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Student Financial Assistance

study abroad

Study Abroad Programs

The following items are general reminders and may not apply to everyone participating in a Study Abroad Program.

Some students may decide to participate in a Study Abroad Program while enrolled at WKU. A major concern is how to pay for the expenses associated with the trip. Most forms of financial aid may be used to pay for your study abroad program costs.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about using financial aid to pay for those costs.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.  If you do not have a FAFSA application on file, please apply soon and allow sufficient processing time (6-8 weeks is recommended). The FAFSA can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. In the financial planning stages, it is a good idea to find out how much aid might be available to you.  

How much will my program cost?

Contact the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning concerning the cost of your program. The information is also provided on their website under the specific program information. This information not only helps you determine the cost of your program but helps Student Financial Assistance determine your budget and financial aid. The budget is the maximum amount of money that you are allowed for your program. Loans are generally the only type of aid that can be increased.  

How do I use my scholarships for my study abroad?

If you are traveling during the Fall or Spring semesters and wish to apply your scholarship to your program cost, please contact the WKU Scholarship Department at scholarships@wku.edu no later than August 1 for Fall term or November 1 for Spring term. Please include your WKU ID on all correspondence. Some scholarships, such as WKU National/International and TIP, cannot be applied toward study abroad costs. 

Please keep in mind that CAP Grant and KEES cannot be used toward programs that are not billed by WKU or another Kentucky university.

Where can I find out about scholarships and other ways to fund my study abroad?

To help with funding your study abroad experience, the Study Abroad and Global Learning provides some tips and scholarship links on their website. Please be sure to start the process early.   

   

When can I expect to receive my residual?

Financial aid funds will be released to WKU after the 100% drop/add period.  Students planning to utilize financial aid should be aware that federal regulations prohibit the release of aid to WKU before the beginning of the term.  Students will be responsible for making any advance payments that may be due.

I am not offered enough in financial aid and scholarships (or I have exhausted my financial aid), where can I find other loan sources?

Study abroad students are held to the same annual federal limits as students not studying abroad.  If you already received your maximum amount of financial aid for the fall and spring terms, you may not be eligible to receive additional federal aid for the winter or summer terms. Another option is a private/alternative loan.  This is a loan from a private or outside lender.  Generally, a co-signer is required.  Interest rates for alternative loans vary by credit score. More information can be found on our Loans page. It is a good idea to utilize federal student loans before pursuing alternative loans.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.  If you do not have a FAFSA application on file, please apply soon and allow for sufficient processing time (6-8 weeks is recommended).   The FAFSA can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

How much will my program cost?

Contact the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning concerning the cost of your program.  The information is also provided on their website under the specific program information. This information not only helps you determine the cost of your program but helps Student Financial Assistance determine your budget and financial aid.  The budget is the maximum amount of money that you are allowed for your program. Loans are generally the only type of aid that can be increased.

Can I receive a Pell Grant and loans for my Summer study abroad?

Study abroad students are held to the same annual federal limits as students not studying abroad.  If you already received your maximum amount of financial aid for the Fall and Spring terms, you may not be eligible to receive additional federal aid for the Summer term.  If you received Pell Grant in the Fall and Spring semesters and attended full time both semesters, Pell Grant is not available for the Summer term. The table below lists academic year limits for federal student loans. If you have not borrowed the annual limit, you may be eligible for a loan. In the financial planning stages, it is a good idea to find out how much aid might be available to you.  

 

Year in School

Dependent Student (had to use parent’s information on the FAFSA)

Independent or student with a denied PLUS

Freshman

$5500

$9500

Sophomore (or Jr/Sr pursuing an associate’s degree)

$6500

$10500

Junior/Senior (pursuing a bachelor’s degree)

$7500

$12500

Graduate student (pursuing a master’s degree)

 

$20500

Graduate student (pursuing a certificate)

 

$12500

How many hours do I need to take in order to receive federal loans for the Summer?

Federal regulations require undergraduate students to be enrolled in at least 6 hours to receive federal loan, while graduate students must be enrolled in at least 4.5 hours.  The hours can be comprised of all study abroad hours or a combination of study abroad and non-study abroad hours.  

How do I apply for a Summer loan?

After you are enrolled in at least 6 hours (4.5 for a graduate student) and have loan eligibility, we will email a link to the Summer Loan Preference application.  Submitting this application will initiate the summer awarding process. Summer awarding typically starts in late March/early April.   

