Early financial planning is essential when considering studying abroad. Whether you plan to self-fund, utilize financial aid, or apply for scholarships to pay for your experience, studying abroad is an investment that not only takes time to save for but requires detailed and timely investigation to better understand how your current resources may be applicable (not all aid is directly transferable).
In order to adequately plan, you should obtain a preliminary overview of how much your experience will cost to help guide you as you explore ways to fund your studies.
Depending on when you go, what you take, and where/who you study through, some of your experience may be eligible for financial aid and you should take time to speak with your financial aid counselor to learn what pieces might be covered and to better understand what options are available to you.
- Students should stop into Student Records and Financial Services to make an appointment with their financial aid counselor at least one full semester prior to intended study abroad.
- If you are an Alfred State student who is seeking to study abroad through another institution and you hope to apply financial aid towards your experience, an Alfred State consortium agreement (pdf) must be filled out by both Alfred State and the host institution prior to studying. If the host institution is a SUNY school, then you may use the SUNY Financial Aid Arrangement Form (pdf).
- Parts I and II of the form are completed by Alfred State (student and transfer advisor – though the transfer advisor can only fill out part II if they have received proper verification from the student's academic department that courses have been approved for transfer – please refer to application process).
- The form is then sent to host institution's financial aid officer for the completion of section III before it is sent back to students financial aid counselor on Alfred State campus.
- If you are not an Alfred State student, but you are applying for one of our programs and you hope to have your home campus financial aid apply, then you must make an appointment with your home campus financial aid counselor to see what type of consortium agreement form your campus uses and to find out what, if any, of your aid is applicable.
Outside of loans, there are a myriad of scholarship or grant opportunities to explore. We have compiled a short list of scholarship opportunities to get you started in your search. Students already on Alfred State scholarship can occasionally apply the tuition portion of the scholarship towards their study abroad experience. Again, we recommend speaking with your financial aid counselor to determine what, if any, of your campus scholarship might be applicable.
We hope that you take time to really investigate funding options! Get creative with how you search study abroad scholarships and think about what makes you a strong candidate. Merit is often placed on academic standing but in the world of study abroad, many other factors regarding your personal life and location of study can play an important role in what type of financial opportunities you have access to. For instance, first generation college-goers, veterans, minority groups, or specialized language studies can all be searchable categories with regard to funding study abroad experiences.
It is also worthwhile to investigate funding opportunities within your own community - businesses, places of worship, and not-for-profits sometimes have money earmarked for community members wishing to advance themselves in some meaningful way.
Or look into starting a crowd-sourcing effort online and get your friends and family involved in your efforts.
Do not assume that study abroad is out of your reach! Be proactive, research opportunities, talk with your financial aid counselor, get creative, and start planning and saving early.