Learning Abroad Center

Financial Aid

Before You Apply for Your Program

Step 1: FAFSA

Submit an 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 pay any non-refundable deposits or fees. You should schedule this meeting before confirming your place on a program and ideally before you have applied for a program. This meeting allows you to explore your options before you commit financially. At the meeting, the adviser can answer questions about accessing financial aid for study abroad.

During the preview meeting, the financial aid counselor can also discuss your eligibility for the Bridging Loan program, a no-interest no-fees program designed to assist you if you do not immediately have the funds available to cover the $400 program deposit and flight booking costs. It enables you to pay for these costs with your financial aid package before your aid award disburses.

Note: If you have already paid your deposit and confirmed your participation in a program but have not completed a financial aid preview meeting yet, we strongly recommend that you schedule an appointment (using the Financial Aid Preview Meeting link) to submit your SACE so that you have an opportunity to discuss how the SACE will impact your financial aid award and understand how to access your funds.

Graduate Students

The financial aid preview process and scheduling link above is for undergraduate students only. Graduate students should email [email protected] (with "ATTN: Graduate Unit" in the email subject line) to schedule an appointment to discuss your financial eligibility.

Financial Aid Preview Process

This meeting 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 cost of participation (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 (not with a Learning Abroad Center adviser).
  • 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 an 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.

*For 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 a financial aid counselor at OneStop, 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 are strongly encouraged 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 implications 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 for coursework taken on campus. Read and familiarize yourself 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. Work 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, follow the 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 (the 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


Need-based 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 some 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 (loan for parents).