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Office of International Programs

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid and Scholarships

A number of financial aid sources exist to assist students in managing the costs of education abroad.  Below is a list of some of those, as well as other funding ideas and search resources.  Please keep in mind that information is subject to change without notice, and information published by the aid sponsor will supersede the below.

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements vary according to the aid source.  Some aid types may not be available for non-UA education abroad programs, for summer study or for part-time study (fewer than 12 credits in a regular semester or fewer than 6 credits over all summer terms combined). Students should always have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file and consult with The University of Akron’s Office of Student Financial Aid (OFSA) to determine eligibility for federal, state and campus-based aid.

Even if students have never received federal or state financial aid grants or loans prior, they are strongly encouraged to consult with the OSFA and file a FAFSA.  The costs of education abroad may raise students into a higher need bracket.

For scholarship eligibility requirements, students should consult the scholarship provider directly.

Budgeting and Reasonable Expenses

In determining award amounts, some aid types will factor in “reasonable expenses” of the student’s chosen program. These include tuition and related fees, housing and meals, books, supplies and transportation.

With any education abroad program, students should create a budget that includes the above, plus estimates of passport and visa fees—if necessary, insurance and personal costs, such as souvenirs and personal travel. This will help estimate the entire expected cost of the program.

Grants

Federal Pell Grant

Available almost exclusively to undergraduates and all eligible students will receive the award amount for which they qualify based on financial need. Estimated annual awards vary and these grants are prorated based on the number of enrolled credit hours.

Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG)

A grant offered to students who are Ohio residents. These grants are also prorated based on full or part-time enrollment status.

Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Only awarded to students who meet the strict need guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education, and submit the FAFSA by March 1. Students must be Pell-eligible to receive this grant.  Only applicable to UA-sponsored programs.

Loans

Federal Direct (Stafford) Subsidized Loan

Awarded based on need as determined from information on the FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education pays interest while the borrower is in school and during any grace and deferment periods. The student must be at least a half-time student and have financial need. The annual loan limit varies based on class standing.

Perkins Loan

The Perkins Loan is another need-based loan program. Students must have filed their FAFSA by March 1 to be considered for this program.  Only applicable to UA-sponsored programs.

Nursing Student Loan

The Nursing Student Loan programs provide long-term, low-interest rate loans to undergraduate students who have been admitted into the nursing program and have filed their FAFSA by March 1.  Only applicable to UA-sponsored programs.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Non need-based loan. Students must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for this loan program. This loan is given in lieu of, or in combination with, Direct Subsidized Loans. Terms are the same as the Stafford Subsidized Loan, except the borrower is responsible for the interest from the date of disbursement.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Non need-based loan. The applicant is the student's parent, who is responsible to begin repayment almost immediately upon disbursement. If a parent is denied for this loan, the student may be eligible for a Stafford Unsubsidized Loan. To receive the PLUS loan, no FAFSA is required; contact the OFSA for an application.

Alternative Loans

Non need-based loan. These are private loans that are generally in the name of the student; a FAFSA is not generally required for these loans. Often the student is the borrower, and may need to have a creditworthy co-borrower. Interest rates, repayment plans and deferment options vary widely among lenders. Be sure to "shop" for the option that is right for your situation since these are loans that are designed to bridge the funding gap when savings, scholarships, grants, federal loans, and other resources are not sufficient.

University of Akron Academic Scholarships

Students who qualify for UA merit-based scholarships may use them toward the costs of UA-sponsored education abroad programs. As always, students should consult the OFSA for detailed eligibility criteria. May only be applicable to UA-sponsored programs.

Tuition Remission

Students who receive tuition remission as dependents of UA faculty or staff members may use it toward the program fee for UA-sponsored exchange programs.

Ad-Hoc Consortium Agreement

Students participating in non-UA sponsored education abroad programs must complete an Ad-Hoc Consortium Agreement in order to use aid earned through The University of Akron toward their education abroad program. This form is available from the OFSA.

International College Ambassador Scholarship

Administered jointly by the University of Akron Women’s Committee and the Office of International Programs, the International College Ambassador Scholarship awards $2,500 to one (1) UA student per academic year. Students must plan to go abroad for a minimum of one (1) semester and have a minimum of a full academic year remaining after their return before graduation. During that year after return, the International College Ambassador must commit to giving presentations to campus and community groups on their experience.

Applications must be submitted to OIP by the deadline.

Ohio International Consortium Donald N. Nelson Scholarship for Study Abroad

The Ohio International Consortium (OIC) was established in 1991 in order to identify, develop, and expand beneficial international relationships that might contribute to the enhancement of Ohio’s global profile and the international expertise and activities of the state’s public four-year universities.

