Handbook on Financial Aid for Education Abroad

February 26, 2008 By: Laura Sutherland and John D. Wells Download pdf

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This document is one of several new Web-based resources called NAFSA e-Publications. E-Publications offer special features including Web pages, downloadable and printable PDFs, and customized tools.

Professionals in the field expect the growth rate of education abroad to only increase for the foreseeable future, but one of the biggest obstacles is the cost. This e-publication provides an overview of the financial aid available for education abroad and how you can establish procedures to package and distribute that aid while addressing the unique regulatory and procedural challenges that often present themselves with regard to education abroad. This publication's usefulness extends also to the network of offices involved in the process including, but not limited to, financial aid administrators, registrars, and bursars.

Though the primary focus of this publication is federal sources of aid, knowing how to create a network of allies on campus who can help design an effective and efficient process for collecting data and distributing aid is just as important as knowing the federal regulations. Developing allies and, on a broader scale, knowing how to work with senior administrators is equally important for managing change to policies such as the transportability of institutional aid for education abroad and how education abroad is funded by the institution.

The contents of this publication provide advice for developing and administering processes, but the advice must not be construed as legal advice or an official interpretation of federal regulations. Frequently written in a manner that stipulates intentions rather than specific modes of compliance, federal regulations leave it to the institution to determine how it will achieve compliance in a given instance as long as it does so consistently. A given regulation may produce different results in varying institutional contacts; what is important is that the institution establishes policies consistent with the regulation and that the institution applies those policies consistently.

Topic Areas

Chapter 1 provides a primer to federal government regulations for government aid. State, institutional, and private sources of aid are too individualized to explain in detail for this publication. It has a special focus on which regulations specifically allow aid to be used and those that may make it difficult to meet regulations for students studying abroad.

Chapter 2 covers the broader issue of advocacy on campus; discussing necessary skills for creating an effective network of allies on campus; developing and maintaining a list of contacts for dealing with regulatory changes, staff changes in key offices, and even changes to systems and processes that may not seem to directly impact aid delivery.

Chapter 3 provides advice about designing processes to package and disburse aid for students going abroad. Also covered are some of the issues related to making the financial aid process fit within student administration systems, like PeopleSoft®, Banner®, or Jenzebar®, which play a major role in designing most processes on most campuses.

Chapter 4 briefly discusses some other financial aid sources beyond Title IV that are available for education abroad.

NAFSA thanks American Institute For Foreign Study and Cultural Insurance Services International, NAFSA Global Partners, for underwriting this project.

Notice of Liability

The information in this document is distributed on an "as is" basis, without warranty. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, neither the author(s) nor NAFSA shall have any liability to any persons nor entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instruction(s) contained in this document. Please note that while NAFSA periodically checks and updates the Web site links included in this e-Publication, NAFSA cannot guarantee that every link to another institution's Web site is current.

Acceptable Use Guidelines

Electronic resources are provided for the benefit of the international education community. However, commercial use, systematic or excessive downloading, or electronic redistribution of this publication are all expressly prohibited.