What Are the Different Types of Financial Aid for Study Abroad?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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A student who wishes to study in another country has a number of options for financial aid. United States citizens can use national government financial aid, such as Pell grants or student loans, to fund their study abroad. Scholarships, both public and private, are also available to qualifying students. In some cases, a student can receive more financial aid for study abroad than he would if he stayed on campus, because the cost of the study abroad program may be more than the usual university cost.

In the United States, students can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if they qualify for grants or loans for study abroad. Pell grants are offered to students in undergraduate programs who have an estimated family contribution below the maximum, which changes from year to year. Some students may even qualify for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, which is offered to students who have extreme need.

A number of scholarships are also available as financial aid for study abroad. The Benjamin A. Gilman International scholarship is available to undergraduate students who also qualify for the Pell grant and will study abroad. Students need to study in one country for a period of at least four weeks to qualify for the scholarship.


The David L. Boren scholarship is another form of financial aid in the U.S. for study abroad. Scholarships are available to undergraduate students, while fellowships are offered to qualifying graduate students. In exchange for the fellowship, the student must agree to work for the national government in a position that has national security responsibilities, such as a position in the Department of Defense.

Other options for financial aid for study abroad include the Fulbright program. The program provides funding for United States citizens who wish to study abroad as well as for foreign students who wish to study in the United States. The program is open to people who have a bachelor's degree but have not yet earned a doctorate.

The Institute of International Education in the United States administers a number of study abroad aid programs, including the Fulbright program. A number of other scholarships are also available for students, either sponsored by the national government or private institutions. There are other sources of financial aid for study abroad besides grants and scholarships. A student who is ineligible for either may use a student loan, such as a Stafford or direct loan, to fund his study abroad.


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