You found the perfect study abroad program, but you wonder how you can possible foot the bill. You don't want to miss out on the oppurtunity of a lifetime, so you decide to finance your education abroad. There are a variety of options available to finance your study abroad, including summer study abroad programs. Financing it may not be exactly like college, but it is close. So here is what you need to know. College Study Abroad Financing Usually, for studying abroad for a semester or two through your enrolled university, the financial aid you already have will transfer.
However, for summer language courses or enrichment programs your aid will not transfer. This is because these extra abroad programs are not considered to contribute toward the advancement of the student's degree. So with language courses or gap year programs, you may need separate aid Federal Loans - The following loans are all federal loans, and require a FAFSA to determine your financial status. Stafford Loans: Federal Stafford Loans can help finance a summer study abroad program.
These loans have a cap on the maximum loan available by age. So the cap for a junior is $5,500, so this loan is available to be used for summer programs if you are enrolled in a university for the fall semester. There are drawbacks of using Stafford Loans for a summer study abroad program.
One is that using a Stafford Loan for a summer abroad will decrease your aid for college. Another is that this Stafford money is not available until after your summer program. The money becomes available on the first day classes start at your university. So you will need someone to loan you the money first.
PLUS Parent Loans: Parent Plus Loans are loans based on your parents credit score. This is not a need based loan, like the Stafford. They allow your parents to take out a loan covering all of your college expenses. So this loan could be in turn used to pay for a summer study abroad program. The rate is based on the 91-day Treasury Bill rate for the final May auction of each calendar year. Now, it is at around 6%.
The payment for the PLUS loan starts sixty days after it is issued. Another benefit of this loan is that the interest is able to be tax deducted. The FAFSA is not actually required, but it is very strongly recommended since this is a federal loan. Private Loans: There are many private loans available also.
InternationalStudentLoan.com offers loans up to $30,000 for US citizens who are studying abroad for one or two semesters. These loans do not use FAFSA information, but instead are based on the credit of the applicant. A Cosigner is highly recommended for approval. StudyAbroadLoans.com also offers a very similar loan for students also.
Both sites also offer graduate study abroad loans. There are different repayment options also. One starts right away, another is interest only right away, and the final is after your education is completed. You can apply for the study abroad loans on their websites. If this loan does not suit you, other private college loans are widely available on the internet. So it is relatively easy to find different private loans that you may qualify for.
Alternative Student Loan: The Alternative Student loan from AlternativeStudentLoan.com offers the same packages available to the high school Alternative Student Loan. This loan is based on the credit of an applicant, and does not require a FAFSA. It loans up to $30,000 a year with a minimum loan amount equal to $1,500.
Preliminary approval can be made in 15 minutes, and full approval in 5 days. One advantage the college Alternative Student Loan has over the the high school student loan is that it offers a different repayment schedule. The college version offers an imediate repayment, interest only repayment 48 months later, or deferred repayment 48 months later. The interest rate is variable for these loans, and is around 7 to 9%.
The APR is about 9%. Scholarships: Scholarships can almost always be used to finance a study abroad. Some special study abroad scholarships are the Benjamin A Gillman International Scholarship.
AIFSabroad.com also offers different study abroad scholarships High school Study Abroad Financing For summer high school summer abroad programs, some sources of funding are available. If you have already graduated high school, and plan on enrolling in college the next fall semester, the college study abroad financing information applies to you. Alternative Student Loan: The Alternative Student Loan is available for students k-12. It comes from AlternativeStudentLoan.
com. It is a credit based loan and the FAFSA is not necessary. It allows a loan up to $30,000 a year which would suffice for any summer abroad study program.
The minimum is $1,500. Repayment of these loans start immediately, and there are no prepayment penalties. There is an origination fee of 6%, and the APR, Annual Percentage Rate, is around 9%. One benefit of this loan is that the payments will be payed directly to you. Another is that if you are in a time crunch, these loans can be processed in 5 days.
Other Private Loans: You may be able to find other private loans available to finance your study abroad. These will probably be very similar to the Alternative Student Loan above. The only other form of financing that you may be able to find is through scholarships. Some study abroad programs may offer forms of financial aid to you also. For more study abroad information, visit a Summer study abroad website .
By: Steve Smith