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.
Be sure to look at the financial aid information found in the Helpful Resources section of our website.
(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:
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.
The Verification Of Award (VOA), completed by your university, will state that your funds will be sent directly to ISA. If funds to ISA are equal to or in excess of your balance due, this should fulfill your financial obligation to ISA for your program cost. If your funds are less than the balance due, you will owe the difference to ISA by the payment due date. The completed VOA, indicating these details, is due to ISA by the payment due date. *This is typically not the student's choice, as many universities must release funds to the student rather than to ISA.
The completed VOA will state the amount you will be receiving, which will cover your full ISA balance, and that the payment will be sent to the "student". You will be responsible for making your Good Faith Payment to ISA, in the appropriate amount, and submitting a HOLD check in the amount of your financial aid award (minus the Good Faith Payment amount) that is 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.
The completed VOA will state the amount you will be receiving and that the payment will be sent to you. 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 or a check (to be deposited immediately by ISA). 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.*All required housing deposits (in addition to the Good Faith Payment) must be paid no later than the final forms and payment due date, with the exception of the London Theater Studies programs.
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).
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.