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Financial Aid for Study Abroad


  1. Students must apply to remain eligible for financial aid.
  2. The study abroad program must sponsored and approved for credit by UNC-Chapel Hill.
  3. Students must submit a Financial Aid for Study Abroad form.
  4. Students who plan to study abroad and who expect to receive a scholarship, grant, or benefit payment while out of the country are also urged to complete a Limited Power of Attorney Agreement. This is particularly important if the student’s award check will be issued in the student’s name or made co-payable to both the student and UNC.

Available Aid Programs

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid does not offer scholarships or grants to cover the additional costs of Study Abroad programs.  The office will award financial aid in the same manner as it would for any student attending Carolina.  If you need additional assistance to meet those extra costs, you might consider the following:

  • Federal Direct Loan – If you have not yet used your annual maximum, you may have remaining Direct Loan eligibility.  This will be determined when or if you submit the Study Abroad Enrollment Agreement.
  • Parent PLUS Loan – This loan is available to the parent of dependent, undergraduate students and described in the “Types of Aid” section of this site.  If you are interested in this loan, please contact the office.

Other Resources

  • Private/Outside Scholarship Search – you might explore our private/outside scholarship page.  Also, you might contact your local Rotary Club at least one year prior to your Study Abroad program.
  • Study Abroad Office – has links to sites that provide financial aid for Study Abroad programs.
  • Embark Carolina has links to potential funding sources for global experiences.

Receiving Aid and Paying Your Bill

  • Disbursement of financial aid will happen according to the regular academic calendar.  Students participating in the Study Abroad Program must plan accordingly to meet expenses until financial aid is available.  Disbursement typically occurs the first week of on-campus classes each semester.
  • Refunds of credit balances will be available according to the standard calendar determined for all students.
  • Direct deposit allows the Cashier’s Office to electronically deposit a student’s financial aid refund to his/her personal checking or savings account. The Cashier’s Office strongly encourages students expecting a refund use direct deposit. Follow these instructions to sign up for direct deposit. If a student cannot pick up a check in person at the Cashier’s Office, he/she must be sure to have established direct deposit.
  • Charges for programs administered by the Summer School may not be deferred.  Students must be sure to follow the published deadlines for payment.
  • Initial enrollment deposits may not be deferred except in extraordinary circumstances.  This process is determined by the Study Abroad Office.
  • Once a deposit has been paid, students with financial aid may request deferment of remaining charges through the Cashier’s Office.

Visa Letters

If your program requires a visa letter, please email fa_studyabroad@unc.edu to request one. If you’re not sure whether you need a letter, please contact your Study Abroad Advisor at the Study Abroad Office. Before we can complete this request, we’ll need a Financial Aid for Study Abroad form on file, so please complete one if you haven’t already.

We can’t complete the visa letter until you’ve been accepted into your Study Abroad program and we have processed your financial aid forms. We will email you a copy of the letter on official UNC letterhead.

Scholarships for Independent Travel

Some scholarships are available only for independent, self-directed travel that is not a part of an organized program.

  • Frances L. Phillips Travel ScholarshipsAvailable to Juniors and Seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences who meet certain requirements.
  • The Class of 1938 Scholarship – A competitive scholarship awarded for outstanding independent study proposals, this award is administered by the UNC Office of International Student and Scholar Services.