If you are only eligible for Parent PLUS Loan or only eligible for a PLUS increase, you will need to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance after you are enrolled at least half time.  Our system will not automatically send the application.  If your parent wishes to borrow PLUS Loan for your program and has not been preapproved, he/she can complete the preapproval process at www.studentloans.gov.

Where can I find information about scholarships?

To help with funding your study abroad experience, the Study Abroad and Global Learning provides some tips and scholarship links on their website. Please be sure to start the process early.  

When can I expect to receive my residual?

Students planning to utilize financial aid (financial aid includes grants and loans) should be aware that federal regulations prohibit the early release of federal aid to WKU.  Funds, including residuals, will be released with the regular university disbursement.  Students will be responsible for making any advance payments that may be due.

I have exhausted my financial aid or I am only taking three hours during the Summer. Where can I find other loan sources?

If you already received your maximum amount of financial aid for the Fall and Spring terms, or if you are going to be enrolled less than half-time, you may not be eligible to receive additional federal aid for the Summer terms.  Another option is a private/alternative loan. This is a loan from a private or outside lender.  Generally, a co-signer is required.  Interest rates for alternative loans vary by credit score. More information can be found on our Loans page.  It is a good idea to utilize federal student loans before pursuing alternative loans. Under some circumstances, students are able to increase a spring loan to receive funding.  To determine if this is a possibility, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance before the last week of April.    

If you are a graduate student who has borrowed his/her yearly Stafford Loan limit and will be enrolled at least half-time, another option is a Graduate PLUS Loan.  If you wish to apply for the PLUS Loan, you can complete the preapproval on www.studentloans.gov.    

How do I apply for financial aid?

Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1. If you do not have a FAFSA application on file, please apply soon and allow for sufficient processing time (6-8 weeks is recommended).   The FAFSA can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

How much will my program cost?

Contact the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning concerning the cost of your program. The information is also provided on their website under the specific program information. This information not only helps you determine the cost of your program but helps Student Financial Assistance determine your budget and financial aid. The budget is the maximum amount of money that you are allowed for your program. Loans are generally the only type of aid that can be increased.

Can I receive financial aid for my Winter program?

For financial aid purposes, winter term enrollment is combined with the Spring term.  If you are applying for financial aid for the Winter term, you must be enrolled in both Winter and Spring terms before we can initiate the review for winter aid. If you will be attending classes in the winter term, but not the Spring term, we will be unable to award additional loan money for the Winter. If you already received your maximum amount of financial aid for the Fall and Spring terms, you may not be eligible to receive an increase for the Winter term. Study abroad students are held to the same annual federal limits as students not studying abroad.

How do I apply for Winter term aid?

After you are enrolled in both Winter and Spring term and you possibly have additional financial aid eligibility, our office will send an email with instructions for completing the Winter Loan Preference application. Completing this application will initiate the review for additional aid.  

My parent would like to increase his/her PLUS to help fund my study abroad, how can he/she do that?

If you are only eligible for Parent PLUS Loan or only eligible for a PLUS increase, you will need to contact the Department of Student Financial Assistance after you are enrolled at least half-time between the Winter and Spring semesters. Our system will not automatically send the application.  If your parent wishes to borrow PLUS Loan for your program and has not been preapproved, he/she can complete the preapproval process at https://studentloans.gov.

When will my aid pay to WKU?

If your aid has been increased for the Winter term, funds (including PLUS loans) will be released with Spring term financial aid after the 100% drop/add period. Students planning to utilize financial aid should be aware that federal regulations prohibit the release of aid to WKU before the beginning of the term. Students are responsible for making any advance payments that may be due (for example, airline tickets).    

If the bill is not paid before the Winter term due date, a hold will be placed on your account until the bill is paid in full. If you are utilizing financial aid to help pay for these costs, the hold will not be lifted until after the Spring disbursement, if the bill has been paid at that time. Please make any needed adjustments to your schedule and transcript requests before the Winter term due date.  

My program will be paid with my financial aid after I return from my program? Can I still participate? 

Yes.  The Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning is aware that financial aid will pay to WKU after the Spring 100% drop/add period.  

I have exhausted all of my financial aid between the Fall and Spring terms. Is there additional funding for my study abroad?

After other types of federal aid have been exhausted, private/alternative loans may be used to help cover study abroad program costs.  Generally, a co-signer is required. Interest rates for alternative loans vary by credit score and lender. More information can be found on our Loans page.

 

Contact Information:
Tiffany Denton | Student Financial Assistance Department | Potter Hall Room 343 | tiffany.denton@wku.edu 

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 Last Modified 6/28/17