STUDENT GUIDE TO FINANCIAL AID AND STUDY ABROADGVSU FACULTY-LED PROGRAMS 2017-2018This guide is meant to answer most of your basic questions about using your financial aid to help youcover the costs of a study abroad program. Please read this entire document before contacting theFinancial Aid Office. It may not be necessary to meet with someone if your questions are answeredbelow.Who should read this document? XXXStudents studying abroad through a GVSU faculty-led program.Students studying abroad through a partnership program.Students studying abroad through an affiliate program or a non-GVSU.This is not for independent study where students are working directly with a GVSU facultyperson for the academic credit.FINANCIAL AID ADVISORSIt is not necessary for you meet with a financial aid advisor if you don’t have questions after readingthis document. However, once you have been accepted to study abroad AND you have completedyour Study Abroad Expense Form through OASIS, you may email a Financial Aid Advisor for additionalhelp. The advisor will determine at that point if a meeting is necessary.CONTACT INFORMATIONFinancial Aid Office100 Student Services [email protected] International Center130 Lake Ontario emailing financial aid, please include:GVSU “G Number”Program Name (i.e. Israel Anthropology)Program Type (i.e. GVSU faculty-led)Page 1 of 12

ContentsPageThe Basics – What every student needs to know3Advice from PIC Staff3When a financial aid award is verified4Study Abroad Expense Form4Information about Estimated Program Costs4Confidentiality and FERPA5Frequently Asked Questions6GENERAL SECTIONCan I use my GVSU financial aid towards the cost of study abroad?Do I have to be registered full-time in order to obtain student aid?Do I need to make adjustments to my FAFSA?What forms are required?I have been approved by PIC. What is my next step?I have a financial aid award in MyBanner. What is my next step?What types of aid are available?Am I eligible for more aid because I am studying abroad?Are there penalties if I withdraw from study abroad after being accepted?GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPSWhen should I begin searching for grants and scholarships?Will I automatically receive a study abroad grant?When will the study abroad grants be awarded?PROGRAM FEES AND DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDSWhen can I get my money?6666777799101010111111Out-of-State Students11International Students11MET Benefits12GVSU Employee Tuition Benefits12Page 2 of 12

THE BASICS – WHAT EVERY STUDENT NEEDS TO KNOW1. Degree-seeking students who have been accepted by PIC to study abroad are eligible forfinancial aid through GVSU. International students should carefully review the InternationalStudent section for details on limitations that may exist.2. There are different sources for financial aid: federal, state, GVSU funds, and privatescholarships/grants. Due to the changes in Financial Aid policy, please contact Financial Aidoffice for more details.3. Financial aid consists of: loans, scholarships, and/or grants.4. In order to be eligible for most financial aid, you must complete the FAFSA. Students can nowfile a FAFSA as early as October 1. It is recommended that you apply for FAFSA by the prioritydeadline of March 1.5. Keep in mind that many grants and scholarships have deadlines much earlier than March 1.6. If you have any additional financial aid questions, you may contact the Financial Aid Office. Werecommend you do this at least 2 months prior to your departure.7. All students that study abroad through GVSU must register for a class at GVSU.Faculty-led program participants or students participating in independent study work willregister for a specific course here at GVSU. See your faculty director or PIC contact person foradditional information.8. Students must be registered for, and transfer back, a minimum of 6 US credits in order tomaintain eligibility for federal student aid in the summer. If your study abroad program offers 3credits only, you’ll need to register for an additional 3 credits during the spring/summersemester(s) in order to have access to a spring/summer financial aid award.9. Students can use both MET and employee tuition benefits towards the cost of their program,but these are not considered financial aid. Additional information is available at the end of thisdocument. The disbursement of funds for MET and employee tuition benefits may differ fromthe regular financial aid disbursements.10. Most students that study abroad apply for loans to help finance their program costs.11. Most students who study abroad have access to some personal funds that will be used towardsthe cost of their study abroad program.Page 3 of 12

