Once you've identified the program that suits your academic and personal goals, you should begin planning and budgeting for how you will pay for the program.
As a participant on a study abroad program administered by a third-party (including ISEP-Direct), you will not be charged Westminster tuition. Instead you will be charged a program fee based on the actual costs of the program. Some programs may cost more than a semester at Westminster, and some could cost less.
If you participate in a Westminster exchange program with one of our partner schools, you will pay Westminster tuition. If you participate in an ISEP-Exchange program, you will pay Westminster tuition, room, and board. Most Westminster institutional aid can be used on exchange programs.
Factors that influence the total cost include:
- the cost of living in the host country
- exchange rates
- tuition at the host university
- transportation costs
- excursions and other services provided by the host institution
In most cases, it is not possible to work while you are abroad, since most countries have laws restricting work by foreign nationals. You can check with the host country's embassy or check with a study abroad advisor to find out if work might be possible.
There are three main resources for funding your study abroad program.
- It is rare for students to find funding to cover the entire cost of a study abroad program so most students will use personal and family resources to help pay for study abroad.
Federal financial aid can be used for approved study abroad programs and Westminster scholarships can be used for ISEP and institutional exchange programs in addition to federal aid.
- Obtain the Westminster Study Abroad Application from the Study Abroad Office and acquire all approval signatures.
- File financial aid applications. Decide which types of aid you are interested in applying for and fill out the appropriate applications. (FAFSA, and/or Parent PLUS Loan, and/or Alternative Loan application)
- Bring in contact information (name and email address) for the person at your study abroad program who will be responsible for signing the Financial Aid Contractual/Consortium Agreement. Westminster will send a Financial Aid Agreement to your study abroad provider for signatures and request documentation of program costs.
- Sign and return the Student Section of Westminster’s Financial Aid Contractual/Consortium Agreement.
- Sign and return your Financial Aid A ward notice to Westminster’s Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will send you an award notice detailing the types of Financial Aid you will qualify to receive while studying abroad. It is important to note that Westminster can only certify financial aid funding up to a student’s cost of attend ance during the academic year they are studying abroad.
- Submit a written statement giving Westminster permission to relea se your funding to your study abroad provider. Example: I Joe Student give Westminster pe rmission to disburse my financial aid for 15 /Spring semester to (your study abroad provider) for the purpose of studying abroad. (Signed and Dated. Include student ID or SSN) A similar statement should be written by your parent if they have applied for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan for your tui tion expenses. Example: [I Jane Parent give Westminster permission to disburse my Direct Parent PLUS Loan for 15/Spring semester to (study abroad provider) for the purpose of Joe Student (student ID or SSN) studying abroad. (Signed and Dated)]
- Return the verification of enrollment form. At the beginning of the semester, have your professors certify that you have started and attend ed at least one class session. Your financial aid will be scheduled to disburse to the study abroad program a week after you begin attending classes abroad, provided the Financial Aid Office receives your verification of enrollment form. Federal aid funding will not be disbursed until verification of enrollment is received.
- Send the Financial Aid Office the certification of course completion form at the end of the semester. At the end of the semester, have your professors certify your final academic activity in the course. This form will be provided to you by the Financial Aid Office and must be received within 2 0 days of the end of our semester or financial aid funds will be returned.
- After completion of your study abroad program, the Financial Aid Office will check your final transcripts for grade completion. Please make sure that your program sends transcripts in a timely manner. Students who do not register for full-time enrollment and receive passing grades while studying abroad may result in their financial aid being returned and the loss of aid for future semesters.
- Apply for national and/or private study abroad scholarships. Scholarships are both merit and need-based.