Financial assistance is available to students who wish to study abroad. Students must plan well in advance and apply for financial aid early.
1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The same criteria that are used to determine financial need for students studying on campus are applied to those studying abroad. Regardless of the actual program costs, the expected family contribution will not differ from what it would be if the student were remaining on campus. Therefore, if the program costs are greater than the cost of studying on campus, the student's financial need will be greater; if the program costs are less, the financial need will be less.
2. Apply to a study abroad program
For study abroad programs administered or co-sponsored by University of Iowa Study Abroad, you must meet with an adviser in the study abroad office. The adviser will notify the Office of Student Financial Aid of your participation in the program. Your financial aid will automatically be adjusted based on your study abroad costs and term dates.
For study abroad programs sponsored by other institutions, you must meet with an adviser in the Office for Study Abroad and obtain a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form. When you have completed this form and your proposed plan of study has been approved by your academic adviser, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid and meet with a financial aid counselor. Be sure you have the Credit Approval Form and contact information (name, phone number and fax number) from your study abroad program with you. The counselor will determine whether you are eligible to receive financial aid. If you are eligible, the counselor will initiate a consortium agreement with the host institution. Typically it takes three weeks to process a consortium agreement. Financial aid cannot be disbursed to you without this agreement.
If you direct enroll in a foreign institution without approval from the UI Office for Study Abroad, you will not be eligible for financial aid.
3. Register in the appropriate study abroad course number
If you are on a program administered or co-sponsored by The University of Iowa, the study abroad office will tell you how to register for your classes.
If you are on a program sponsored by another institution, you should register for 15 hours in ABRD:3500. There is a charge for this enrollment. After the Office of Student Financial Aid receives the signed consortium agreement from the other institution, your registration will be changed to reflect the number of anticipated enrollment hours at the foreign institution. Once your registration has been changed to full-time enrollment, you will not be able to drop or add hours. If you decide not to study abroad, you must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid. We will then cancel this registration, freeing you to register for UI classes. You must register for enough hours to qualify for financial aid—at least six hours for undergraduates and five hours for graduate students (some financial aid programs require full-time enrollment. The maximum number of hours an undergraduate may register for is 18. If you take an independent study class at UI in addition to the hours at the foreign institution, be sure you carry a total load of 18 hours or less. If you have preregistered for UI hours and later decide to study abroad, be sure to drop your UI classes.
4. Complete and submit promissory notes and entrance loan counseling, if applicable
5. Check the status of your offer on MyUI to verify that all required documents have been received
6. Receive financial aid funds
You must meet all the disbursement requirements for the federal financial aid programs.
The University Billing Office requires all financial aid refunds be direct deposited into your bank account. You can authorize this on MyUI. Under federal regulations, funds can not be disbursed more than ten days prior to your enrollment period. Your financial aid refund may not be available until after you leave the country. By establishing direct deposit, your funds will be available to you at the earliest possible date.
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 a power of attorney signature on a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note.
If you are enrolled in a program sponsored by The University of Iowa, financial aid will be credited to your U-Bill to cover your program fees. The balance of your financial aid will be refunded to you to help you cover incidental expenses.
For programs sponsored by other institutions, financial aid will be credited to your U-Bill, then refunded to you. You are responsible for paying all program fees.
7. Receive academic credit
If you receive financial aid for studying abroad, the classes you take abroad must transfer back to the University of Iowa and count toward your degree. It is your responsibility to provide an official transcript to the University of Iowa study abroad office. You will not be permitted to register at the University of Iowa for an upcoming semester until the official transcript is received. If you have early registered for a subsequent semester and the official transcript is not received in a timely fashion, your early registration will be voided. If you have difficulty receiving a transcript from the foreign institution, please ask the study abroad office for assistance.