Additional Info : Study Abroad

Study Abroad

The University of Florida encourages students to participate in the study abroad experience and considers it a valuable part of your college career. Student Financial Affairs (SFA) and Study Abroad Services work together to coordinate the financial aspect of student participation in overseas programs.

Through the UF International Center (UFIC), Study Abroad Services offers a full range of opportunities and programs from which to choose. They help students through every part of the process, from advising to application, to assisting students while abroad, and helping them when they return.

Beginning the Process

Students interested in participating in an overseas program should plan on attending one of the two annual Study Abroad fairs offered by the UFIC. They are offered each September and January. The fair is a great place to explore the programs available at UF, as well as a great chance to speak with a representative who is familiar with the various programs.

With so many programs to choose from, students should visit the study abroad website. Students should also meet with an adviser to familiarize themselves with the many programs that might interest them. Students can also sign up for Information Sessions, held approximately twice a week in the UFIC. See the website for dates and times.

Study Abroad & Financial Aid

Once you have selected your program, you will need to carefully examine your financial aid options. SFA strongly encourages visiting one of your assigned financial aid advisers to explore your funding options. Find your assigned financial aid advisers on SFA’s website. Choose “Contact SFA.”

SFA will use the budget for your selected program to determine your eligibility for financial aid. Students who participate in university-approved programs may use awards from federal aid programs, state aid programs, and from UF grant and scholarship programs. However, loans are the primary source most students use for funding the additional cost for study abroad.

SFA Study Abroad Policy

The following guidelines will be used when awarding financial aid for students participating in an approved University of Florida study abroad program.

  1. Awards will be made using the manual awarding procedures for the appropriate award year, in accordance with applicable financial aid program guidelines.
  2. The student must meet all application deadlines established by both the Office for Student Financial Affairs (SFA) and the Study Abroad Office if he/she is requesting financial aid to do so. Students enrolled in a study abroad program approved for credit by UF will have that enrollment used in determining enrollment status at UF for the purpose of applying for assistance under Title IV [34 C.F.R. § 668.43(a)(9)].
  3. Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans (FDSL) and/or Federal Direct PLUS Loans (FDPLUS) will be the primary funds used to assist students participating in overseas studies programs. Campus-based funds awarded to on-time applicants to meet their standard UF cost of attendance may be supplemented with the FDSL program funds.
  4. Gift aid percentages are computed on the standard UF base budgets. Additional costs associated with overseas studies are considered as add-ons and, therefore, are not to be included in the gift percentage calculation.
  5. Federal regulations prohibit the disbursement of any federal funds until 10 days prior to the first day of scheduled overseas classes. In no instance will SFA disburse any funds for overseas students prior to the regularly scheduled University of Florida fall, spring or summer term start dates.

Enrollment Requirements

There are no exceptions to the standard minimum enrollment requirements for financial aid and/or scholarships for students participating in a Study Abroad program.
In order to be eligible for the disbursement of scholarships or other types of aid while participating in a UF-approved program, you must meet the following minimum-enrollment requirements during the semester you are studying overseas:

Type of Award Required Hours for Undergrads Required Hours for Grad Students
Private Scholarships 12 Credit Hrs.* 9 Credit hrs.
FSAG 12 Credit Hrs. N/A
Pell Grant 12 Credit Hrs.** N/A
FL Bright Futures 6 Credit Hrs. N/A
SEOG/Turner Grant 6 Credit Hrs. N/A
Direct Loans (inc. PLUS) 6 Credit Hrs. 5 Credit Hrs.
* Private scholarships will be released with less than 12 credit hours for undergrads and 9 credit hours for graduates ONLY if the donor sends a letter to SFA authorizing the release of funds with less than full-time enrollment.
** Pell Grants may be released with less than 12 credit hours; however, the award amount will be reduced. Enrollment for 9 to 11 credit hours will reduce these awards by twenty-five percent; enrollment for 6 to 8 credit hours will reduce these awards by fifty percent.

Financial Aid Deadlines

The Office for Student Financial Affairs (SFA) must have a completed application for financial aid on file for you by the following deadlines:

Program BeginsApplication Deadline

Fall Term July 15
Spring Term October 15
Summer Term March 15

Processing time for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the federal processor is about two weeks. SFA must have the results of your FAFSA, in addition to any required verification documents, by these deadlines.

