An Issue of Money for Fin Aid Student Travelers

Check out our Airlines and Hotel Arrangements pages on the Website!!

One of the first things you will need to look into is arranging for your airline and accommodation reservations.  However, don’t get too excited and run right out there to grab the first plane ticket you find–these things take a little forethought first. The first thing you need to remember is that you are paying for the plane tickets (and maybe housing) out of pocket, at least to begin with. You’re probably paying for this little excursion with financial aid money, but think back to all those other semesters. When do you get the money?-after classes have started. The government doesn’t like to hand out money until they know you are attending class.  The problem here is that your student abroad financial aid is run the same way–you aren’t going to see a penny until after the classes have begun. See where this is going? 

You will definitely be paying for airline tickets with your own money–pretty much no school covers that cost for you.  If you’re lucky, the school will arrange for housing for you. If they have a large group, sometimes hotels offer group rates to universities. Since that has to be paid in advance, the school will pay for it and you will just be charged a “housing fee” in tuition, which can be paid after you get fin aid, like any normal semester.  If they don’t arrange housing though, you’re going to probably have to at least pay the deposit on the hotel room, which may be a few hundred bucks

 
The second thing you need to remember is that financial aid always underestimates.You will get a “refund” for the money spent on housing and travel–just like the living expenses in a normal semester. But remember how that book allowance was never nearly enough for your school books?  Well, you may only get a “flight allowance” for $1000, when your plane tickets alone may be as high as $3000 by the time you cover both ways. And housing allowances are often too short as well.  So don’t count on the whole amount being refunded to you–some of this money you’ve got to come up with on your own.
 
Now this may not mean much to some, but to those who need to pinch pennies–this is a HUGE fee.  So shop around a little, check out what’s available and see what options fit your needs.
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