There are a variety of sources to help fund your faculty-led study abroad experience at SDSU. Here we explain the basics about a few of the most popular, including:
We always recommend that you directly contact the individual provider agencies in order to obtain the most up-to-date information about each source.
If your study abroad program is shorter than the length of a standard SDSU semester (at least 15 weeks), the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships must determine if you and the program can qualify for financial aid. There is no financial aid specifically created for short-term study abroad programs, however, students should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss options.
Consult a Financial Aid counselor as early as possible once you decide to study abroad so you don't miss important deadlines or funding opportunities!
Although there are various forms of financial aid, only two types may be available during the summer:
- Federal Pell Grants: Need-based “free money”; typically for undergraduates enrolled in SDSU coursework at the main campus
- Student Loans: Borrowed money that you pay back, usually with interest, at a later time
You can apply for additional financial consideration by doing the following, based on the start date of your study abroad program. In some instances, you may need to complete a current year AND upcoming year FAFSA, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Summer Programs that begin May 31 or Earlier
During the spring semester, before the published deadline, submit a Study Abroad Request for a Budget Increase Form for additional financial aid consideration. The form is due to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships by their April due date. You must be able to document your paid up-front program costs to be considered for additional aid during the spring semester. If you have not used all of your aid eligibility for the current academic year, the unused portion (usually a student loan) may be available to assist with the documented program costs.
Summer Programs that begin Between June 1 and July 31
For these programs to be considered in determining your financial aid eligibility, you must be enrolled in a minimum of six main campus summer session course units in addition to your study abroad program and submit a Concurrent Enrollment Agreement Form. The form is due to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships by their July due date.
If eligible, financial aid to attend summer may be remaining eligibility from the current academic year (if any) or, be an advance of your eligibility for the upcoming academic year (means less available later).
During the summer, before the published deadline, submit a Study Abroad Request for a Budget Increase Form for additional financial aid consideration (usually loans). You must be able to document your paid up-front program costs to be considered for additional aid during the summer semester. Note: this option is not possible if the dates of the study abroad program overlap with your on-campus summer session class dates.
Summer Programs that begin August 1 or Later
During the fall semester, submit a Study Abroad Request for a Budget Increase Form for additional financial aid consideration (usually loans). The form becomes available during the first week of October of the fall term after your program. You must be able to document your paid program costs to be considered for additional aid during the fall semester. Note: this option requires you to cover all your travel costs up front.
Winter or Spring Break Programs
If you are participating in a winter break or spring break program, you may complete a Study Abroad Request for a Budget Increase Form for the spring semester, since both programs are considered part of the spring semester at SDSU. The form is due to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships by their April due date, although you may turn the form in earlier. Consult with a financial aid counselor as early as possible for details.
For More Information about Financial Aid
- Visit the Financial Aid section on the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships site
- Consult with a Financial Aid counselor during walk-in hours: Monday-Friday, 10 am-3 pm
SDSU Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Student Services West (SSW) 3605
(619) 594-3615, sdsu.edu/financialaid
There are many types of scholarships available for study abroad:
- Visit sdsu.edu/scholarships for an extensive listing of both SDSU and non-SDSU scholarship opportunities
- Apply for the SDSU Associated Students (AS) Study Abroad Scholarship (all main campus students with at least a 2.5 GPA are eligible to apply):
- At sdsu.edu/scholarships,select SDSU Scholarship Search Tool. In the “Major/Credential” search field, select “All Majors” to see a complete list of options, including the AS Study Abroad Scholarship.
- Applications are accepted twice a year
- Submit your application in fall semester (early October deadline) for winter or spring break study abroad programs
- Submit your application in spring semester (mid-February deadline) for summer study abroad programs
- The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship provides funding for study abroad programs three weeks or more in length. You must be a U.S. citizen and an undergraduate student receiving a federal Pell Grant to qualify. Apply on their website.
- SDSU Scholars Without Borders offers a study abroad scholarship to its members. Awards typically range from $500-$1,000.
- The Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society awards fifty $1,000 Study Abroad Grants each year. Students do NOT have to be current PKP members. Visit their FAQ page for eligibility requirements.
- The Fund For Education Abroad provides a minimum of $1,250 for summer programs four weeks (30 days) or more with preference given to student groups traditionally underrepresented in study abroad, students demonstrating financial need, and students studying in non-traditional destinations.
- The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship program provides scholarship opportunities for local students to help pursue their educational goals and achieve their higher education dreams.
- Talk to your major/minor academic department advisor or visit their website, to see if they offer scholarships
- Visit sdsu.edu/AztecsAbroad and log in to SDSU's Aztecs Abroad study abroad database to access the “Scholarships” search tool
- Research additional scholarships in the SDSU Love Library by visiting the Reference Desk, located downstairs from the main entrance in the dome
- Search for other Independent Study Abroad Scholarships online at sites such as studyabroadfunding.org
If you are an eligible veteran, active duty, reserve, National Guard, or military dependent student needing assistance with potential educational benefits for study abroad, contact The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center, located in Student Services West (SSW) 1661, firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 594-5813. They can assist with determining your eligibility and how to initiate your benefits.
In general, the following applies:
- Eligibility varies per your educational benefit:
- All Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits (i.e. Ch 30, 31*, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607) can be used to certify study abroad courses. *Ch 31 beneficiaries must have approval from their individual vocational rehabilitation counselor prior to enrollment in program(s)/course(s).
- Cal Vet Fee Waivers cannot be applied for tuition deferment through the College of Extended Studies (CES) to include their study abroad programs.
- If you are eligible, a faculty-led study abroad program and/or the course(s) associated with it must appear on your degree evaluation, graduate work sheet, and/or master plan in order to have said course(s) certified to the VA.
- In general, if eligible, the study abroad course(s) must be required on your degree evaluation, the tuition must normally be paid to SDSU (no “third-party vendors”), and you must complete a Student Responsibility Agreement. More information is available through the Veterans Center.
For more information regarding payment/enrollment in CES Study abroad programs and courses, please contact the CES Cashiers office (619)-594-2606 and/or the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center.
Crowdfunding is a way to gather monetary contributions from a large number of people to help fund your study abroad program, especially upfront fees. Companies, such as gofundme and Project Travel, exist on the web to help you raise funds! When creating your profile to share with potential donors, be as descriptive as possible about what you hope to gain academically, professionally, culturally, and socially from studying abroad. Your goal is to convince them that their contribution, together with the contributions of your other donors, will allow you to gain an experience that will have an unmeasurable benefit on your life. When you successfully raise the funds you need, be sure to keep your donors updated by blogging, sharing photos, videos, and your impressions of your study abroad experience.