In 2005 the OIC established the Nelson Scholarship for Study Abroad in honor of Donald N. Nelson’s many contributions to international education and to aid selected students from OIC member institutions—including The University of Akron—who study abroad for a semester or more.

Application Deadlines:

Fall Semester: March 25
Spring Semester: October 8

NB: Application deadlines are specific to The University of Akron and are set one week before OIC deadlines to allow for review and submission.

Submit applications to:

Education Abroad
Office of International Programs
Polsky Building 483
educationabroad@uakron.edu 

Award Amount:

Fall Semester: $1,500
Spring Semester: $1,500

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Ohio residency
  • Full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate from an Ohio International Consortium member school.
  • At least a rising sophomore
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must return to the home campus for at least one semester
  • Commit to completing an approved follow-on project
  • Accepted into an accredited study abroad program approved by the home institution
  • Abroad for at least one semester
  • Have not previously received the Nelson Scholarship

Preferred Criteria:

  • First-time study abroad applicant
  • Studying in non-English-speaking country
  • Completing coursework in the target language

Requirements:

  • Completed Donald N. Nelson Scholarship for Study Abroad Application.
  • 500-word essay explaining how your study abroad experience fits into your degree and career plans and what concrete steps you will take upon your return to campus to share your experience with others on your campus and encourage participation in study abroad.
  • Academic performance.
  • Previous study abroad experience (preference given to applicants studying abroad for the first time).
  • Study abroad advisor certification of application and study abroad program.

UA Contact:

Steven Cook
Assistant Director for Education Abroad
Office of International Programs
scook2@uakron.edu

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

Sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education, the prestigious and competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program “offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad”, with the stated goal of “better preparing U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world”.

Award Amounts:

Average: $4,000
Maximum: $5,000
Maximum with Critical Need Language Award: $8,000

Critical Need Languages include:

  • Arabic (all dialects)
  • Chinese (all dialects)
  • Bahasa Indonesia
  • Japanese
  • Turkic (Azeri, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkish, Turkmen, Uzbek)
  • Persian (Farsi, Dari, Kurdish, Pashto, Tajik)
  • Indic (Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Sinhala, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi)
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Swahili

Application Deadlines:

Summer: March 1
Fall/Academic Year: March 1
Spring: October 1

Eligibility Criteria:

  • US Citizen
  • Undergraduate
  • Good Academic Standing
  • Pell Grant Recipient
  • Applying to or accepted into a study abroad or internship eligible for credit at UA
  • Program duration of a minimum of four (4) weeks in one country.  Multi-country programs are eligible if the student studies in one country for four (4) consecutive weeks.
  • Not proposing study in Cuba or a country currently under a US Department State Travel Warning
  • Have not previously received the Gilman Scholarship

The Gilman Scholarship Program also seeks to diversify the profile of US students participating in education abroad, whether in terms of gender, ethnicity, major or proposed destination.  The profile of the typical US education abroad participant is a white female majoring in the humanities or business and studying in Western Europe. Students not fitting that profile in some way are given a degree of preference in selection.

Resources:

Video tutorials and guides may be found here.

UA Contacts:

Education Abroad: Steven Cook, scook2@uakron.edu
Financial Aid: Kathryn Wieland, wieland@uakron.edu

Students should consult with an Education Abroad Advisor prior to completing the Gilman application.

National Security Education Program/Boren Awards for International Study

Comprised of the Boren Scholarships and the Boren Fellowships, the Boren Awards for International Study offer significant grants to undergraduate and graduate students studying in destinations that are less common and deemed critical to US interests, with preference given to certain emphasized countries.  Language study is a mandatory component of a Boren-funded program, with preference given to less-commonly taught languages.  Boren Scholars and Fellows are subject to a government service requirement after graduation.

Boren Scholarships – Eligibility:

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of application
  • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
  • Matriculated in an undergraduate degree program located within the United States accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Applying to a study abroad program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.

Award Amounts (Max.):

Summer: $8,000 (STEM students only; min. 8 weeks)
Semester: $10,000
Full Academic Year: $20,000

Campus Application Deadline:

January 20

Boren Fellowships – Eligibility:

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of application
  • Either matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program at a U.S. college or university located within the United States and accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Planning an overseas program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. 

Award Amounts (Max.):

12-24 Weeks: $12,000
25-36 Weeks: $20,000
37-52 Weeks: $24,000
Award for Supplement Domestic Language Study (Max.): $12,000
Award for Combined International & Domestic Program (Max.): $30,000

Campus Application Deadline: 

January 15

Resources:

Video tutorials and guides may be found here.