Advice from PIC StaffOur staff is highly trained to respond to general financial aid questions, but each individual has uniquecircumstances that we may not know about. We do our best to provide students with generalinformation and estimated costs. We rely on each person to provide us with a complete and accuratepicture of his/her situation.Students with unusual circumstances ( i.e. out-of-state, international students, or special scholarshiprecipients, etc.) should contact Sam Mulder @ [email protected] Aid Award VerificationPIC staff members are trained to help you find information on your current financial aid award. PICcannot verify funding that a student will receive for his/her study abroad. Many students look at thecurrent year’s financial aid award to determine what aid may be available during the next academicyear when they plan to be abroad. Please be advised that changes may occur from year to year withregards to your financial aid eligibility. You will not receive a final confirmation until a financial aidaward is created in MyBanner for the semester/year that you will be abroad.STUDY ABROAD EXPENSE FORMOnce your OASIS application status is accepted, you MUST submit your Study Abroad Expense Formthrough OASIS. If you do not complete this form, your study abroad costs will not be considered whenyour financial aid award is processed.The Study Abroad Expense Form serves as an estimated cost of attendance for your study abroadprogram. The total amount listed is the maximum amount of aid you can receive from GVSU. Thisestimated cost of attendance does not reflect the amount of aid you will qualify for, simply the cap onhow much could be awarded to you.The Study Abroad Expense Form can be found under “Required Forms” in your OASIS account. If youhave questions on where to find this information, contact PIC. You will not have access to this formuntil you have been accepted to study abroad through PIC.What costs can be included on the study abroad expense form?TuitionProgram feesHousingMealsAirfare to your host countryIn-country transportationMisc. living expenses (i.e. laundry, bus pass, basicnecessities)Passport/visa feesCourse-related feesPage 4 of 12

The expense form for your program is already pre-filled. Please review it carefully and submit forapproval to PIC. If you have any additional expenses not included in the form, add them. The additionalexpenses will be subject to approval from PIC.Estimated Program CostsPIC provides an estimated budget for each faculty-led program on our . PIC cannot give students an exact dollar amount for every expenseassociated with a study abroad program. Most travelers run into unexpected expenses while abroad.In addition, a great deal of a person’s budget is based on personal spending habits. Students whointend to travel independently, regularly go out for entertainment purposes, purchase specialequipment, etc. will have to budget additional funds to cover these types of expenses. At a minimum,students should expect to have 700 set aside for unexpected expenses.You are also advised to monitor the fluctuation of the currency exchange rate. The currency exchangerate can significantly impact estimated costs.Web resources:www.xe.comwww.oanda.comAdditional costs you may need to consider: Are you going to purchase a cell phone?Can you use Skype or will you have to purchase minutes in order to call from your cell phone?Do you have other habits (luxuries or personal habits) that you know you will maintain whileabroad?Do you plan to purchase souvenirs for yourself, family, and friends?Do you have emergency funds available?Are you building in a cushion to account for the fluctuation in exchange rates?Are you considering the charges that your bank will charge for international transactions?Are you building in a cushion for those unexpected expenses?Confidentiality and FERPACan my family talk with the Financial Aid Office or the Padnos International Center regardingconcerns or problems?Due to confidentiality laws, there is limited information that can be provided to your family withoutyour written consent. As part of the OASIS application process, students are asked if they would like togive PIC permission to speak with a parent or other contact person(s). If you provided a contactperson, we will be happy to speak with that individual if questions arise.Page 5 of 12

