Receive Financial Aid While Studying Abroad on a UI Program

The Office of Student Financial Aid works closely with Study Abroad to facilitate the disbursement of financial aid toward the cost of participating in UI study abroad programs. After the program’s application deadline, Study Abroad provides Financial Aid with a list of program participants and a detailed breakdown of the program’s cost. Financial Aid will adjust individual students’ financial aid packages to reflect the cost of the program (rather than the corresponding session at the UI), and notify students by e-mail when the adjustments are complete.

For students who study abroad on a semester or academic year program, this process will work, in theory, without requiring  any additional visits to the Financial Aid office. Students on summer or winter programs will need to contact the Financial Aid office to determine their eligibility for financial aid. The Summer Award Application is available via MyUI (the paper application process is not longer available); the winter application can be found on the Office of Student Financial Aid website Winter Financial Aid Application. If you have questions about the potential financial impact of participating in a specific program, or about the instructions and procedures which follow, you are welcome to meet with a walk-in counselor in 208 Calvin Hall.


If you receive financial aid and/or a UI scholarship disbursed through the Office of Student Financial Aid, be aware/take care of the following items in preparation for your study abroad program.

Getting Ready

  • If you plan to apply for federal financial aid, be sure you have filed all the necessary financial aid papers.
    • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) plus all supporting documentation
    • Promissory notes for all loans you accept
    • Entrance Counseling form if you are a first-time loan borrower
  • Register in the appropriate ABRD:xxxx course, according to the instructions given by your Study Abroad Advisor. Note that students may not register for more than 18 s.h. per semester. (If you have preregistered for on-campus UI courses and later decide to study abroad, be sure to drop the on-campus UI courses.)
    • Semester Programs:  Full-time undergraduate students must be enrolled for and complete at least 12 s.h. to be eligible for semester financial aid.
    • Summer Programs:  Undergraduate students must be enrolled for and complete at least 6 s.h. to be eligible for summer financial aid.
    • Winter Programs:  Costs will be added to Fall semester, financial aid usually limited to Pell Grants/Federal Direct Loans (if maximum limits not met).
  • UI Billing Office requires students authorize Direct Deposit of financial aid refunds through MyUI.
  • You are strongly encouraged to give a parent or other responsible adult power of attorney to sign legal documents on your behalf while you are abroad. You must specifically authorize this person to sign promissory notes for educational loans in order for the Direct Loan Servicing Center to accept his or her signature on a loan note.

Getting Your Financial Aid

In the same manner as on-campus sessions, financial aid will be applied toward study abroad charges on your U-bill with any excess refunded to the student. Study Abroad charges for UI-sponsored programs (ABRD:xxxx) will include the Study Abroad Admin Fee and applicable program fees. Any excess financial aid will be refunded and can be used for any other study abroad expenses. 

In accordance with federal regulations, UI policy requires that all excess financial aid refunds be electronically deposited to the financial institution of your choice. This can be accomplished by signing on to MyUI and providing your bank account information via the secure MyUI portal (Student Records/Bank Information-Refund Account). This will also allow prompt refund processing and easier access to your funds while abroad.

The earliest financial aid can be disbursed to U-Bill charges is 10 days prior to the start of your classes; any funds to be refunded to students (as financial aid refunds) will be processed on the date program begins. Actual access to funds is subject to individual financial institution practices.

These instructions were prepared by the Office of Student Financial Aid. If you have any additional questions about the procedures for applying financial aid toward the cost of participating in a study abroad program, contact a Counselor at the Office of Student Financial Aid, 208 Calvin Hall.