Financial Support for Study Abroad
The type of program (Tier 1, 2, or 3) that students select impacts how much aid Austin College can provide to help pay for study abroad costs.
While studying abroad on an Austin College-approved program in the Tier 1, students are registered as full-time Austin College students. Therefore, in many cases, students are able to use their financial aid (scholarships, grants or loans) toward the study abroad experience.
Financial Aid Guidelines
Students are also expected to apply for Austin College and external Scholarships to help support the cost of their abroad experience.
If a student is studying abroad on an approved Austin College program they will be registered as a full-time student at Austin College. Therefore, the financial aid package, whether the student has scholarships, grants or loans, will apply towards their study abroad program with one exception. Those receiving any kind of a tuition exchange benefit or Qualified Tuition Remission benefit are not allowed to use this tuition benefit for the term(s) the student is abroad.
The Study Abroad Office will develop budgets to be used by the Office of Financial Aid for preparing the financial aid package for the term(s) abroad. The budget will consist of the following components:
- Study Abroad Tuition Rate (Austin College tuition, room and board)
- Personal Expenses
- Local Transportation
- Visa Fees
- Health Insurance
- Miscellaneous (as specified by program)
Estimated budgets are used based on information supplied by the program and are updated as exact figures become available. Any financial aid (scholarships, grants and loans) a student receives will first be applied towards what is owed to Austin College for the term(s) abroad (typically the Study Abroad tuition rate). Any remaining financial aid will be refunded to the student to be used for other expenses associated with the term(s) abroad.
A study abroad program provider typically bills Austin College for the program costs and Austin College bills the student for tuition, room (double occupancy) and board as if the student were on campus at Austin College. This is known as the Study Abroad tuition rate. If the study abroad program provider includes only partial meals in their program costs then the student will be given a meal check for the equivalent of 21 meals a week during the study abroad stay.
Most programs require a non-refundable deposit upon acceptance in order to reserve a student’s place in the program. Austin College will pay this amount once a Study Abroad Commitment form is signed.
Often there is a housing or security deposit, health insurance premium and cell phone deposit. Students must pay these deposits directly to study abroad program before the program begins. Sometimes these deposits are refunded by the program provider according to their policy. The study abroad program provider’s account must be cleared before they will send Austin College the student’s final grade transcript.
There are two options for financing Study Abroad.
Option One: Scholarships for the Study Abroad tuition rate. This would be if a student does not require any financial assistance other than scholarships. Scholarship(s) amount will be applied to the Study Abroad tuition rate and the student account will be billed the difference.
Option Two: Scholarships, Grants and Loans, for the total Study Abroad budget. This option would require a meeting with the Office of Financial Aid at Austin College. Please call 903.813.2900 to schedule this appointment.
International Program Provider fees will be billed directly to Austin College and NOT to students or their parents. The AC Business Office pays the program cost (minus any scholarships) from the Student Receivable Account. Financial aid is calculated and subtracted from the student account. An AC statement is then sent to the student’s permanent address unless the student has given the Business Office a separate accounts receivable address. The balance remaining is due to AC upon receipt of the statement. Please contact the Study Abroad Office, if you have questions.
If parents receive a bill from the study abroad program provider directly, this is a mistake. Please have the International Program Provider send it to the Study Abroad Office.
Financial Aid refunds, if applicable, will not be issued until the start of the Austin College term, when all aid has been transmitted by the Business Office and applied to the student account. However, students can get one time advance per semester to help cover the costs of a semester abroad, if all financial aid has been approved (including all loans).
Refunds will be mailed to the student’s address that was provided to the Study Abroad Office.
If a student has loan/refund checks which will arrive while they are abroad, they must complete a “General Power of Attorney” form so that parents or the person designated may sign the loan checks for deposit. Students will fill out a General Power of Attorney in their Pre-Departure Checklist.
Study Abroad Financial Aid Advances
Prior to the start of term, a student who has been approved to Study Abroad may request a Financial Aid Advance from the Austin College Business Office. The following criteria must be met before any monies are considered for an advance. Only one Financial Aid advance per student will be processed per term.
- Student must have approved acceptance into the Study Abroad program.
- Study abroad estimated budget must be completed.
- Student must file the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the Financial Aid is able to do a financial aid package for the term and/or academic year they plan to study abroad.
- All financial aid (loans, scholarships, grants) must be in a confirmed status. (Confirmed = all aid is ready to be disbursed to the student’s account)
When the above items are complete, the student may present a request for a financial aid advance. Student should bring the following to the Business Office.
- Copy of acceptance letter into the Study Abroad program
- Copy of financial aid awarded (can be found on Webhopper)
- Copies of out of pocket receipts paid or to be paid (i.e. airfare, visa, passport)
Upon approval by the Director of Finance, a financial aid advance will be disbursed to the student within 5 – 7 business days.
NOTE: Any remaining credit on the student account will be refunded, as per Austin College credit balance refund policy. Credits will be refunded to the student or student’s power of attorney.