The following slides will
provide you with a variety of
questions you will want to
consider as you plan your
study abroad trip.
Can I afford to study abroad?
A: The answer to this question varies depending on each student’s
situation. If you have money in savings, parental or family
support, or are willing to borrow a loan that will require good
credit and a co-signer, you SHOULD be able to study abroad.
Planning ahead and examining your finances is important
and will benefit you greatly in the long run!
How do I complete my
Financial Aid Budget?
1. Start with your representative from the Office of International
Programs to see what opportunities are available to you.
2. Decide on a destination and complete a budget estimate on the
Study Abroad Portal.
3. Contact the Office of International Programs to confirm
approval of your budget.
4. Call Bison Connection (231-6200) and set up a meeting with a
Financial Aid Counselor.
What kind of financial aid is available
to help me pay for a trip abroad?
A: Students studying abroad fall and/or spring semester
typically utilize loans (both federal and alternative) and
scholarships to fund their trip.
Students interested in a study abroad trip during the summer
are often limited to alternative loans because most have
already utilized their full federal loan eligibility during the
prior fall and spring semesters.
What’s the difference between a
federal loan and an alternative loan?
A: A federal loan does not require a co-signer or a credit check –
it is awarded after the student completes the FAFSA at
www.fafsa.gov. There are two types of loans, subsidized (noninterest bearing) and unsubsidized (interest bearing). An
alternative loan on the other hand does require a credit check
and a co-signer for approval and they are all interest bearing.
Additionally, alternative loans require the FAFSA be
completed, as well as a separate online loan application
through the lender/bank’s website.
How will the increased costs of study
abroad impact my loan debt?
A: Once you know both how much you need to borrow and what
the interest rate is, you can use a loan calculator to estimate
your monthly payments after graduation:
Additionally, it is important to evaluate
your overall federal student loan debt.
You can do this on-line: www.nslds.ed.gov
Are there scholarships available?
A: General and departmental scholarships are available but
limited, and most are awarded by April prior to the term(s) of
study abroad. Scholarship options specifically for studying
abroad should be discussed with your Study Abroad Advisor or
viewed online at:
• Students often need to apply prior to acceptance into the Study
Abroad Program. Scholarship criteria is based on a variety of
things such as travel destination, residency, financial need, GPA,
• For a list of external scholarships online - go to:
What if I have early costs associated
with my trip? How do I pay for them?
A: Often times, students use savings or help from parents to
cover early costs. Borrowing an alternative loan the semester
prior to studying abroad may also be an option. A Financial
Aid Counselor will help you determine what your options are.
Some examples of early expenses might include:
• Program deposits
• Travel documents (Passport/VISA)
When should I meet with a
Financial Aid Counselor to discuss my
study abroad costs?
A: Your initial meeting should be approximately two months* prior to your
departure. Unless your trip is faculty-led, you first need to complete the online
Study Abroad Questionnaire. After that, contact Bison Connection to schedule
an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor. The first meeting typically
entails discussion of the costs, along with what resources are available to pay
for them (i.e. savings, parental contribution, federal/alternative aid).
Generally, a follow-up meeting is scheduled prior to your departure to ensure
you have completed all steps necessary for your aid to disburse on time.
*If your study abroad is during the summer term and you have early costs such as airfare,
you may wish to borrow an alternative loan during the spring semester. In this case,
you will need to meet with a Financial Aid Counselor at least one month prior to the
end of the spring term.
What can I expect to learn at my first
meeting with a Financial Aid Counselor?
• Review costs of your trip
• Discuss financing options
• Develop a timeline
– Who to pay, when to pay and how much to pay
• Review alternative loan process, if applicable
• Statements and Signatures
Potential Financial Considerations
Airfare, Passport, Visa, Immunizations are examples of costs that sometimes
need to be paid BEFORE you get your financial aid. How will you pay them?
Down payments: Do you need a Verification of Award form completed?
Check your total loan debt at www.finaid.org Loan Calculator
• Alternative Loans cannot be consolidated with federal aid.
• Borrow only what you need.
Co-Signer for Alternative Loan
Usually a parent or guardian but can be anyone with good credit score of 700+
Financial Aid Contacts
NDSU Student Financial Services
Division of Student Affairs
Ceres Hall 202
To schedule an appointment with one of the following
Financial Aid Counselors, call:
Bison Connection (701) 231-6200
Thank you for visiting our
Financial Aid - Study Abroad
Q & A Session.
We hope you will find this
information helpful as you begin
planning for an exciting and
educational trip abroad!
Learn more and apply online
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