Using Financial Aid and Loans to Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a valuable educational experience and it can also be a costly one. It is important to get your finances together well before your classes are scheduled to begin. All aid, including alternative loans, is processed through the Office of Student Financial Aid. The process of filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid) and/or applying for an alternative loan can take up to a month, even longer if there is a problem along the way.

  • Financial aid that can be used abroad: Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, State Grants, R.I. Children's Crusade, ACG Grant, SMART Grant, Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, and Alternative Loans.
Procedures for taking aid abroad:
  1. Letter of Approval: You must get approval for your study abroad program from the Director of Study Abroad. The Director (Dr. Gale Goodwin Gomez ggoodwin@ric.edu) needs to send an email verifying that you are going abroad to James Dorian in the Records Office and to Nancy Bessette in the Office of Student Financial Aid.
  2. Budget: You must submit an estimated budget to the Office of Student Financial Aid. This budget should be broken down into categories: tuition, fees, housing, food, books, transportation while abroad, plane tickets and other miscellaneous expenses. Adobe PDFDownload budget worksheet.
  3. Authorization of Credit Form: This form can be found in the Records Office or downloaded from http://www.ric.edu/studyabroad/formsguidelines.php (the Study Abroad Office web page) and is needed in order to ensure the credits you are taking abroad will transfer to RIC. One form is needed for each class that you intend to take abroad. The original copy of each form should be submitted to Dr. Gale Goodwin Gomez ggoodwin@ric.edu, the Director of Study Abroad, so that she can send copies to the Office of Student Financial Aid and to the Records Office. No aid can be awarded until the Records Office enters your study abroad credits into the system.
  4. Consortium Agreement Form: This form can be found at the Office of Student Financial Aid or downloaded from http://www.ric.edu/studyabroad/formsguidelines.php (the Study Abroad Office web page). You must have a representative from the specific program or host institution (i.e. American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) or Bond University, etc.) fill out this form and return it to the Office of Student Financial Aid. If you have questions about who is your host institution you should contact Nancy Bessette nbessette@ric.edu in the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Steps 1-3 must be complete before your aid and loans can be awarded while step 4 must be complete before the money can be refunded to you. It is important to understand that even if you have completed the four steps outlined above there will be delays in getting your aid if your financial aid application, i.e. your FAFSA and any supporting documentation, is incomplete. It is your responsibility to make sure everything is processed for both federal aid and alternative loans in order for the aid to disburse two weeks before your departure.

If you have any questions related to financial aid, please contact Nancy Bessette at the Office of Student Financial Aid at 401-456-8033.

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Page last updated: Oct. 16, 2013