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Study Abroad FAQ

  • 1. I have no idea what I need to do to study abroad! How do I get started?

    If you have not done so already, you will want to start by reviewing the Study Abroad website and requesting an appointment with a study abroad advisor.

    For financial aid, your first step will be to request an appointment with a financial aid study abroad coordinator. Your financial aid study abroad coordinator will work with you one-on-one to review the aid you are currently receiving, help you determine what aid is eligible to be used for study abroad expenses, and what options are available to you to make your trip financially possible. Your financial aid study abroad coordinator will also walk you through the paperwork the Office of Student Financial Aid will need from you and address any questions you have about receiving your aid or paying your bill.

  • 2. I am already abroad and didn’t meet with a financial aid study abroad coordinator. What should I do?

    Please contact our office immediately. We will work with you via email, phone, or Skype to resolve your situation. Please note that the process of working together remotely may delay the release of your funds by several weeks. Remote meetings should be a last resort, reserved strictly for desperate situations.

  • 3. Why do I need to meet with a Financial Aid Study Abroad Coordinator from the Office of Student Financial Aid?

    If you are planning to use any financial aid (including scholarships, grants, loans, etc) to help finance your study abroad trip, you need to make an appointment with a financial aid study abroad coordinator. Requirements for using funds abroad are complex and not all aid is eligible to be used for study abroad expenses. Your financial aid study abroad coordinator can help you navigate these requirements and find additional funding for your trip.

    Additionally, by Federal law, the use of any financial aid for study abroad requires the completion and receipt of certain paperwork. Without meeting with you to go over this paperwork, we cannot release your financial aid to you.

    If you are not using any financial aid for your trip, you will not need to meet with us.

  • 4. How far in advance should I request an appointment with a fnancial aid study abroad coordinator?

    We prefer to meet with students the semester prior to their intended trip. We do our best to accommodate student timetables and schedules; however, appointments are determined on a first-come-first, serve basis. Appointment times are limited and are generally booked 1-2 weeks in advance, sometimes longer. Please plan accordingly as you review deadlines for your intended program.

  • 5. How do I make an appointment with a financial aid study abroad coordinator?

    To make an appointment with a financial aid study abroad coordinator, please use the online appointment form.

    Please be specific in regards to the days/times you are available to meet and allow 2 business days for your appointment to be scheduled. Please do not send multiple appointment requests. Once you have been emailed with your appointment time, please confirm back that the day/time is convenient or if another day/time would be better. We try our best to accommodate student schedules as much as possible.

  • 6. I need to make a decision before my appointment time! Is there any way to get an earlier appointment?

    Unfortunately, no. All appointments are on a first-come, first-come basis. We encourage all students to carefully review deadlines for their program and request appointments at least 2 weeks in advance. We can usually meet with students for a general FAQ session on Fridays, but students will still be required to have a formal appointment to review relevant paperwork.

  • 7. What do I need to bring with me to my Study Abroad appointment?

    Ideally, we would like students to bring the following:

    • atemized cost of attendance for their given program and
    • a completed coursework approval form.

    The cost of attendance should be a line-item breakdown of required expenses to the program, including: room, board, travel (both round-trip airfare and in-country travel), books and supplies, tuition and fees, required excursions, and personal expenses. The cost of attendance should be from an official source, such as a website, printed literature, or something printed on official letterhead.

    The Coursework Approval Form will be given to students during their consultation with a study abroad adviser in the Study Abroad office. Scholarships and loans have credit hour requirements that need to be maintained, so we recommend students plan on having a full-time schedule approved. This form must be signed by the Office of Student Financial Aid and a copy made for our records.

    These two forms must be turned into the Office of Student Financial Aid prior to the student’s departure; otherwise, we are not able to release funds to them.

  • 8. When will my Financial Aid be released and why?

    When you turn in your Coursework Approval Form and Itemized Cost of Attendance (discussed in Question No. 7), your financial aid will be released to cover any bill you have due to Clemson. Failure to return these documents will keep your financial aid on hold and your bill unfulfilled, which may result in late charges to your account if the bill is not covered out-of-pocket.

    Once you are abroad, you will most likely be enrolled in some type of orientation. You will present a Verification of Enrollment Form (provided to students during their meeting with an financial aid study abroad coordinator and not available online) to whomever is conducting that orientation, which will then be completed and either faxed or emailed back to the Office of Student Financial Aid (email and fax is included at the bottom of the form). Once this completed form is sent back to our office, the remainder of your aid (often referred to as your “refund”) will be released to you either via direct deposit or physical check. Please note, if you do not meet with us, simply returning a Verification of Enrollment Form will not result in your aid being released, as there will still be a hold on your account from the other missing documentation. Please see Question No. 2.

