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When you decide to study abroad, you are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s what you need to know to keep your financial aid on track while you’re away from the ETSU campus.
Where to start
The ETSU Office of International Programs is the starting point for students who want to learn more about their options for studying outside of the US. You can talk with one of our International Programs staff about the various Study Abroad Programs, destinations and costs. For information, call (423) 439-7737, or visit the Office of International Programs website.
If you plan to participate in one of these study abroad programs, the financial aid process is the same for study abroad participants as for those students who remain on campus. However, to be eligible to receive financial aid for study abroad, you must be enrolled in coursework required for your degree. The credits earned in the program must transfer to ETSU and count as academic credits toward your degree. You will need to complete a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form and submit it to Admissions before your financial aid can be applied to your student account.
Please note: All students receiving financial aid must be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students with a Financial Aid status of Suspension cannot receive financial aid funds whether abroad or at ETSU.
Frequently asked questions about studying abroad
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- Are scholarships available for students studying abroad?Answer
- Can I receive lottery, scholarship, and grant funds while studying abroad?Answer
- If my fall study abroad program ends in December and I want to attend the upcoming spring semester, can I receive aid for the spring?Answer
- My study abroad program begins before the ETSU semester starts. Can I receive my federal funds in advance?Answer
- I owe deposit/registration fees to a Study Abroad Program. Will ETSU send my financial aid to the study abroad school?Answer
- I am required to pay "program costs" to participate in a Study Abroad Program. Am I also required to pay tuition/fees at ETSU?Answer
- What happens to my financial aid if I am unable to finish the study abroad program?Answer
- If a study abroad program begins in January and ends in December, will I need to complete a new FAFSA for my fall Federal and State financial aid?Answer
Are scholarships available for students studying abroad?
Yes. A limited number of scholarships are available through the Office of International Education. You may contact their office at (423) 439-7737 or visit their website to learn more about application deadlines and qualifications.
Can I receive lottery, scholarship, and grant funds while studying abroad?
Yes. You must first complete the FAFSA application to determine if you are eligible for federal and/or state aid. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can receive lottery funds, scholarships and/or grant funds just like you were attending on-campus. Of course, we can't offer Federal Work-Study if you are not on-campus and grants are based upon the number of credit hours for which you will be enrolled. Most ETSU academic scholarships require students to be enrolled full-time while studying abroad.
We encourage you to enroll for direct deposit in the Bursar’s Office at least one month before you depart. For instructions to sign up for direct deposit via GoldLink.
If my fall study abroad program ends in December and I want to attend the upcoming spring semester, can I receive aid for the spring?
Typically, you will be eligible for financial aid for the spring semester, but our office must receive your grades before your financial aid can be released to you. These grades can be unofficial for financial aid purposes. However, ETSU will also need your official transcript from your study abroad.
My study abroad program begins before the ETSU semester starts. Can I receive my federal funds in advance?
No. Regulations do not allow for the early release of federal funds. Therefore, plan on having enough personal funds available or save money from the prior semesters to meet your needs until the ETSU financial aid can be credited to your bank account.
I owe deposit/registration fees to a Study Abroad Program. Will ETSU send my financial aid to the study abroad school?
No. Each student is responsible for paying his/her fees to the appropriate school. Financial Aid will be disbursed to your bank account, provided you have signed up for direct deposit. You are responsible for paying the appropriate deposits and fees.
I am required to pay "program costs" to participate in a Study Abroad Program. Am I also required to pay tuition/fees at ETSU?
Typically, Study Abroad programs require you to pay "program costs". However, some programs also require you to register and pay tuition and fees at ETSU. Please make sure you understand all of the charges for your program. For more information contact the Office of International Programs at (423) 439-7737.
What happens to my financial aid if I am unable to finish the study abroad program?
Federal regulations require students to return a portion of their federal aid if they are unable to complete sixty percent of the term. Tennessee Lottery regulations require the suspension of lottery funds for future semesters. However, a student may appeal TELS eligibility based upon extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control (e.g., documented medical emergencies or the death of a family member).
If a study abroad program begins in January and ends in December, will I need to complete a new FAFSA for my fall Federal and State financial aid?
Yes. A FAFSA form is required annually for Federal Pell, TSAA, Lottery and other similar funds. FAFSA information can be completed beginning in January for aid to be disbursed in the fall semester. Sometimes students are selected for verification by the Federal Department of Education. If you are selected for verification, we cannot disburse any aid until the verification is complete.
Before You Go
- Complete the Study Abroad Credit Approval (SACA) form
- Make an appointment to meet with Amy Collins in Financial Aid (bring SACA form to meeting)
- Students who are eligible for the Lottery Scholarship must enroll in the equivalent
of at least 12 ETSU credit hours in order to receive the full-time award.
- If a student registers for less than the equivalent of 12 ETSU credit hours, the student must notify the Office of Financial Aid so that the Lottery Scholarship can be adjusted.
- If a student drops below the equivalent of 12 ETSU credit hours, the student will lose the Lottery Scholarship. Students can appeal the loss of the Lottery scholarship to the Institutional Review Panel.
- Students who have an APS Scholarship have two options:
- Pre-work the 75 service hours so that the student can receive the APS Scholarship for the term of the study abroad
- Submit a request to put the scholarship on hold until the student returns. Students that choose this option will not receive the APS Scholarship for the term of the study abroad.
- The disbursement date of financial aid will be no sooner than ten days prior to the first day of the study abroad classes (per federal regulations) and cannot be disbursed earlier than ten days before the first day of ETSU classes.
- If the student has not done so already, the student should sign up for Direct Deposit in order to receive a balance of aid refund.
- It is a good idea to sign someone up as a First Mate so our office can discuss the student’s account with someone else (if necessary) while the student is abroad. (www.etsu.edu/firstmate)
- If a student is awarded an International Education Scholarship and needs money in order to pay for airfare in advance, the student can contact International Programs about obtaining a Bridge Loan. This is only for airfare!
- A student will need to “Confirm Registration” on their GoldLink account by the fee payment deadline if the student is awarded enough financial aid to cover their tuition/fees in order to prevent their ETSU holding class from being dropped.
While You Are There
- Due to the difference in time zones, most students find it easier to contact Amy Collins by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If your class schedule changes in any way, please contact Amy and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
When You Return
- A financial aid hold will be placed on the student’s account for “Unsatisfactory Academic Progress” until the study abroad grades are received.
- Students can submit unofficial study abroad grades in order to release the financial aid hold, but an official transcript will also be required.
- When the official grades arrive and are posted to your transcript, the Office of Admissions will notify the Office of Financial Aid. The financial aid hold will be cleared and financial aid will be applied to the student’s account for the next term.