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Special Programs & FA Procedures - Financial Aid and Study Abroad

FSU sponsors programs designed to provide students with study abroad options to enhance and broaden their college careers and future endeavors. The opportunity to study abroad can very well be the most memorable and exciting time of your college experience. While study abroad is an opportunity filled with excitement and fun, it also entails taking on a certain amount of personal responsibility to ensure that necessary paperwork is in place well before departure to another country.

Therefore, if you are seeking financial assistance for study abroad, it is extremely important that you review the following information as you begin to plan for your study abroad program. In addition, there are specific forms that must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office in order for your aid to be processed in a timely manner.

FSU sponsored programs cost about the same as an in-state semester at FSUexcept for the additional cost of travel, special fees (if any) and other personal expenses associated with travel abroad. In many cases, you can use your state and federal grants and loans to cover your overseas tuition. (Note: Maryland State Scholarships can only be used for programs sponsored by schools within the state of Maryland).

Although the Financial Aid Office is not able to offer extra grants or scholarships to help cover the additional costs of study abroad programs, there are some cases where the Financial Aid Office can offer additional student or parent loans after adjusting for study abroad costs.

For further information, you should contact Angela Hovatter, Financial Aid Officer, in the FSU Financial Aid Office.

  • Visit the Financial Aid Office
    It is a good idea to visit the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible once you decide to participate in a study-abroad program. If you normally receive financial aid, there will be special paperwork that must be submitted for study abroad. Also, there are always processes that need to be completed, such as loan promissory notes and award letters, before any aid can be processed. Completing these processes and signing all of the necessary paperwork will ensure your financial aid for the semester. Also, be sure to pick up the packet specifically designed for students seeking financial aid for study abroad. These packets are available from the Center for International Education. Students should speak with a representative from the Center for International Education, and pick up all of the required forms, before visiting the financial aid office. These forms are required before aid can be disbursed. At least three weeks before departure, double check with a Financial Aid Officer and the Center for International Education to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is in order.
  • Select someone to have Power of Attorney
    While you are away there may be additional documents that require your signature, such as checks, award letters, financial aid verification forms, and residence hall contracts. Power of attorney will give authority to another person - preferably a member of your immediate family - to sign documents on your behalf.
 

Taxes and FAFSA forms
Students traveling during the spring semester must file their tax returns before departing the country if they choose to file. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must also be completed. Without a completed FAFSA, you cannot receive financial aid for the next school year. FSU will begin awarding financial aid on March 1st. 
Special Note: Students who in the past have received a dependency override must once again supply supporting documentation to a financial aid officer for approval before the FAFSA is submitted.

Student Loan Borrowers 
Your loan agency may try to verify that you are a full-time student for the period you are abroad, whether you are registered at FSU or another outside institution. As a result, your loan agency will probably send you a letter requiring that you prove your full-time status. If you or your family receives such a letter, send it to the Center for International Education with a letter requesting that the loan agency be provided with proof of enrollment.

Scholarships
Students may apply for a number of scholarships that may be applied to their study abroad experience (see below). Remember to meet application deadlines (usually March 1st for the following fall semester). The FSU Financial Aid/Scholarship brochure is available in the Financial Aid Office. It contains descriptions of the institutional, departmental and outside scholarships that are offered each year to FSU students. Application procedures are also detailed.

CIE Scholarships
Students may also apply for a scholarship from the CIE Office. The deadline for intersession and spring semester is the 15th of October, and for summer session, fall semester and the academic year the deadline is the 15th of March. Scholarships are awarded in the amounts of $500 and $1,000. Students may pick up application forms from the CIE Office in the Fuller House.

Other Sources of Scholarships:

Rotary Scholarships - The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship is available to students with at least two years of university. It is a generous scholarship, covering all overseas expenses, but also highly competitive. Application forms are available from the CIE office. Students must apply at least a year in advance. (http://www.rotary.org)

Fulbright Scholarships - Fulbright scholarships are very competitive and highly prestigious. Applications must reach the Institute of International Education (sponsors of the Fulbright grants) by the 25th of October of each year. FSU students wishing to apply for this scholarship may contact the CIE office for more information. (http://www.iie.org/fulbright)

Minority Scholarships - Several scholarships are available for students who are members of minorities (http://www.uncf.org/)

American Institute for Foreign Study Scholarships - (AIFS) Students who take part in one of AIFS's programs overseas may apply to AIFS for either a merit scholarship or a minority scholarship through the CIE. Application forms are available from the CIE Office. (http://www.aifs.com/)


Other Internet Sources for Financial Aid for Overseas Study:

International Education Financial Aid Page - a good source for grants, loans and scholarships for overseas study (http://www.iefa.org/)

The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid - this site will give you specific information about overseas financial aid (http://www.finaid.org/otheraid/)

Alternative Loans - Several different private companies offer alternative loans. Please see the Financial Aid Office for a brochure on our preferred alternative loan lenders.

National Student Exchange - (NSE) The National Student Exchange is a not-for-profit consortium of US colleges and universities. Operating like study abroad, NSE provides students with access to courses and other resources at over 135 college and universities in 47 states and 3 U.S. territories. The program includes tuition reciprocity. (http://www.nse.org/)


National Security Education Program - NSEP seeks to lead in development of the national capacity to educate U.S. citizens, understand foreign cultures, strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness, and enhance international cooperation and security. (http://www.iie.org/programs/nsep/nsephome.htm)

  • Visit the University Billing Office
    You may be expecting a refund check before you depart. If so, the University Billing Office will need a letter from you to request that the check be mailed to an off-campus address. Make sure that your semester account is paid in full or that proper payment arrangements have been made. Any outstanding debt to the University may block future registration.