Understanding Study Abroad Costs & Financial Aid
It is very important to understand the following points:
there are many different fee structures and billing arrangements among Purdue’s 300+ study abroad programs;
each student has different financial aid eligibility and options;
each student is responsible for learning whether the aid s/he has while on campus can be used for study abroad.
Furthermore, please note:
- If you already receive financial aid for your education costs while studying at Purdue West Lafayette, you'll need to work with the Division of Financial Aid (DFA) to determine the costs that you must pay for your program and which aid opportunities are open to you;
- Budget sheets for spring semester study abroad programs are sent to DFA on 15 October and for summer, fall and academic year programs on 15 March. You cannot determine your aid packages until after those dates.
- students not receiving aid currently may be able to get loans from DFA for their overseas program; filing the FAFSA is required for this.
- students should click here to read about the financial aid process for study abroad;
- study abroad advisors are not experts on financial aid and they will refer you to DFA for definitive information about how your aid will cover your overseas study costs;
- it is not wise to accept information about financial aid from friends or previous program participants;
- when meeting with a study abroad advisor to discuss options, you will be given preliminary budgets for each program. These budgets list the education costs of the program and the additional costs that you pay out of pocket. These additional costs vary from program to program and from person to person.
- please note that installment and deferred payment plans are not available at Purdue for the period students study abroad, though some co-sponsored programs may offer installment plans for their fees.
Federal Financial Aid
Students participating in Purdue-approved programs are eligible for aid through the Purdue Division of Financial Aid. DFA has prepared guidelines concerning the financial aid process for study abroad; these are available on their website. If you cannot find answers to your questions call the DFA at (765) 494-5050 or visit their office in 305 Schleman Hall. To receive accurate information about your aid for a study abroad program, you must have an estimated budget sheet for that program on hand. This budget will be given to you at a study abroad advising session after you've been approved to study overseas.
Costs Depend on Program Type: The three basic program types are explained below. If you are not certain of the program type, please refer to the program's web page where this information is listed.
Type 1: Exchange Programs
Exchange programs are what they sound like: a Purdue student goes to a partner university and in exchange, a student from that university is able to study at Purdue. Purdue students pay their regular tuition (in-state students pay in-state tuition and non-residents pay out-of-state tuition). The only additional cost paid to Purdue would be a charge for the required emergency medical coverage. This means that
the most cost-effective study abroad option for an in-state student is probably an exchange program;
the financial aid that you receive while studying in West Lafayette will probably apply to your tuition and fees for the terms you study overseas;
most scholarships or fee remissions will cover the education costs of exchange programs; State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana scholarships (Higher Education, Core 40, Honors, 21st-century), staff-dependent remissions, or CDV benefits can be used to cover tuition for exchange programs.
The Study Abroad Office staff is not responsible for providing detailed information about your financial aid. Students must meet with representatives in the Division of Financial Aid to get accurate information about their aid for the term they will be overseas.
Click here to list exchange programs.
Type 2: Co-Sponsored and Direct-Enroll Programs
Co-sponsored programs are designed and administered by outside organizations, usually non-profit agencies. Examples include Arcadia, CIEE, IES, IFSA, and DIS. Students participating in co-sponsored programs pay program fees directly to the organization plus a study abroad fee (not tuition) to Purdue. Program fees do not depend on Indiana residency status. They are usually higher than in-state tuition + room and board, but lower than out-of-state tuition + room and board. This means that
for out-of-state students, co-sponsored programs are usually about the same cost as staying on campus, or sometimes even less;
for Indiana residents, co-sponsored programs are usually more expensive than tuition & fees at Purdue. IMPORTANT: Indiana residents who are recipients of State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana scholarships (Higher Education, Core 40, Honors, 21st-century), staff-dependent remissions, or CDV benefits cannot use this aid to cover the program fees of co-sponsored programs. Recipients of Purdue merit scholarships, such as the Top Scholar Award, can use their aid for these programs. Availability of aid must be determined by DFA.
Click here to list co-sponsored programs.
Type 3: Purdue Administered or Departmental Programs
Purdue Administered programs are administered by the Study Abroad Office staff.
Participants in Purdue Administered programs are charged comprehensive program fees, not merely tuition. Therefore, Indiana residents who are recipients of State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana scholarships (Higher Education, Core 40, Honors, 21st-century), staff-dependent remissions, or CDV benefits cannot use this aid to cover the program fees of Purdue Administered programs. Recipients of Purdue merit scholarships, such as the Top Scholar Award, can use their aid for these programs. Availability of aid must be determined by DFA.
Summer Study Abroad
If you plan to study abroad during the summer, remember:
- most summer programs are either co-sponsored or Purdue Administered. That means that State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana scholarships (Higher Education, Core 40, Honors, 21st-century), staff-dependent remissions, or CDV benefits cannot be used to over the costs of these programs;
- if you want to take summer classes at Purdue in addition to going on study abroad, take a close look at the amount of your summer aid award. It may not be enough to comfortably cover both a study abroad experience and classes/rent/food.
- your aid eligibility may increase if you take more credits over the summer, for example, if you register for distance learning courses in addition to your study abroad courses.
Other Sources of Aid
If you find that you need supplemental funds to pay for study abroad, the first place to look is the Other Funding Sources page. Please note that it's important to apply for scholarships early. Applications for a scholarship through the Study Abroad office is due at the time you apply for your selected program. Pay attention to your program's web page; a few partner universities and agencies offer special scholarships to the participants in those programs.