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Paying with Financial Aid

Generally, for your financial aid to be "portable" to a study abroad program, you must be enrolled full-time at the foreign institution and receive credit for the program toward your degree at your home institution. There may be other eligibility restrictions, depending on the financial aid program, but usually you will be able to take your Title IV funding (Pell, Stafford and PLUS) overseas with you.

Your home institution may require an agreement in order for you to use your financial aid. The first step should be checking with your study abroad advisors and financial aid administrators or bursar's office to confirm what will apply to the ISA program.

Download the "Paying with Financial Aid" document

Helpful Financial Aid Resources

Be sure to look at the financial aid information found in the Helpful Resources section of our website.

Checklist for Using Financial Aid

(Note: These are general instructions. Please check with your financial aid office, as each U.S. institution is different.)

The following is a preliminary checklist of items that you must complete in order to apply financial aid to your ISA program:

  • Inform your university study abroad and financial aid offices of your interest in using financial aid to pay for an ISA study abroad program and ask about their requirements.
  • Ask your financial aid office if there is a Contractual Agreement, sometimes referred to as a Consortium Agreement, that needs to be completed. If so, have that form sent to financialaid@studiesabroad.com as soon as possible so that it can be completed and returned to your university.
  • Read and sign the Verification of Award (VOA), which accompanies the ISA acceptance forms on the ISA Student Portal (if you check the financial aid box on the ISA application). If you did not receive the VOA with your acceptance materials, please contact your ISA Program Manager to request one.
  • Work with your university financial aid office to ensure that the VOA is completed and returned to ISA by your program deadline. The VOA may be emailed to your ISA Program Manager or you may upload it to the ISA Student Portal.
  • Turn in all necessary payments and your HOLD check to ISA by your program due date.
Paying for an ISA Program

It is up to you to ensure that ISA receives one of the following by your ISA payment due date:

Full payment for the ISA program

You can make the full payment for your program and use your financial aid award as a reimbursement. Many students will take out a personal loan at their bank or ask their parents or a family member for the money. Keep in mind that you can pay back your parents, or the bank, as soon as you receive your financial aid.

Guarantee of full payment on VOA & your Good Faith Payment

The completed VOA will state the amount you will be receiving, which will cover your full ISA balance. Additionally, you will be responsible for making your Good Faith Payment to ISA, in the appropriate amount. The next steps are as follows:

If the funds are released to "student":

You will be responsible for submitting a HOLD check in the amount of your financial aid award (minus the Good Faith Payment amount), dated for one week after your funds are to be released. You must contact ISA as soon as your financial aid funds have been disbursed to you so that we may deposit your HOLD check. Keep in mind that the Good Faith Payment and your HOLD check must add up to your balance due to ISA. ISA will deposit your HOLD check when we have confirmation that the funds have been released.

If the funds are released directly to "ISA":

Funds released directly to ISA, for an amount equal to or in excess of your balance due, should fulfill your financial obligation to ISA for your program cost.

Guarantee of partial payment on VOA & your additional payment (most common)

The completed VOA will state the amount you will be receiving. The next steps are as follows:

If the funds are released to "student":

You will be responsible for sending ISA a HOLD check in the amount of your financial aid award, dated for one week after your funds are to be released, and payment for the remainder of your balance via the ISA Student Portal. If the remainder of your balance is less than the Good Faith Payment amount for your program term, you are then responsible for paying the Good Faith Payment amount. You may then reduce your HOLD check accordingly. Keep in mind that the additional payment and HOLD check must add up to your balance due to ISA. You must contact ISA as soon as your financial aid funds have been disbursed to you so that we may deposit your HOLD check. ISA will deposit your HOLD check when we have confirmation that the funds have been released.

If the funds are released directly to "ISA":

You will be responsible for paying the remainder of your balance via the ISA Student Portal. If the remainder of your balance is less than the Good Faith Payment amount for your program term, you are then responsible for paying the Good Faith Payment amount.

*All required housing deposits and housing commitment fees (in addition to the Good Faith Payment) must be paid no later than the final forms and payment due date.

Good Faith Payments
  • $300 for each 4 and 6-week ELAP Service-Learning programs
  • $500 for each Summer Program, Intensive Month Program, or 8 and 12-week ELAP Service-Learning programs (with the exception of the specific programs listed below)
  • $1,000 for each Semester or Trimester Program or back-to-back Summer Programs (with the exception of the specific programs listed below)
  • $1,500 for a Year Program or back-to-back Semester or Trimester Program (with the exception of the specific programs listed below)
  • $1,000 for the England, Valencia FSU, Lima, Rome or Florence Summer Programs
  • $1,500 for the England Semester and Year Programs
  • $1,500 for the Colombia Semester and Year Programs
  • $2,000 for the Beppu Summer Program
  • $2,000 for the Valencia FSU Semester and Year Programs
  • $2,000 for the Australia, New Zealand and Fiji Semester and Year programs

*All required housing deposits and housing commitment fees (in addition to the Good Faith Payment) must be paid no later than the final forms and payment due date.

Good Faith Payment Amounts can be made via debit/credit card on the ISA Student Portal or via check or money order (to be deposited immediately upon receipt).

Important Note

Failure to follow through with one of the options by the payment due date could result in added fees to your ISA program cost and/or cancellation of your ISA application. If the VOA is not available by the ISA program due date, you may either submit payment in full or contact ISA so that we can assist you in setting up a payment plan, which will require an initial payment no less that the Good Faith Payment amount. As you may know, it is crucial for you to play an active role in ensuring that the process of getting your aid is carried out properly and in a timely manner. Please contact the ISA office if you feel that none of the options are applicable to your situation.

If you come across any obstacle that prevents you from meeting a financial aid deadline, please contact ISA immediately.

Please note, the financial aid process listed here does not apply to ISA Master's Degrees.

Financial Aid Calculation Tool (FACT)

The ISA Financial Aid Calculation Tool (FACT) is a helpful resource to get a better understanding of how the process works. The FACT can be found here.