Funding Your Experience Abroad
Study abroad is an investment in your education and your future, but it does not have to be an expensive one. With careful planning and a strategic use of resources, any WKU student can afford to participate in a study abroad program that will add international depth to their WKU experience.
The key is to begin early. The first step is to select a program that meets both your academic needs and your budget limitations, keeping in mind that there are numerous scholarships available to help reduce the cost. You may wish to consult with a Peer Advisor or Study Abroad Advisor as you are making this decision. Next, develop a financial plan, drawing from all available resources such as scholarships, financial aid, and personal funds. The Financial Planning for Study Abroad worksheet may be a useful tool as you begin to budget and plan how you will fund your program.
Study Abroad Scholarships
Numerous scholarships are available to WKU students to offset the cost of an international experience. Explore each of the categories below to determine which scholarships you are eligible to apply for:
- WKU Scholarships
- External Scholarships
- Location Specific Scholarships
- Provider Specific Scholarships
- Scholarships for Critical Language Study
The following search engines may also be helpful in locating additional study abroad scholarships:
The Office of Scholar Development (OSD) provides assistance to WKU students as they apply for nationally competitive scholarships such as the Gilman Scholarship and the Boren Award. To schedule an appointment, email email@example.com or call 270-745-5043.
Current Scholarships and Grants
If you normally receive scholarships or grants towards your education at WKU, you may be able to use those funds for study abroad. While academic scholarships from WKU can generally be applied toward any semester or academic year program, KEES money may only be used if your program fees are billed through Topnet, which is the case for all WKU programs, partner programs, and affiliate providers. Unfortunately, WKU employee tuition waivers and, in most cases, military tuition benefits may not be used for study abroad.
To request that your scholarships be applied towards your study abroad fees, email Andy Wagoner, Assistant Director for Academic Scholarships, at firstname.lastname@example.org with your WKU I.D. by no later than November 1 for winter and spring Programs and March 1 for summer and fall Programs.
Financial Aid for Study Abroad
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, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Make sure you have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file for the current/ approaching academic year.
- Select your study abroad program carefully. Choosing to study abroad on a non-WKU approved program may prevent you from applying your financial aid. To browse programs, click on Find My Program.
- You must be earning credit on your program. This can take the form of WKU credit or transfer credit.
- If you are participating in a summer program, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours (undergraduate) or 4.5 credit hours (graduate) for loans to apply.
- Private/alternate loans may be used to help cover study abroad program costs after other types of federal aid have been exhausted. Generally, a co-signer is required before loans can be processed, and these loans often have higher interest rates than Federal Direct loans.
- Your parents may increase their Parent Plus loan if they have been approved for the current academic year based on the cost of your program. Your parents must notify Nancy Alfonso (email@example.com) if they wish to do so.
- Financial aid may be released NO earlier than 10 days prior to the start date of the program.
For further information, or to request to use your financial aid towards study abroad, please email Tiffany Wilson Denton in Student Financial Assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should include the following information in your email: Name, 800#, term you are considering studying abroad, and number of credit hours you will take.
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