UA Boren Campus Representative: 

Steven Cook
Assistant Director for Education Abroad
Office of International Programs
scook2@uakron.edu

Hanban Scholarship

The Hanban Scholarship is grant awarded by the Chinese Ministry of Education to provide the opportunity to study in China for qualified students through individual Confucius Institutes and their charter partner institutions in China.  Awardees from The University of Akron typically enroll in Henan University in Kaifeng, Henan Province.  Interested students should consult the Confucius Institute.

Other Outside Scholarships

Fund for Education Abroad (FEA)

General Scholarship Award Amount: up to $10,000
General Scholarships Available: 15
Application Deadline: November

FEA has multiple scholarships available, including a general scholarship and three dedicated scholarships with specific eligibility requirements.  The single application deadline is set well in advance of eligible terms, falling in the November prior to the given academic year (May to May).  For example, the application for Summer 2014, Academic Year 2014-15, Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 programs will fall in November 2013.

Global Studies Foundation Grant for Student Travel and Study Abroad 

Application Deadline: July 1 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • US citizen
  • Full-time enrollment in accredited secondary or post-secondary institution
  • Selectees expected to share experience upon return and acknowledge GSF support 

Selection Criteria:

  • Academic performance
  • Program merit
  • Outreach potential 

LIVFund Scholarship

Award Amount: $500
Scholarships Available: 2 awarded per month
Application Deadline: Rolling, minimum 6 months prior to travel 

Recipients must study, intern and/or volunteer in any one of 21 Latin American countries: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.  Recipients must commit to posting 3 entries to the LIVFund blog. 

American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) Bridging Scholarships for Study Abroad in Japan

Award Amounts Application Deadlines:
Semester: $2,500 Fall or Academic Year: April 8
Academic Year: $4,000 Spring: October 8

Eligibility Criteria:

  • US Citizen
  • Undergraduate enrolled in US college/university
  • Minimum one (1) semester program duration
  • No language prerequisite 

Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

DAAD offers a number of scholarship and program options for undergraduate and graduate students interested in study, internships and/or research in Germany.

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants 

Award Amount: $1,000
Awards Available per Year: 50
Application Deadline: April 1

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Individual membership not required
  • Attend an institution with an active Phi Kappa Phi scholarship (UA currently does not have a chapter)
  • Min. cumulative GPA of 3.75/4.0
  • Program begins between May 1 of application year and June 30th of following year
  • Applied to and/or accepted into an education abroad program 

Golden Key Study Abroad Scholarship 

Award Amount: $1,000
Awards Available per Year: 10+
Application Deadline: July 1

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Golden Key member
  • Undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate

Currently enrolled in a study abroad program or will be enrolled the academic year immediately following the granting of the award

Third-Party Provider Scholarships

Many third-party providers, including those with which UA has concluded Affiliation Agreements, offer various scholarships for students participating in their programs.

Online Scholarship Databases

The following websites have searchable databases of scholarships and other funding sources for education abroad programs.

529 College Savings Plan (Parents/Guardians)

A 529 College Savings Plan allows for tax-free accumulation of assets and federal tax-free withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses, including approved study abroad programs and for over 480 international institutions (should direct-enrollment be considered).  For more information, consult a financial advisor and/or the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Information Center [1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243)].

See also:

Crowd-Source Funding

Crowd sourcing very quickly has become a popular way of funding a variety of projects and ideas, and many websites have sprung up to facilitate this.  Below is a list of several such websites that students might use to raise funds for education abroad.  Always be careful to read the terms and conditions.  Some sites may take a flat fee; others may take a percentage of donations.  Some sites may be “all-or-nothing”, meaning the project only receives money if the stated goal is met and receives nothing if donations fall short.

More Resources

Funded International Degree & Research Programs

Cecil J. Rhodes Scholarships 

The oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Each year 32 Americans are selected as Rhodes Scholars to study up to two years at and earn a graduate degree from Oxford University in England. 

UA Campus Representative: 

Dr. Shelly Baranowski
Department of History
330-972-7081
sbarano@uakron.edu 

Fulbright U.S. Student Program 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistantships.  A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application and have a conferred bachelor's degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant.  In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional training and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement. Grant lengths and dates vary by country. Please consult the specific country summary for details.

Fulbright Program Adviser:

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler
Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics
330-972-8060
kck@uakron.edu 

IREX Short-Term Travel Grants Program

The Short-Term Travel Grants Program (STG) supports postdoctoral scholars and professionals to conduct independent or collaborative research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. 

IREX Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program 

The Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program (IARO) provides scholars and professionals with long-term support to perform policy-relevant field research in the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung/Foundation 

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation offers several programs for funding postdoctoral scientific and scholarly research in Germany.

Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

Marshall Sherfield Fellowship

Fellowships enable US scientists or engineers to undertake post-doctoral research for a period of one to two academic years at a British university or research institute.

Mitchell Scholarship Program

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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