    The late release of your aid is based on regulations that students must be actively attending classes and meeting credit hour requirements to receive their scholarships, grants and loans. Without the Verification of Enrollment, we cannot guarantee that a student is actively attending classes and thus cannot release aid.

  • 9. Help! I have a bill due before my aid will be released. What do I do?

    Most universities and third party providers will allow students to defer payment of their bill in the amount that they will be receiving in financial aid. For example, if your program of choice costs $20,000 and you will be receiving $12,000 in aid, you would be responsible for paying the difference of $8,000 up front, while deferring the $12,000 you will be receiving in financial aid until after you have received those funds.

    Most third party organizations or host universities require students to submit some kind of form, completed by the Office of Student Financial Aid, which indicates how much aid the student will be receiving in order to accurately determine how much of the bill can be deferred. If you are planning on applying for a loan or have applied to a scholarship, you may want to wait to have this paperwork completed until after those monies are reflected on your iROAR account. We can only reflect the amount of aid you actually have on these forms, not anticipated aid.

  • 10. I have forms for my program that need to be filled out. Do I need an appointment or can I just drop them off?

    You do not need an appointment to drop off paperwork to be filled out if you have already had an appointment with a financial aid study abroad coordinator.

    When completing paperwork reflecting your financial aid, we can only record the financial aid actually on your iROAR account. If you are planning on taking out a loan or are waiting for a scholarship, you may want to wait for these to be reflected in your financial aid package before giving us paperwork to be filled out, particularly students requesting third parties defer their payments.

  • 11. How much does it cost to study abroad? What fees do I pay to Clemson?

    The base cost of your trip will vary depending on what type of program you are planning on going on and when you are planning on going. The amount and type of financial aid you are receiving will also impact your out-of-pocket expenses. Third party programs usually provide a cost of attendance on their websites or in their literature. You will need to work with them directly for their individual pricing. The Study Abroad office can help students determine the cost of attendance for Clemson programs. For all trips, Clemson charges a Study Abroad fee which is 10 percent of in-state tuition rate (roughly $650) for each semester you are abroad. The Study Abroad office can provide students with information on any additional fees that will be due to Clemson.

  • 12. Can I use my financial aid to study abroad, and what additional aid is available?

    The financial aid that is eligible to be used abroad varies based on the type of aid itself, as well as the intended trip. Scholarships, loans, and grants each have specific regulations in regards to how they can be used for study abroad. Do not assume that your aid will be eligible to be used for study abroad, even Clemson scholarships aren’t eligible for all trips! During the appointment with a financial aid study abroad coordinator, students will be informed of what aid is travel-eligible and what requirements they must meet to take advantage of their aid.

    The financial aid study abroad coordinator can help students look into different types of loans which may be available to make their trip a financial success. For scholarships and grants, students are encouraged to review the scholarships section of the Study Abroad Website.

  • 13. Is it less expensive to study abroad in the summer or during a traditional fall/spring semester? What financial aid is available for summer study abroad programs?

    Expenses for study abroad trips will vary greatly between programs, location, and semester abroad. Generally, summer trips have a lower cost of attendance than traditional fall/spring trips. However, most scholarships, grants and loans have associated restrictions in regards to the number of stipends students are eligible to receive in an academic year. Students generally use up the number of stipends available to them during the fall and spring semesters.

    So although the cost of attendance may be lower, the out-of-pocket expense may be greater for summer trips. Loans, whether Federal Direct ParentPLUS, Federal Direct, or private, are generally a student’s best option for summer trips. The financial aid study abroad coordinator can provide students with their best options for funding a summer trip.

  • 14. How do I pay my program fees to Clemson? How will I get my financial aid?
    Once we receive your Cost of Attendance and Coursework Approval Form, any study abroad associated fees will automatically be deducted from your financial aid. Failure to return these forms will result in these fees having to be paid out of pocket or a late fee being incurred. Once we have received your Verification of Enrollment, any excess financial aid (refund) you may have will be released either by physical check or direct deposit. No funds can be disbursed until the Verification of Enrollment form is returned to Clemson University stating that your classes have begun and that you are participating. This process usually takes two or more weeks. Details regarding your Verification of Enrollment form will be discussed in your appointment with a fnancial ad study abroad coordinator.
  • 15. What happens to my work-study if I study abroad?

    Federal Work-Study money is not eligible for study abroad trips, regardless of the type of trip being taken. A student must be on campus working their job to be paid through the work-study program. Since students will not be available to work their jobs while studying abroad, these funds are universally unavailable for use for study abroad trips.