Stephen F. Austin State University

Financial Aid

Financial Aid for Study Abroad

Students applying for or currently receiving federal financial aid may use these funds toward their study abroad program costs, as determined by the Student Financial Aid office at SFA.
Note for Students studying abroad with an exchange program or provider: it is mandatory to have your Course Approval Form (CAF) approved by the time you start working on your Financial Aid Request.

Financial Aid Study Abroad Process

Application for Financial Aid is the same for all study abroad programs and includes:
• Submitting the appropriate FAFSA for the academic year
• Submitting any required supporting documentation (verification forms, identity forms)
• Accepting awards, and completing any promissory notes or loan applications needed
• Submitting the Study Abroad Financial Aid Request form, along with the Expense Worksheet (Available in the Forms section)
• Work study is not applicable to study abroad experiences

Enrollment/Completing Classes

Financial aid is awarded to on the assumption that you will be enrolled full time for the academic year. If the student is not enrolling as a full time student, adjustments will need to be made to the awards and cost of attendance prior to disbursement. Full time enrollment for financial aid purposes is 12 hours for undergraduates and 9 hours for graduates each semester (fall, spring or summer). Financial assistance can be paid for the study abroad classes students enroll in, along with any classes that are being are taken at SFA. If the student is not enrolled on a full-time basis the cost of attendance will be reduced and awards prorated.

Withdrawal/Incomplete Classes

Financial aid recipients enrolled in study abroad courses are subject to the same SFA Financial Aid Enrollment, Attendance and Withdrawal Policy as regular students. Students may be required to repay some or all of their aid awards depending on the date of withdrawal or enrollment status. For more details visit the SFA Financial Aid website or visit your financial aid counselor:

Special Circumstances

If a study-abroad program has higher costs than the home school, those costs should be reflected in the student's cost of attendance. Any 'extra' expenses above the students normal Cost of Attendance such as airplane tickets, dues, and room/board costs, etc. must be approved and documented by the International Office (OIP) before any additional financial assistance can be given. This may result in the student being eligible for additional FSA funds. Students can meet with their financial aid counselor and determine if they have enough funds to cover the total costs of the trip.

Sometimes these costs are due in the semester before the trip is taken. If the financial aid counselor determines this is the case, FSA funds may be released in a previous term to help cover these costs.

If payment is required earlier (earlier term) than date of departure, counselor can offer to complete a Special Circumstance form with the student to increase the cost of attendance and provide additional funds only for those early required costs. Otherwise, the student budgets and awards are increased for semester the student leaves on their trip. At the counselors' discretion, students can request additional funds only for the term the trip is actually taken. Documented costs must be provided before additional funds can be given to help with these costs.