Understanding Study Abroad Costs and Financial Aid

It is very important to understand the following points:

  • There are many different fee structures and billing arrangements among Purdue’s 400+ study abroad programs.
  • Each student has different financial aid eligibility and options.
  • Each student is responsible for learning whether the aid they have while on campus can be used for study abroad.
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  • If you already receive financial aid for your education costs while studying at Purdue West Lafayette, you'll need to work with the Division of Financial Aid (DFA) to determine the costs that you must pay for your program and which aid opportunities are open to you.
  • Students not receiving aid currently may be able to get loans from DFA for their overseas program. Filing the FAFSA is required for this.
  • Budgets for spring semester study abroad programs are sent to DFA on 15 October and for summer, fall and academic year programs on 15 March.  You cannot determine your aid packages until after those dates.
  • When meeting with a study abroad advisor to discuss options, you will be given preliminary budgets for each program.  These budgets list the education costs of the program and the additional costs that you pay out of pocket.  These additional costs vary from program to program and from person to person.
  • Study abroad advisors are not experts on financial aid and they will refer you to DFA for definitive information about how your aid will cover your overseas study costs.
  • It is not wise to accept information about financial aid from friends or previous program participants.

Federal Financial Aid

Students participating in Purdue-approved programs are eligible for aid through the Purdue Division of Financial Aid.  If you cannot find answers to your questions on their website, call the DFA at (765) 494-5050 or visit their office in 305 Schleman Hall.

Cost and Financial Aid by Program Type

Several types of study abroad program are available at Purdue.  In addition to offering a variety of student experiences abroad, these different program types are associated with different costs and payment structures.

General financial considerations for each program type are explained below.  To see the program type and estimated costs for a specific program, please visit its web page where this information is listed.

You can also use our program search to look for study abroad opportunities based on program type and other factors.

Exchange Programs

Exchange programs are what they sound like:  a Purdue student goes to a partner university and in exchange, a student from that university is able to study at Purdue.  Purdue students pay their regular tuition (in-state students pay in-state tuition and non-residents pay out-of-state tuition).  The only additional cost paid to Purdue would be a charge for the required emergency medical coverage.  This means that...

  • the most cost-effective study abroad option for an in-state student is probably an exchange program.
  • the financial aid that you receive while studying in West Lafayette will probably apply to your tuition and fees for the terms you study overseas.
  • most scholarships or fee remissions will cover the education costs of exchange programs; State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana scholarships (Higher Education, Core 40, Honors, 21st-century), staff-dependent remissions, or CDV benefits can be used to cover tuition for exchange programs.
The Study Abroad Office staff is not responsible for providing detailed information about your financial aid.  Students must meet with representatives in the Division of Financial Aid to get accurate information about their aid for the term they will be overseas.

Click here to list exchange programs.

Co-Sponsored and Direct Enroll Programs

Co-sponsored programs are designed and administered by outside organizations, usually non-profit agencies.  Examples include Arcadia, CIEE, IES, IFSA,  and DIS. Students participating in co-sponsored programs pay program fees directly to the organization plus a study abroad fee (not tuition) to Purdue.  Program fees do not depend on Indiana residency status. They are usually higher than in-state tuition + room and board, but lower than out-of-state tuition + room and board. This means that...

  • for out-of-state students, co-sponsored programs are usually about the same cost as staying on campus, or sometimes even less.
  • for Indiana residents, co-sponsored programs are usually more expensive than tuition & fees at Purdue.
    • Indiana residents who are recipients of State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana scholarships (Higher Education, Core 40, Honors, 21st-century), staff-dependent remissions, or CDV benefits cannot use this aid to cover the program fees of co-sponsored programs
Recipients of Purdue merit scholarships, such as the Top Scholar Award, can use their aid for these programs. Availability of aid must be determined by DFA.

Click here to list co-sponsored programs.

Purdue Administered and Departmental Programs

Purdue administered programs are coordinated by the Study Abroad Office staff, while departmental programs are designed and led by representatives of Purdue colleges and/or academic departments.

Participants in these programs are charged comprehensive program fees, not merely tuition.  Therefore, Indiana residents who are recipients of State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana scholarships (Higher Education, Core 40, Honors, 21st-century), staff-dependent remissions, or CDV benefits cannot use this aid to cover fees for these programs.  Recipients of Purdue merit scholarships, such as the Top Scholar Award, can use their aid for these programs. Availability of aid must be determined by DFA.

Special Considerations for Summer Study Abroad

If you plan to study abroad during the summer, remember:

  • The majority of summer study abroad opportunities are co-sponsored, departmental, and Purdue administered programs.  See the sections above to learn about financial aid compatibility with these program types.
     
  • If you want to take summer classes at Purdue in addition to going on study abroad, take a close look at the amount of your summer aid award. It may not be enough to comfortably cover both a study abroad experience and classes/rent/food.
     
  • Your aid eligibility may increase if you take more credits over the summer, for example, if you register for distance learning courses in addition to your study abroad courses.

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