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Financial Aid

This section applies both to federal aid as well as scholarships!

Federal Aid: Whether you can apply your financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans) towards study abroad depends on various factors. Possibilities vary per type of aid (as well as having to meet the general eligibility requirements listed below). Your status as an undergraduate or graduate student also affects the type of aid for which you’re eligible. 

Contact the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid Office to make sure in advance whether your type of aid (i.e. 529 plan) is applicable to study abroad.

Scholarships: contact your scholarship provider to verify that it may be applied towards study abroad

  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be on file to be considered for any type of aid (if you do not normally qualify, you may want to fill out the FAFSA because if the trip costs more than a usual semester, you may qualify for aid)
  • HOST INSTITUTION must be an accredited degree-granting institution recognized by the host country's Ministry of Higher Education (the Global Education Office can check this for you)
  • PROGRAM TYPE you must be enrolled in a credit bearing program that applies to your degree
  • CREDIT MINIMUM 
    • Fall (12 minimum)
    • Winter (fall plus winter trip must equal a minimum of 12 hours, must earn some credit during the winter trip)
    • Spring (12 minimum)
    • Short spring (spring plus short spring travel must equal a min. of 12, must earn some credit on the short spring trip)
    • Summer (for applying Federal Financial Aid to your study abroad: 6 VT credits minimum - can be spread out over entire summer; i.e. 3 credits abroad and 3 credits at Virginia Tech during other summer term. For using  GEO scholarships to study abroad: 3 VT credit minimum).
  • CONSORTIUM / CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT the Global Education Office will send you the agreement to sign after you’ve turned in the GEO Financial Aid form (faculty-led programs excluded)
  • VERIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT FORM must be submitted from My Study Abroad account (faculty-led programs excluded)
  • SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS Depending on your type of financial aid, you may be subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress which states that you must earn 67% of the credits attempted 

YOU NEED TO SUBMIT THE Global Education Office Financial Aid form IF YOU HAVE:

  • Federal Aid (loans, grants) you want to apply to your study abroad
  • VT scholarship(s) you want to apply to your study abroad

 

YOU DO NOT NEED TO SUBMIT THIS FORM IF YOU:

  • Have a non-VT scholarship for study abroad
  • Have a Project GO scholarship
  • Are participating in an RSAP program
  • Are participating in a non-credit program

Submit the Global Education Office Financial Aid form by the following dates:

  • for fall semester: June 1
  • for spring semester: November 1
  • for winter semester: October 1
  • for summer I + II: March 1

Faculty-led programs:

  • You need to have submitted the Global Education Office Financial Aid form
  • Your aid will be disbursed according to the same pay out schedule as if you were still on campus (usually the Thursday before VT classes start)

 

VT Exchange / ISEP (the following needs to have been submitted)

  • Global Education Office Financial Aid form
  • Contractual or Consortium Agreement
  • Verification of Enrollment form (can only be submitted after your classes abroad have begun)
  • Your financial aid will therefore always disburse after your program has started (usually 3-6 weeks after you've submitted all the forms)
  • If your semester abroad starts after the VT semester, you will be able to defer your VT tuition until you aid pays out (the Financial Aid Office will automatically notify the Bursar in these cases to prevent your loans from getting dropped). 
  • If your semester abroad starts before the VT semester, then your aid will be disbursed according to the same pay out schedulde as if you were still on campus (usually the Thursday before VT classes start)

 

Third Party and Autonomous Study (the following needs to have been submitted):

  • Global Education Office Financial Aid form
  • Contractual or Consortium Agreement
  • Verification of Enrollment form (can only be submitted after your classes abroad have begun)
  • Your financial aid will therefore always disburse after your program has started (usually 3-6 weeks after you've submitted all the forms)

The Financial Aid Office uses the costs of your study abroad program to adjust your Cost of Attendance (COA). Generally, your COA will be increased if your study abroad costs exceed your on-campus costs, thus allowing you to apply for more loan aid, should you need it.

Once you’ve turned in the GEO Financial Aid form you can contact the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid to see what the amount of anticipated aid is. This is especially important if your decision to participate on a study abroad program heavily depends on the amount of your financial aid award.

You might have to pay upfront costs prior to the disbursement of your aid (i.e. program fees to cover in advance costs that faculty must make). If you need alternative ways to help pay your upfront costs, we strongly suggest contacting the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid. They can advise you on Bridge Loans, Parent Plus Loans, Private Educational Loans etc.

  • Your financial aid situation changes. Failure to do so may result in delaying the release of your aid, not receiving aid, or going into repayment
  • You have withdrawn from your study abroad program

You will receive a one semester grace period in which you will be allowed to receive financial aid while your transcript is being sent from the host institution and evaluated (your credits must be approved by the Registrar). No aid will be disbursed the second semester following your Global Education program until all transcripts are received and evaluated.