If you did not give PIC permission to speak with a designated contact person, we will require writtenpermission from you before information can be released to that individual. The Padnos InternationalCenter strongly encourages students to consider filling out a Limited Power of Attorney form givingsomeone you trust permission to act on your behalf while you are abroad. Alternatively, you can sign aFERPA Release Form giving GVSU permission to release information to an individual of your choosing.Additional information can be obtained in the Padnos International Center or through your OASISaccount under “Study Abroad Services.”FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSGENERAL SECTIONCan I use my GVSU financial aid towards the cost of study abroad?Yes, study abroad students can use their student financial aid towards the cost of study abroad,provided they are registered at GVSU for the appropriate course.Since GVSU requires students to maintain their registration status at GVSU while abroad, they are ableto access financial aid. Students who are not registered here at GVSU will not receive financial aid.How many credits do I need to register for in order to obtain my federal student aid?Spring/Summer StudentsUndergraduate Spring/Summer study abroad students must be registered for a minimum of 6 creditsfor the spring/summer semester in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.Graduate Spring/Summer study abroad students must be registered for a minimum of 4.5 credits forthe spring/summer semester in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.Students are able to combine a study abroad program with an on-campus summer course. Forexample, a student could participate in 3 credit GVSU faculty-led program and also register for a 3credit course that would be taken on-campus either prior to departure for study abroad or uponreturn.Students who do not register in the summer for a minimum of 6 credits (undergraduate) or 4.5 credits(graduate) may only have the option of alternative loan programs.Do I need to make adjustments to my FAFSA for the semester(s) that I will be abroad?No. The Padnos International Center will notify the Financial Aid Office of your acceptance to studyabroad. You will be asked to complete a Study Abroad Expense Form that outlines the costs associatedwith your study abroad program. The expense form can be found through your OASIS account underRequired Forms. Once you’ve submitted your expense form via OASIS, it is automatically sent to thePage 6 of 12

Financial Aid Office. You do not need to notify FAFSA of your intentions to study abroad. The FinancialAid Office will put information into the system regarding your estimated cost of attendance.What forms are required in order for me to access my federal student aid?All students must complete a FAFSA in order to be eligible for Federal Student Aid. You will be notifiedif your application is selected for verification or if you are required to provide additional information.Additionally, make sure to complete the following: Study Abroad Expense Form (available in OASIS) Accept your financial aid award through your GVSU MyBanner Complete the Summer Application for Financial Aid (spring/summer students only)I have been approved to study abroad by the Padnos International Center. What is my next step?First, you should log onto your OASIS account to submit an expense form and other required postacceptance forms. An expense form is a breakdown of your estimated study abroad program costs.Once the Expense Form is submitted, it will automatically be sent to the Financial Aid Office forprocessing.Students studying abroad during the spring/summer will need to visit the Financial Aid website tocomplete the “financial aid for summer” spring/summer supplemental application. You MUST do thisin order to receive a spring/summer financial aid award.The Spring/Summer Application for Financial Aid will be available to students on or aroundFebruary 1, 2018.Once I have my financial aid award in MyBanner, what is my next step?Your financial aid award letter will reflect all possible aid available to you based on the GVSU cost ofattendance. Dependent students may be awarded a Parent (PLUS) loan. Please note, your parent(s)must apply for a Parent (PLUS) loan, it is not automatically approved. The amount of the PLUS loan canbe substituted with an alternative loan if parents do not wish to apply for a PLUS. If you have anyquestions, you should contact the Financial Aid Office at this point. Otherwise, you need to go toMyBanner and accept the types of aid you want and decline what you do not want. This will allow theaid to apply to your account at the appropriate time.What types of aid can I get to help me pay for my program fee and tuition?Please check with Financial Aid office on the types and amounts of aid that you would receive. Youmay also qualify for a Study Abroad Grant through the Padnos International Center, and you can applyfor an alternative loan to make up the difference between what you have been awarded in other aidand your total estimated cost listed on your Study Abroad Expense Form. Visit the Financial Aidwebsite for additional information on alternative loan programs 7 of 12

