Gilman Scholarship

Don’t have money to study abroad? Check out the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship!

The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is open to U.S. undergraduate students who demonstrate high financial need. “

ELEGIBILITY

Sharon Kuo

  • “The applicant must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or provide proof that he/she will be receiving a Pell Grant at the time of application or during the term of his/her study abroad program or internship. 
  • The applicant is applying to or has been accepted into a study abroad program or internship eligible for credit by the student’s accredited institution of higher education in the U.S.
  • The applicant is studying or interning abroad for at least four weeks in one country. Programs going to more than one country are eligible if the student will be in one country for at least four consecutive weeks.
  • The applicant is studying or interning abroad in any country except Cuba or a country on the U.S. Department of State’s current Travel Warning list. ” 

 

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.

“University of Michigan president, spouse, give one million dollars for student study abroad”

“University of Michigan president, spouse, give one million dollars for student study abroad”

by Tracy Samilton via Michigan Radio

“University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and her husband, Dr. Kenneth Coleman, announced today they will give their employer one million dollars to help undergraduate and graduate students study and travel abroad. . . “

Wish they would all do that; great step!

Tools: FAFSA School Code List

As most of you know, your average college student can’t survive without good old government school loans, and that means the dreaded FAFSA.  That horrid form you have to fill out every year just to prove what you already know, you’re broke. 😛  

For those of you studying abroad, you probably are aware that you can get federal loans to cover these classes if your school transfers them in or is in charge of the program.  Usually, this means you have to study via a US college’s program, either through your own university or as a visiting student at another college.  I have studied abroad several times, but only once through my own college.  All my law school classes abroad have been through programs offered by other US law schools who agreed to take me in.

But did you know that the FAFSA doesn’t just cover US schools?  Sometimes, your college is unwilling to transfer in credits.  Or you want to take more classes than is allowed for transfer purposes.  Or a program just isn’t offered through a US school in that country or area you wanted for that specialization you’ve been dying to research.   

For those situations, you might want to turn to the FAFSA School Code List available here.  You probably haven’t looked at this since your first semester when you had them send the forms to your college, but try taking a look at the bottom of the list.  That’s right, the FAFSA program may cover a program you’re interested in at a foreign school.  The list starts on page 147 of the form, and it includes numerous school in all sorts of countries.  So if you’ve always been interested in studying in Australia, but no US college offers a program at that university/city, check out this list.  If it’s on the list, it is covered by FAFSA and you can apply for US government school loans to cover that program of study the same as you would any US program.  This is how many US students are affording to get their entire degrees abroad. Technically, you can have an entire undergraduate or graduate degree covered with school loans in these schools via the FAFSA program, the same as if you studied in the US. Or even just a summer program.  It’s worth looking into!  Also remember, if it isn’t on this list then FAFSA won’t cover it.  So unless it’s on this list or you’re traveling there via a US college, you may  have to pay out-of-pocket.