Financial Aid

Understanding Financial Aid

Another important aspect to your decision to study abroad is financial aid and how it works.

Even if you do not know the exact cost of your education abroad program, you should file your FAFSA by the usual deadline. The figures from the FAFSA are used to determine how much you and your family must pay toward your overall educational expenses. Financial aid will be calculated based on the difference between your required contribution and the cost of your education abroad program.

You must earn at least 12 credits during a semester or 6 credits in a summer to qualify for aid.

Financial Aid for Education Abroad

Federal financial aid can be used for approved study abroad options and study abroad costs may be included in the analysis of your financial need. Thus, it is possible that you may be eligible for additional financial aid and loans if the costs of your study abroad option are higher than the costs of staying at your home campus. Aid received through New York State may also be used. Aid received from your home campus may or may not be available. Please contact the Financial Aid office at your home institution for further information.

Financial aid can only be processed at your home campus. Only your home campus can tell you how much aid you will get and how and when your aid will be released. If possible, make arrangements before you leave to have any “extra” aid/loan money automatically deposited into an account from which you can make ATM withdrawals while you are overseas.

The Estimate of Costs lists all the amounts that are payable to UAlbany, so be sure that you have submitted a copy of that Estimate to the financial aid office at your home campus. Then, when your aid comes in, it will be used to pay your bills at your home campus first. The balance can be used to pay your bills at UAlbany and any remaining funds can be issued to you as a refund. If you receive an unexpected financial aid refund, make sure all invoices are paid before spending it!

Getting your financial aid when you need it isn’t always easy. The official “disbursement dates” for financial aid are usually tied to the academic calendar of your home campus and may be rather late for fall study abroad programs that actually begin in July or August. Please note that there are some out-of-pocket expenses that must be paid prior to your departure; such as plane tickets, passport and visas fees. UAlbany cannot convince these agents to wait for your aid to come in! If you are facing severe problems in making these advance payments, and you have proof that your aid will be sufficient to cover all your costs, talk to us. We’ll try to help you figure out how to manage.

UAlbany Students

UAlbany students matriculated in degree programs are eligible to apply for all state and federal financial aid programs, including TAP, Pell Grants, Direct Student Loans, and Parent Loans. File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline even if you do not yet know where you will be studying overseas.

Once you have selected a particular study abroad destination and have been accepted, bring a copy of your letter of acceptance and a copy of the Estimate of Costs for that particular overseas option to UAlbany’s Student Financial Services office to discuss how to reconcile the costs with your aid package. It may be necessary to sign promissory notes and/or entrance counseling to ensure that your student loans come in and that any money left over goes to you in the form of a refund.

Other SUNY Students

Other SUNY students must apply for aid on their home campus. Bring the Estimate of Costs from UAlbany to the Financial Aid office at your home campus and work with that office to determine how much aid/loans you may be eligible to receive. Submit your applications for aid as early as possible, even if you do not yet know which education abroad option you are going to select.

You will pay regular SUNY tuition (at the in-state or out-of-state rate, depending on residency) and the University Fee to your home SUNY campus while you are overseas. All other education abroad related charges will be paid to UAlbany, as the administering campus.

It is your responsibility to provide the financial aid office at your home campus with a copy of your invoices and make all arrangements for your aid to be sent to UAlbany.

Non-SUNY Students

Non-SUNY students must apply for aid on their home campus. There may be some restrictions on the applicability of your financial aid. Because procedures vary greatly from campus to campus, your home campus must advise you about aid/loan eligibility while you are studying abroad through UAlbany. Bring the Estimate of Costs from UAlbany to the Financial Aid office at your home campus and work with that office to determine how much aid/loans you may be eligible to receive. Find out if there are any other fees that you must pay to your home campus while you are overseas.

Your school may inform you that your aid cannot be processed until a Consortium Agreement between UAlbany and your home campus is in effect. This document states that UAlbany is not providing you with financial aid, since by law you can only apply for financial aid at one school: your HOME campus. We can assist you in completing that form. Please send it to the UAlbany Education Abroad office.

It is your responsibility to provide the financial aid office at your home campus with a copy of your invoices and make all arrangements for your aid to be sent to UAlbany.

Financial Aid for EOP Students

EOP students participating in education abroad are eligible for financial aid. Contact your EOP adviser as early as possible. Bring along the Estimate of Costs for your program so that your EOP adviser can compare your expected overseas costs with your usual on-campus expenses. You will receive the same funding that you would be eligible for if you were staying on campus. It is possible that financial aid may not cover all the costs of being abroad.