If you need assistance determining the exact amount you can borrow through an alternative loanprogram, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (616) 331-3234.Unfortunately, during the spring/summer there is less federal financial aid available in comparison to afall or winter semester award. Coming up with the money to pay for study abroad usually meanscombining the following sources of funding:1. Federal Student LoansStudents who do not take out the full amount of their annual federal loan eligibility during the fall andwinter semesters may use the remaining amount to help cover spring/summer study abroad costs.Students who receive fall or winter financial aid refunds should save as much of their refunds aspossible to be used toward spring/summer expenses. Please contact the GVSU Financial Aid Office todetermine spring/summer loan eligibility.To receive federal loans during spring/summer, you must:a)Have a 2017-2018 FAFSA on fileb)Fill out the spring/summer supplemental application on form will be available online early February.c)Enroll for at least 6 credits (half-time) as an undergraduate, or 4.5 credits (also half-time)as a graduate student.2. Federal PLUS loans:Parent PLUS Loans: For dependent undergraduate students, a parent may take out a Parent PLUS loanto help cover the student’s spring/summer study abroad expenses. Parent PLUS loans can cover thecost of your program minus any other aid you are awarded. For information about these loans and theapplication process, go to For a parent to take out aPLUS loan, the student must have a 2017-2018 FAFSA on file and must be enrolled at least half-time.Graduate PLUS Loans: Graduate students may apply for a Graduate PLUS loan. Graduate PLUS loanscan cover the cost of your program minus any other aid you are awarded. Go m for information about these loans and theapplication process.3. Alternative LoansIn addition to the federal loans, you may also need to apply for an alternative loan through one of anumber of lenders. You can go to to bring up a listing ofsuggested alternative loan programs. These loans can cover the cost of your program minus any otheraid you are awarded. Most students need a creditworthy cosigner to be approved for an alternativeloan.Students who plan to use alternative loans to help pay for spring/summer study abroad expenses mayhave more flexibility with regards to the minimum number of spring/summer credits they must registerfor. Some alternative lenders don’t require students to be enrolled at least half-time.Page 8 of 12

3. Study Abroad GrantGrand Valley does offer a Study Abroad Grant to faculty-led program participants who have filed aFAFSA form and have “need” as determined by the federal government. There is no applicationprocess for these scholarships and they will be automatically awarded once we have the list ofparticipants for these programs from the program directors. Typically, these scholarships average 1500 for students participating in spring/summer programs and 500 for students participating inprograms that occur during a traditional fall or winter semester.If you meet the eligibility requirements for the study abroad grant, you are not guaranteed an award.In the past, most students have received some grant assistance, but there are limited grant fundsavailable each year.4. Personal Savings/fundraising/ family contributionIf you have a family member willing to help out with the bill—you’re lucky! Be sure to make yourfamily member aware of the cost of your program and the billing process. Also, try to save up somemoney between now and your departure date.5. ScholarshipsVisit s-535.htm to research scholarshipopportunities. Consider going to the Office of Fellowships for guidance: attention to deadlines – Most are in February!Am I eligible for more financial aid because I am studying abroad?Not necessarily. In most cases, study abroad students will be eligible for the same amount of financialaid as if they were studying here at GVSU. Since studying abroad often costs more than studying hereat GVSU, the Financial Aid Office will adjust the “cost of attendance” for your semester abroadprovided that you complete the Study Abroad Expense Form.Adjusting the cost of attendance means the cap on the amount of financial aid you can receive isadjusted to reflect the estimated costs associated with your academic program.Students can apply for alternative loan programs to help finance their study abroad. Additionally,there are some grant and scholarship programs that students can apply for which could help to reducethe out-of-pocket cost to the student.DEPOSITAll study abroad applicants pay a 100 non-refundable deposit at the time of application, plus a 5processing fee. If you withdraw your study abroad application at any time, you will not receive arefund of this deposit. If you continue with your plans for study abroad, you will see this 100 creditedtowards your program fee.Page 9 of 12

PIC reserves the right to hold a refund deposit until all required post-acceptance documents have beencompleted (excluding the expense form). If a student fails to complete the required documents priorto departure, the student may forfeit the refund of this deposit.Are ther