The University of Colorado Boulder offers hundreds of education abroad (study abroad) programs in over 70 countries. The Office of Financial Aid encourages students to expand their educational options by participating in a CU approved education abroad program. Financial eligibility for these programs varies, so review the frequently asked questions below to ensure that your plans are financially feasible.
As a participant in a CU Boulder education abroad program, you will be charged a program fee based on the instructional costs of the specific program you choose. You are not charged CU Boulder tuition and fees. In addition to the program fee, you should anticipate other expenses that will contribute to the total cost of the program such as, field trips and/or other services provided by the host institution, the cost of living in the host country, currency exchange rates, books and supplies, airfare, health insurance, and your miscellaneous personal expenses. The Education Abroad Office can provide you with a list of current program fees and estimates of total costs for each program. Every CU Boulder program has a nonrefundable $550 deposit due within a month of signing the Education Abroad Contract. The deposit is the first payment towards the program fee; it is mandatory and cannot be deferred.
If you participate in a CU Boulder education abroad program and are a CU Boulder degree-seeking student, you may use any federal, state, or institutional aid you would normally be offered, with the exception of work-study. We do not provide financial aid for education abroad programs not offered through the CU Boulder Education Abroad Office (i.e., those sponsored by other organizations, colleges, or educational institutions). Nor do we provide funding for direct enrollment in a foreign university, even if CU Boulder accepts your courses as transfer credits. There may, however, be alternate resources available to help you fund these programs.
Your eligibility for financial aid is determined by filing the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). The amount of aid you're offered will be based on the FAFSA and the total cost of the education abroad program. The aid you're offered may not cover the entire cost of your program. Learn more about Types of Aid available.
I am not enrolled in a CU Boulder education abroad program. What kind of financial aid is available for me?
CU Boulder only provides financial aid for those programs that are offered through our Education Abroad Office. If you are enrolled in another educational institution or organization's program or are enrolled directly in a foreign university education abroad program, you should contact the school or program in which you are enrolled to learn about financial resources available. Alternative loans are available through private lenders for students who are not eligible for financial aid through CU Boulder and who need additional funds to meet educational expenses. Please see our Private Loan page for more information.
To apply for financial aid for your study abroad program, submit the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. Allow two to three months for the processing of your aid application and the subsequent loan processing (if applicable). For most CU Boulder education abroad programs, admission is on a rolling basis. You may apply at any time of the year. All programs have a special application deadline. In general summer and fall applications are due February 15, and spring applications are due around October 1. Check with the Education Abroad Office for specific deadlines for your program.
In addition to having a processed FAFSA on file, you must complete a CU Boulder summer aid application, available from the Office of Financial Aid. To be eligible for federal loans, you must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours). You are eligible for summer aid only to the extent that you have not reached your annual aid limits during the fall and spring semesters and provided you meet all other eligibility requirements. If you borrow the maximum amount of student loans during the fall and spring semesters, you may be eligible for alternative loans.
There are scholarships for studying abroad applicable to CU Boulder programs. Contact the Education Abroad Office for further information. We also suggest you do some research on your own to determine your eligibility for other scholarships. Some scholarships have very early deadlines, so be sure to do your research early. Most private scholarships, and many institutional scholarships, are applicable to study abroad. However, you must confirm that with the donor or CU Boulder department offering the scholarship
In most cases, it is not possible to work while you are abroad, since most countries have laws restricting work by foreign nationals. You can check with the education abroad office or contact the consulate of your host country to find out if work would be possible. If you have been awarded work-study as part of your financial aid package, it cannot be used while you are studying abroad because work-study does not exist overseas. It may be possible, however, to earn your work-study before and/or after your time abroad during the semester. As long as you're enrolled in a CU program, you are still eligible to work at CU and earn work-study if your schedule allows. Talk to your supervisor and check in with the Student Employment office if you have specific questions.
Financial aid is applied to your bill the Monday before the start of your study abroad program in fall or spring, and 7 days before the start of your program in summer as long as all necessary steps are completed (for example, loan agreements/Master Promissory Notes for loans).
If you are enrolled in a summer education abroad program and are also taking on-campus courses, financial aid will apply to your bill 7 days before the start of your first on-campus class.
To ensure that your financial aid refund is available as soon as possible, make sure that all your paperwork is in order prior to your departure. Loan promissory notes sent to you by the Office of Financial Aid must be submitted in order for loan funds to disburse. A Power of Attorney is suggested if you cannot complete the financial aid process before your departure. Also, you must sign up for direct deposit if you think you will be receiving a financial aid refund.
All federal, state, and institutional loans can be deferred while abroad, as long as you maintain your half-time enrollment status. Full-time status is mandatory for CU students attending CU Boulder education abroad programs during the fall and/or spring semesters.