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.
If you wish to use your WKU financial aid to help pay for a study abroad program, here are the steps you will need to complete.
- Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1. If a current academic year FAFSA is not already on file, sufficient processing time should be allowed (at least 6-8 weeks in advance is recommended). The online version of the FAFSA may be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- In some instances, a consortium agreement is required before aid can be considered for classes taken as part of a study abroad program. If such information is needed, you will be notified directly of this requirement. Please send the document to the applicable institution as soon as possible.
- Contact the WKU Office of Study Abroad, located in Grise Hall 128, to complete a Study Abroad Approval Form. This form should be approved by the student's Study Abroad Advisor and returned to the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning in Grise Hall 128. A copy must be submitted to Student Financial Assistance at least six weeks before the departure date of the trip.
- Provide Student Financial Assistance the costs associate with the study abroad program and an estimated departure date for the trip. This information can be obtained from the WKU Offic eof Study Abroad, or the agency (KIIS, CEA, CCIS, ISA, etc). The cost information will be used to determine if your budget and financial aid may be increased to reflect any additional costs related to studying abroad. Loans (Stafford, PLUS, and private/alternative) are generally the only type of aid that can be increased.
- An application form should be completed and submitted electronically.
- Notify Andy Wagoner, Assistant Director for Academic Scholarships, via email at email@example.com if you are traveling during the fall or spring semester and wish to apply your university and/or academic scholarship to your program costs. Remember, this will count as a semester of eligibility.
- Contact the WKU Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning for information on scholarship opportunities for study abroad programs. The office is located in Grise Hall room 128 and can be reached at 270-745-5334 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are applying for federal aid and are already receiving your academic year maximum amounts for Pell Grant and/or Stafford loans, you may not be eligible to receive additional federal aid for the Winter or Summer term if you remain at the same grade level. If you are an undergraduate student, you must be enrolled in at least 3 hours during the winter term to receive a Stafford loan and if you are a graduate student, you must be enrolled in at least 1.5 hours to receive a Stafford loan.
If you are an undergraduate student, you must be enrolled in at least 6 hours during the fall/spring/summer terms to receive a Stafford loan and if you are a graduate student, you must be enrolled in at least 4.5 hours to receive a Stafford loan.
Private/Alternative Educational Loans may be used to help cover study abroad program costs after other types of federal aid have been exhausted. Students may apply for larger loan amounts and some lenders release the funds directly to students in one disbursement. Generally, a co-signer is required before loans can be processed and the loans often have higher interest rates than Stafford loans. More information and a list of lenders can be found online.
Students planning to utilize financial aid should be aware that federal regulations prohibit the release of financial aid before the beginning of the term at WKU. Students are responsible for making advance payments directly to the agency sponsoring the trip.
In some cases, students that have applied for financial assistance and are eligible for refund money may receive their funds before the beginning of the semester you will be traveling (if the departure date for the trip is prior to the firs disbursement cycle of that particular term and if you have submitted all necessary paperwork to the SFA Office). It normally takes our office 4-6 weeks to process all of your paperwork. In general, manual checks will be released no earlier than one week prior to the departure date.
Jennifer Wells, Assistant Director