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Finances &
for Study Abroad

Financial Aid

for Study Abroad

fafsa free application for federal student aidYou can use your federal, university and departmental financial aid awards while abroad! 
If you haven’t already, you should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — even if you don’t think you’re eligible for additional aid.

For most study abroad programs, you are eligible to be considered for financial aid for no more than 1 academic year as an undergraduate student and no more than 1 semester as a graduate student.

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships (OFAS) will take into consideration expenses such as airfare, increased living expenses, health insurance, and loss of employment while abroad as part of your aid package. We encourage you to speak with a Financial Aid advisor to discuss how your awards apply to the program.

study abroad student jessey duran in chinaApplying for financial aid to study abroad

Applying for financial aid for studying abroad is the same as applying for aid as a regular student. You must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  By filing the FAFSA, you are applying for federal grants and student loans. We encourage you to apply early in the calendar year for assistance in the upcoming academic year. See Financial Aid for Study Abroad on the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website.

Extra costs of study abroad

For most study abroad programs, the amount of your aid eligibility is based on SDSU's standard cost of attendance for living off campus. However, you may be able to increase the amount of funds you receive. In some circumstances, your education abroad advisor can provide OFAS with documented proof of higher expected costs for your specific program abroad. This could possibly increase your loan eligibility if you weren't originally awarded your yearly maximum. If your income will decrease from the past tax year due to not being able to work while studying abroad, you may file a Students Request for Review with OFAS. They may consider you for higher need based aid or possibly increase the amount of aid you've already been awarded. See Extra Costs of Study Abroad on the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website for more details on how to apply for a budget increase.

Using your financial aid to study abroad

Your financial aid is generally processed as it normally is for resident credit programs (you pay tuition to SDSU).  Using financial aid for a transfer credit programs (you pay tuition to a study abroad program) is more complicated.  Contact OFAS or your Education Abroad Advisor to see if your financial aid can be used for your specific transfer credit program.

  • You may have to pay certain costs, such as airfare, before disbursement of financial aid occurs.
  • Students participating in SDSU Exchange programs, CSU International Programs, and ISEP Exchange programs should have their financial aid released normally as the term begins at SDSU.
  • ISEP Direct or Independent programs may require submission of additional documents so financial aid can be disbursed. Contact the Study Abroad office for further instructions.
  • Students participating in ISEP Direct and Independent programs must submit a verification of enrollment to Student Financial Services. Financial Aid cannot be released without receipt of this documentation.
  • For all Faculty-Led programs, consult a Financial Aid advisor to determine eligibility for aid during summer, winter break or spring break.

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sdsu study abroad. explore. discover.

Paying for airfare

With just a $300 non-refundable deposit, you can lock in the price of your ticket, with the freedom to pay for your flight just 7 days before your trip. Learn more about the STA Travel Airfare Deposit Program.

When is financial aid available?

Financial aid applies to most semester and academic year programs.

Financial aid is generally not available during the summer or winter/spring break.

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