Financial Aid

April 17, 2015


It is becoming increasingly more complex to understand financial aid regulations as more diverse students participate in study abroad. This page will provide resources that can help professionals familiarize themselves with financial aid regulations, both at the federal and state level.

We also encourage you to review the NAFSA Financial Aid & Study Abroad: Basic Facts for Students and Financial Aid & Study Abroad: Basic Facts for Administrators webpages for answers to frequently asked questions and topics.

Government Resources on Financial Aid Topics

U.S. Department of Education Financial Aid Resources

Resources from the Office of Federal Student Aid (An Office of the U.S. Department of Education)
The office of Federal Student Aid provides publications, fact sheets, online tools, and other resources on preparing for college, applying for aid, consumer protection, and more. A few resources that might be helpful for education abroad professionals are listed below, but you can access the full site from the link above.

Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP)
The Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) is a resource that consolidates information and guidelines to administer Title IV federal student aid. Education Abroad professionals may look up federal guidelines and resources pertaining to federal funding.

Visit for the following information:

  • 2013 Blue Book: provides guidance on accounting, recordkeeping,
    managing, and reporting by postsecondary educational institutions
    that participate in federal student aid programs.
  • Federal Student Aid Handbook: a comprehensive
    administrator's guide to regulatory and administrative requirements
    for the Title IV federal student aid programs.
  • Yearly Pell Grant award charts: chart the helps to determine Pell Grant award amounts based on EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and Cost of Attendance.
  • "Dear Colleague" letters: outline periodic updates and changes
    to federal regulations regarding the awarding and disbursement of
    financial aid.
  • Foreign Schools web page: this website provides a resource for eligible schools located outside the United States (commonly referred to as foreign schools) on the process and use for direct loan programs for US students attending their schools.

US Department of Education Policy Initiatives and Regulations:
The links below refer to the US Department of Education’s policies and regulations relating to international educators.

  • US Department of Education Law and Guidance: Legislation, regulations, guidance, and other policy documents can be found here for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, No Child Left Behind, and other topics.
  • Negotiated Rulemaking Sessions: This web page provides the public with background information regarding the Department’s negotiated rulemaking effort to make changes to the Title IV, Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, program regulations in 2014-2015.
  • Negotiated Rulemaking for Foreign Schools: This web page outlines the regulations and provisions related to the eligibility of a foreign institution for participation in the Federal student aid programs.

Clery Act Resources
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) requires U.S. colleges and universities who participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses, in off-campus facilities as well as crimes committed in study abroad programs as described by the Act. Failure to comply with the Clery Act can include significant financial penalties to an institution, including fines and loss of Federal Financial Aid funds. Below are some resources to help better understand the Clery Act.

Veteran Benefits
Below are some resources to help better understand how VA benefits may be used for study abroad.

State Financial Aid Resources

In addition to federal regulations, it is important for professionals to become familiar with regulations specific to state financial aid. Below are some resources that can help provide more information.

  • US State Government Aid: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for most state loan, grant and scholarship programs, in addition to the federal loans and grants. This link provides websites for each state. The amount of information provided on the state websites varies from state to state.
  • State by State Financial Aid Programs: This website by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) provides information by state on what financial aid programs may be available through the state education agency.
  • 529 Plan: College Savings Plans: A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. This site provides information on 529 plans including what is a 529 plan, the top 7 benefits of 529 plans, do 529 plans affect financial aid, etc.

Related Legislation and Regulations

Below are resources related to financial aid legislation and regulations that professionals can read to stay informed about recent developments.

  • Higher Education Reauthorization Act: This website describes the summary of previsions stemming from the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 that directly affect international education.