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Financial Need Early Planning Scholarship


    The Learning Abroad Center’s Financial Need Early Planning Scholarship provides study abroad awards for University of Minnesota undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need.

    This scholarship is intended to:

    • ease the financial barrier of study abroad for students with significant financial need.

    • provide assurance of funding earlier in the process and encourage early financial planning. Recipients have up to one year to use their award.

    • increase representation of economically disadvantaged students on study abroad programs.

    The Financial Need Early Planning scholarship is not merit based and awards are granted based on the strength of a student’s essay.

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Must be enrolled as a degree-seeking undergraduate student on the Twin Cities or Rochester campuses at the time of applying and during the term abroad. 
    • Must be participating in a credit-bearing study abroad program.
    • Applicants must demonstrate financial need by having a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file.
      • For the purpose of this scholarship, “financial need” is defined as being eligible for subsidized loans during the academic year you plan to study abroad. Eligibility can be based either on your current on campus costs OR on the estimated cost of participation in your study abroad program.
      • To determine if you are eligible for subsidized loans, follow these instructions or schedule a financial aid preview meeting. The Learning Abroad Center verifies eligibility with Onestop for all potential awardees. 
    • Carlson School of Management students participating in Carlson Global Institute (CGI) programs, including the self-designed international experience (IBUS 3999), are eligible to apply. 
    • Students who obtain college approval to participate in a nonaffiliated program or directed study are eligible. 
    • Students can apply for any or all of the Learning Abroad Center scholarships (Study Abroad, Diversity, and Financial Need) for which they are eligible. It is possible to be awarded both the Diversity and Financial Need scholarships. Students awarded the Diversity or Financial Need scholarships cannot also receive the Study Abroad scholarship. 
    • You can receive a maximum of 3 Learning Abroad Center scholarships (Study Abroad, Diversity, Financial Need) during your undergraduate career. 

    Essays will be evaluated based on:

    • how thoroughly you answer the specific questions outlined below
    • how well written your essay is, in terms of grammar, punctuation and organization

    Essay Questions

    This application is comprised of 2 separate essay questions:

    1. General study abroad essay (required)
    2. Financial need essay (required)

    Visit the Learning Abroad Center Scholarship Portal to learn more about specific essay questions and requirements.

    Essay Question #1

    What motivated you to select your particular study abroad program? Address any academic, career, and/or personal goals that were part of your decision, and expand on one or more of them*. (350 words maximum)

    Essay question #2

    We understand your financial aid (as assessed on the FAFSA) may not fully explain your financial circumstances.  While eligibility for this award is determined by qualification for subsidized loans, scholarship reviewers do not have access to your financial aid information.

    With that in mind, elaborate on the specifics of the financial circumstances impacting your and/or your family's ability to pay for study abroad.  Discuss what financial planning strategies you will use and/or steps you have already taken to pay for study abroad. Be as specific as possible. Your responses will remain confidential. (350 words maximum)

    Deadlines & Award Amounts

    You can apply to the scholarship up to a year in advance. If you do not receive the scholarship the first time you apply, you can apply again.

    Apply for the deadline based on the Education Abroad Term found on the Apply section of your Program page. Contact Kelley Redmond if you are unsure of your program term or have any questions. 

    Term of Study Deadline Date  Notification Date
    Winter Break 2020-21
    Winter Break 2020-21 (Fall 2020 on-campus course) 
    Winter Break 2020-21 (Spring 2021 on-campus course)
    Spring Semester 2021
    Calendar Year Spring 2021-Fall 2020
    Spring Break 2021
    May Session 2021
    May Session 2021 (Spring 2021 on-campus course)
    Summer 2021
    Fall Semester 2021
    Academic Year 2021-22
    September 16, 2020 By October 28, 2020
    Spring Break 2021
    May Session 2021
    May Session 2021 (Spring 2021 on-campus course)
    Summer 2021
    Fall Semester 2021
    Academic Year 2021–22
    Winter Break 2021-22
    Winter Break 2021-22 (Fall 2021 on-campus course) 
    Winter Break 2021-22 (Spring 2022 on-campus course)
    Spring Semester 2022
    Calendar Year Spring 2021-Fall 2022
    February 3, 2021 By March 17, 2021

    Scholarship notification emails will be sent to all applicants' UofM email accounts 4–6 weeks after the deadline.

     Award Amounts

    The award can be used for any term listed for the application cycle during which you apply. If you change terms later your award amount may be adjusted. If the term you change to is shorter than the term you received the scholarship for, your award amount will decrease. If the term you change to is longer than the term you received the scholarship for, your award amount will remain the same.

    The number of scholarships awarded by deadline may vary depending on the pool of applicants and the funding available.

    Term Amount
    Academic Year $4,500
    Fall Semester  $3,000

    Winter Break
    Winter Break (Fall on-campus course)
    Winter Break (Spring on-campus course)

    Calendar Year  $4,500
    Spring Semester  $3,000
    Spring Break $1,500
    May Session
    May Session (Spring on-campus course)
    Summer Session $2,000

    Submit Your Application

    • Check the scholarship deadlines for the term you will be studying abroad.
    • Begin filling out your scholarship application and essay and submit via the Learning Abroad Center Online Scholarship Portal. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the application deadline date, no exceptions. 
    • Once in the portal you have to 'SIGNUP' for an account every time you start an application for a different scholarship. Use the 'LOGIN' to access an application you have already started.
    • Paper, faxed, or emailed applications will not be accepted
    • “Academic” goals do not need to be related to your major; we are looking for you to describe how the program coursework and/or components are relevant to your goals. 
    • Regardless of what type of goal(s) you are focusing on, explain how your goal(s) enhances intellectual learning.