group of U of M Students in front of a windmill in Spain

Financial Aid

    Before You Apply for Your Program

    Step 1: FAFSA

    Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible.  Visit One Stop for application and timeline information. There is no fee to apply. Complete the FAFSA as if you were planning to study on campus at the University of Minnesota. Allow at least one week for the data to be received by the Office of Student Finance.

    Step 2: Schedule a Financial Aid Preview Meeting

    If you plan to use financial aid, schedule a study abroad financial aid preview meeting before you have paid any non-refundable deposits or fees to your program. You may even schedule the meeting before you have applied for a program. This meeting allows you to plot your options before you commit financially. At the meeting, the adviser can also answer any questions about accessing financial aid for study abroad.

    The financial aid preview process is for undergraduate students only. Graduate students should contact one of the following individuals to directly to schedule an appointment: 

    Note: If you have already paid your deposit and confirmed your participation in a program, you can move on to the SACE process below.

    Financial Aid Preview Process

    This step is strongly recommended if you plan to use financial aid to pay for your study abroad program.  It is not required if you do not plan to use financial aid.

    • Be sure you have a current FAFSA on file.
    • Obtain an unofficial budget estimate for your program from the Learning Abroad Center or your program provider.  Consider all costs such as airfare, additional meals, textbooks, travel to obtain student visas and insurance. Use the budget worksheet (pdf) to help make these comparisons easier. 
    • Schedule a Financial Aid Preview Meeting for study abroad. You will meet a financial aid counselor at the One Stop office in 333 Bruininks Hall. 
    • Bring the cost of participation for your program(s) to the meeting. If you are considering multiple programs or additional terms, bring estimates or budget worksheets for each program or scenario. 

    After You Are Confirmed On Your Program

    Step 1: Study Abroad Cost Estimate (SACE)

    After your financial aid preview meeting, and at least a month prior to departure, request the official Study Abroad Cost Estimate (SACE) from the Learning Abroad Center. The SACE is the official document used to modify your aid eligibility. You need to be accepted and confirmed on your program prior to requesting a SACE.

    *Students Participating on the Carlson School's Global Enrichment or Global Immersion Programs: Request your SACE directly from the Carlson Global Institute.

    *This process is only for University of Minnesota Twin Cities students. Students from other institutions need to contact their home institution's study abroad and financial aid office for information on the process for accessing financial aid while abroad.

    Step 2: Submit the SACE to One Stop Student Services

    By submitting the SACE to OSF at 333 Bruininks Hall (map) you are making an official request for OSF to adjust your award amount. No aid eligibility adjustments are made without providing a completed SACE issued by the Learning Abroad Center. An appointment is not necessary to submit the SACE if you have already completed your financial aid preview meeting. Students who choose not to complete a preview meeting must call 612.624.1111 to schedule an appointment to submit the SACE to one of the designated study abroad financial aid counselors.

    Program Cancellation Policy

    Program cancellation after you have confirmed your participation on a program will have ramifications financially, and may also affect the financial aid you've been awarded to study abroad. Read the cancellation policy prior to making any decisions to withdraw from your program. Your financial aid will not cover cancellation fees or non-recoverable costs. Failing grades or 'W's on your transcript may affect your future financial aid eligibility, in the same way it would have for coursework taken on campus. Read and be familiar with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for financial aid recipients.

    Additional Information

    Clear Holds

    You must clear any holds on your University of Minnesota student record prior to your departure by working directly with the University of Minnesota college or office issuing the hold. Holds prevent your credit from being processed and your financial aid (if applicable) from being released. Learning Abroad Center advisers are not able to clear or override holds for you.

    Power of Attorney

    Grant your contact person Power of Attorney and submit a copy of the notarized paperwork to the Office of Student Finance.

    Financial Aid Award Notification (FAAN)

    When you are notified via email that your Financial Aid Award Notification (FAAN) is available on the web, follow the online instructions to accept or decline the different forms of aid you have been offered.

    Promissory Notes

    Complete and submit to the OSF promissory notes for any loans. Be aware that your Attorney-in-Fact (person who is granted Power of Attorney) cannot sign for all types of loans.

    Loan Deferment

    If you need to defer past student loans, it is your responsibility to complete deferment forms and notify the direct loan servicer that you have returned to school. It is a good idea to provide your contact person with a copy of your completed deferment forms. If you need assistance with loan deferment, consult with OneStop Student Services.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

    Read and understand the Office of Student Finance Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

    Taxes & Next Year’s FAFSA

    If you will be abroad during spring semester, remember to file your taxes and complete your FAFSA for the following year. Your Attorney-in-Fact may be able to assist you with this paperwork.

    Two Types of Financial Aid


    This type of aid is based on an evaluation of your financial need and is processed by the University of Minnesota Office of Student Finance. It includes the Minnesota State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, and assorted University of Minnesota Trust loans and grants.

    Important: it is extremely difficult to receive financial aid for May or summer terms because a) students often use all of their aid during fall and spring semesters and b) you must be at least half time, which is 6 credits for the May/Summer term, in order to access most types of financial aid.


    These are loans and are not need-based. They are designed to supplement the parent/student contribution to your educational costs. They can be used alone or in conjunction with need-based financial aid to finance your study abroad costs. Supplementary loans involve a separate application process through the Office of Student Finance and include the Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF), and Ford Federal Direct PLUS (i.e. loan for parents).