible to disburse Title IV funds. These funds are federal financial aid sources from the U.S. Department of Education to approved schools. Title IV funds include Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). They do not include scholarships from the university or other private organizations.

No. Financial aid and scholarships are released a semester at a time. To receive financial aid for the semesters abroad, you must submit an agreement along with an academic credit approval form and host institution acceptance letter for each semester you will study abroad, even if both are with the same program.


Faculty-Led Abroad Courses & Programs

Not necessarily. Each student situation is unique.

Faculty-led abroad courses or programs may allow for a budget adjustment for additional expenses to be included in your cost of attendance. A change to your costs can make you eligible for additional funding.

Budget adjustments do not change the student’s eligibility for specific federal or state grant programs, and they may not increase the amount a student can borrow in a federal loan program. Typically, a budget adjustment will only increase the amount of money a student can borrow in a private loan or a Federal Parent PLUS Loan.

At the same time, students studying abroad may be eligible for travel awards from campus offices that can increase their overall aid for the term abroad.

No. The UC professor leading the faculty-led study abroad experience or the department will submit required paperwork on the students' behalf. The experience is then billed via your UC bill.


Refunds

Financial aid and scholarship funds cannot be released to students any sooner than 10 days before the start of the semester at University of Cincinnati.

In cases where the academic start date of the abroad program is later than UC's term start date, all financial aid funds will release 10 days prior to the start of the study abroad program. Therefore, funds may not be available to you until after your departure.

We strongly encourage you to sign up for direct deposit to allow your excess financial aid to be refunded directly into your bank account.

Once received, the Student Financial Aid Office will review your contractual/consortium agreement, academic credit approval, and host acceptance letter. Student Financial Aid will perform a degree audit to ensure you have untapped elective hours or that your coursework meets your specific, remaining major degree course requirements that give you eligibility for your aid. Depending on the time of year, this can take up to a week for processing.

Once your paperwork is processed, your aid will release 10 days before the start of the semester at University of Cincinnati assuming your study abroad academic dates are the same as or before the beginning of the UC semester. If your study abroad program starts after the start of the UC semester, your financial aid will release 10 days prior to the start of your study abroad program. Due to institutional policy and federal regulations, we cannot deviate from these disbursement periods.

NOTE: Late submission or incomplete agreement packets will delay the release of your financial aid.

Financial aid funds will first go toward any outstanding charges on the UC bill. Any remaining funds will be refunded to you. For question regarding your refund, contact One Stop.