Financial Aid FAQ's
1. Can I use financial aid for study abroad?
Yes. It is possible to use financial aid for ECSU exchange programs. Even if you have not received aid in the past, you should consider applying for financial aid through ECSU for the period of your study abroad. Non-ECSU students should contact the Financial Aid Office of their home institution to discuss options.
2. Where do I find more specific information on financial aid for study abroad?
After you have chosen a study abroad program, you should discuss financial aid study abroad procedures with coordinator, Torian Lee in The Office for International Programs.
3. What kind of aid is available?
Need-based financial aid: This type of aid depends on an evaluation of your financial need and is processed by the ECSU Financial Aid Office. It includes all federal grants, federal loans, and assorted state- and institutionally-based loans and grants. Supplementary loans: These loans are not need-based and are designed to supplement the parent/student contribution to your educational costs. These can be used along or in conjunction with need-based financial aid to finance your study abroad costs.
FastWeb, www.fastweb.com, web site provides free customized scholarship search after user registers and fills out a profile.
FinAid! (National Association of Financial Aid Administrators), www.finaid.org. The web site of the main U.S. professional association for financial aid provides scholarship searches and extensive information about financial aid. Links with FastWeb.
Freeman Scholarships, www.iie.org/programs/Freeman%2DASIA/. Scholarships for undergraduates with financial need to study in Asia.
Fulbright Scholarships, www.iie.org/Template.cfm?section=Fulbright1, for graduating seniors, graduate students, and alumni; Fulbright Scholar programs for university faculty and international education administrators; Fulbright Teacher Exchange for K-12 and community college teachers.
Gilman Scholarships, www.iie.org/programs/gilman/overview/overview.html, provides assistance for undergraduates with financial need to use for study abroad.
International Education Financial Aid (IEFA), www.iefa.org, provides free searches for scholarships for study abroad.
Institute of International Education: Study Abroad Funding , www.iie.org. Available as a CD-ROM.
International Education Finance Corporation (IEFC), www.iefc.com, is a corporation specializing in loans for study abroad.
International College Scholarship Search, InternationalScholarships.com, offers a searchable database of international student scholarships, grants and awards for study abroad.
Minority International Research Training Grant (MIRT), www.fic.nih.gov//. Program of the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health sends minority undergraduates and medical students abroad to do health-related research.
National Security Education Program (NSEP) provides a funding opportunity for U.S. students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests that are outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. NSEP includes undergraduate scholarships for study abroad, graduate fellowships, and the National Flagship Language Program, for advanced language training. Annual application deadlines are in January and February. Contact: National Security Education Program, Institute of International Education, 1400 K St., NW, 6th Fl., Washington, DC 20005; tel. 800 618 NSEP; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.iie.org/nsep.
Reference Service Press, www.rspfunding.com, publishes of some of the best hard-copy directories of scholarships for overseas opportunities.
Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships, The Rotary Foundation provides the largest single U.S. scholarship program for study abroad. Scholarships are available for all levels of study, from high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students to alumni and professionals. Application possible only through local Rotary Clubs.
U.S. Department of Education: Financial Aid for Students, studentaid.ed.gov. The federal government's official guides to financial aid.
U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (formerly USIA), dosfan.lib.uic.edu/usia/. Official information about all Fulbright programs (for study, research, and teaching abroad), other official exchange programs, and information about U.S. government regulations concerning international educational exchange
Univ. of Minnesota, International Study and Travel Center (ISTC), Scholarships Database, www.istc.umn.edu/financial/scholarships/index.html. An excellent, free online database of scholarships.
Woodrow Wilson International Fellowship Foundation, www.woodrow.org. Information on several multi-year scholarship programs for students, especially minorities, interested in international careers.
4. How do I apply for financial aid?
Appropriate Financial Aid forms are available online or from the ECSU Financial Aid Office, 230 Thorpe Administration Building, Mon., Tue., Thurs. and Fri. 8:15 AM - 4:45 PM Wednesday 8:15 AM - 7:00 PM. Counselors are available: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Telephone (252) 335-3283, http://www.ecsu.edu/financialaid/index.cfm.
5. When should I start applying for financial aid?
Applying early is critical. Financial Aid forms are generally available in January with a priority filing deadline of March 1 (preferably February 1). Scholarship application deadlines vary. Keep in mind that financial aid procedures for study abroad will take additional time and planning.
6. Are there special procedures involved in using financial aid to study abroad?
YES. In order for you to use your financial aid for your study abroad program, you must work with The Office of International Programs to complete special procedures. Your ECSU financial aid is not applicable unless these procedures are completed prior to departure.
7. How much of my costs will financial aid cover?
It depends on the following variables: your study abroad program cost, your financial need, and the number of supplementary loans to which you will have access. In reviewing your options, you should also consider how much loan debt you are willing to incur.
8. Will the number of credits I take affect my financial aid?
YES. The credit load requirements are the same as those for on-campus study. You should complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester when studying abroad. (This is required because students' registration shows up as full time while abroad, therefore their aid is paid at full time status.)
9. Do my grades affect my future financial aid?
Successful completion of the study abroad program will affect your financial aid status in the same way that it would if you had studied on campus. However, because you will receive transfer credit for your study abroad program, your grades received overseas will not be reflected in your ECSU GPA. It is your responsibility to ensure that your transfer credits are evaluated and posted to your ECSU transcript promptly upon your return.
If you study abroad for the fall semester, your credits must be posted to your ECSU transcript by March 15th after your return. If you study abroad for the spring semester or for the entire academic year, your credits must be posted by October 1st after your return. If you do not meet these deadlines and/or you have not met the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility, you will be required to immediately repay any financial aid received after your return. You may request an appeal to the SAP Policy.
10. Can I defer past loans while studying abroad?
Yes, in most cases. You must be enrolled in an ECSU-approved study abroad program and registered for at least six credit hours per semester. You should contact your loan agency to request and complete the necessary paperwork.
11. Who is responsible for taking care of my financial aid while I'm overseas?
YOU are responsible. The Office of International Programs will assist you in making necessary arrangements to ensure that all funds are forwarded to the appropriate places. Keep in mind that you must make these arrangements prior to your departure or your aid may not be released or it may be delayed. You may also wish to consult with a Financial Aid Counselor in the Financial Aid Office.