Receiving Your Financial Aid

In addition to meeting the applicable financial aid deadlines, students must complete all steps in the list below to receive financial aid for studying abroad.
Federal regulations prohibit SFA from disbursing any financial aid funds until 10 days prior to the first day of scheduled overseas classes.
After the UF semester begins, and no earlier than 10 days before the first day of study abroad classes, financial aid will begin to disburse.
Students are required to enroll in direct deposit. Financial aid refunds will be deposited into the student’s bank account through direct deposit. Students enroll in direct deposit online under “Student Direct Deposit” on the ISIS University Bursar menu.

Before You Commit To Studying Abroad

  • Confirm the cost of the study abroad program and the number of credit hours associated with the program.
  • If you plan to use financial aid funding to cover your study abroad expenses, make sure you have a valid FAFSA on file.
    The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • Check with your financial aid adviser at SFA in S-107 Criser Hall to determine:
  1. You have sufficient financial aid funding to cover the cost of the program. NOTE: If your enrollment for the semester is less than full-time, your financial aid funding could be reduced.
  2. You will meet the academic progress standards for the semester you plan to study abroad. If you will not, you will need to submit an academic progress petition to request reinstatement of your aid eligibility. The petition can be found on SFA’s website, www.sfa.ufl.edu.
  3. You have submitted all requested forms and documents to SFA. Failure to do so will prevent the disbursement of federal financial aid funding. This information is also available on ISIS.
  • If you determine you will need additional funding (i.e. PLUS loan, private/alternative loan), begin the application process at least 3 months prior to your departure. This will ensure the timely notification of your eligibility for this funding.
  • Confirm you have sufficient funding to cover your travel expenses (financial aid for the study abroad program will disburse no earlier than 10 days before the first day of study abroad classes).

After You Commit To Studying Abroad

  1. Register with the University of Florida International Center’ Study Abroad Services (SAS), and make sure that the budget for your selected program has been sent to the financial aid office. SAS is located in 170 HUB.
  2. Check with your financial aid adviser at SFA in S-107 Criser Hall to confirm that your program budget has been processed.
  3. Check your “Aid Status” on ISIS to ensure you’ve submitted any required documents to SFA. Failure to do so will prevent the disbursement of federal financial aid funding.
  4. Accept all financial aid awards on the ISIS Financial Aid menu under “Awards and Disbursements.”
  5. Make sure all loan Promissory Notes have been completed (i.e. Stafford and/or PLUS loans).
  6. First-time borrowers must complete entrance counseling before any loan funds may be disbursed. For Federal Direct Stafford and Perkins loans, you can do this on ISIS. For institutional loans (SAFE, Ruge, etc), Promissory Notes and loan information packets will be mailed approximately two weeks prior to the start of the semester.
  7. Complete a Release of Financial Aid Information form. Obtain this form from a financial aid adviser in S-107 Criser Hall.
  8. Sign up for Direct Deposit under “Student Direct Deposit” on the ISIS University Bursar menu. NOTE: Direct Deposit is not available for Alternative/Private loans.
  9. Check with your financial aid adviser before you leave the country to ensure that your financial aid file is complete and that your aid will disburse.

Financial Aid Tips

  • If you will be receiving an Alternative/Private loan, make sure that you have a valid “Local Home” address listed in the UF Directory. Checks for these loans must be mailed, and a bad address can cause long delays in receiving your money. Direct Deposit is strongly recommended for all other types of aid.
  • Check your “Aid Status” on ISIS, and contact your financial aid adviser immediately if you have any questions or concerns about your aid.
  • Make sure you know your federal PIN. You will use this number to complete a Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Perkins Loans. If you do not have it, you can obtain your PIN at www.pin.ed.gov.
  • Complete a “Release of Financial Aid Information” form. Get one from a financial aid adviser at S-107 Criser. Completing this release authorizes our office to discuss your financial aid with a representative you select (for example, a parent) in the event you cannot contact our office personally.

More Information

Students considering a study abroad program may want to check out:

Preparation Is the Key

Handling your financial aid situation before you leave the country will ensure that your overseas experience is stress-free. Prepare for your trip by reviewing guidelines for aid disbursement with your financial aid adviser. Make sure to meet any and all deadlines. And before leaving the country, check once again to make sure that your financial aid file is complete and that your aid will actually disburse on time.

SFA hopes that you enjoy your study abroad experience and we look forward to assisting you with the preparations for your program.