Financial Aid and Study Abroad
Financial aid such as Pell grants, TAP awards, the Excelsior Scholarship, and subsidized loans may be applied to approved study abroad experiences that award credit and that last for at least one semester. Short-term study abroad experiences, as well as non-academic internships, volunteer opportunities, etc., that do not award academic credit may not be eligible for financial aid. For information about your eligibility for these grants and loans, and other important financial aid information, please consult the.
If you do plan to apply for financial aid for study abroad, be sure to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. You can obtain FAFSA packets at the Baruch Office of Financial Aid Services and The Financial Aid Information Page. For more general information about Financial Aid and Study Abroad please consult the (now somewhat outdated) NAFSA Handbook on Financial Aid for Study Abroad.. If you have never applied for financial aid before, it is best to see an Advisor in the Baruch Financial Aid Office. A good place to start looking for sources of financial aid is
Most Baruch students who are eligible for financial aid will be able to use it to help finance their study abroad costs. However, whether and how you will be able to apply your financial aid to study abroad depends on a number of factors:
- The kind of financial aid you receive.
- The type and duration of your study abroad program.
- The course(s) you choose to take while studying abroad.
The three primary sources of financial aid students may potentially use for study abroad are:
- Federal Aid (Pell grant)
- State Aid (Tuition Assistance Program, Excelsior Scholarship)
- Loans (Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loan for Parents, Private Educational Loan Programs)
If you qualify for at least one of these forms of financial aid, you should be able to use it to help finance your study abroad. However, each type of financial aid has specific requirements that you must meet to be eligible to use that aid for study abroad. You should contact the Baruch Office of Financial Aid Services to see if there are special policies governing use of financial aid for study abroad, and/or specific application procedures you are required to follow in order to receive your financial aid for overseas study.
The three basic types of study abroad programs are:
- International student exchanges (semester or academic year only)
- Sponsored study abroad programs (short-term or semester/academic year)
- Direct enrollment in a foreign university (short-term or semester/academic year)
For a detailed explanation of these program types see the Study Abroad website.
You should be eligible to apply some kind of financial aid to any type of study abroad program provided that you are enrolled in a program approved by your home institution. To obtain approval to study abroad, you must submit and have approved a Baruch Application to Study Abroad. Please see the Study Abroad website for how to apply.
The table below summarizes the types of aid that students may be allowed to apply to specific study abroad programs:
|Program Types||Duration||Sources of Financial Aid|
|Exchange||Semester/academic year||Pell, TAP, Excelsior, Loans|
|Sponsored study abroad||Short-term (January)||Loans|
|Sponsored study abroad||Short-term (summer)||Pell, TAP*, Loans|
|Sponsored study abroad||Semester/academic year||Pell, TAP*, Excelsior*, Loans|
|Direct enrollment||Short-term (January)||Loans|
|Direct enrollment||Short-term (summer)||Pell, Loans|
|Direct enrollment||Semester/academic year||Pell, Loans|
*Please note: not every Sponsored Study Abroad Program is “TAP-eligible” or “Excelsior-eligible.” As a general rule, only programs sponsored by a CUNY College will meet the criteria for TAP or the Excelsior Scholarship. Please see the section below on eligibility for TAP or the Excelsior Scholarship.
There are always factors that affect your individual case, so you should check both with the Office of Financial Aid Services and the Study Abroad Office to be certain you understand and meet all your responsibilities and do not miss any deadlines.
In order for you to apply any financial aid for study abroad, every course you take abroad must be approved for Baruch credit. This requirement applies to all types of study abroad programs and all lengths of study abroad programs. Since the Study Abroad Office enforces this policy in any case, there are no requirements beyond those of the Study Abroad Office you need to fulfill in order to comply with this policy.
Students who receive TAP or the Excelsior scholarship and wish to apply it to study abroad must fulfill special requirements:
Both TAP and Excelsior awards may only be applied to certain kinds of study abroad programs. To be “TAP-eligible” or “Excelsior-eligible,” a semester-long program must be one that charges CUNY tuition (i.e., for which you receive a bill for CUNY tuition, even if the tuition is paid for you, for example, if you are a Macaulay, Baruch, or Dean’s Scholar, SEEK student, etc.). At Baruch, the only study abroad programs that are eligible for TAP or Excelsior funding are:
- Exchange programs sponsored by Baruch College, or CUNY-wide exchange programs (for example, the New York-Paris Exchange, or the CUNY Italy Exchange); or
- CUNY-sponsored study abroad programs.
If you are studying abroad on a “TAP-eligible” or “Excelsior-eligible” program, you become automatically eligible to have your TAP or Excelsior award applied toward the tuition costs of your study abroad program. However, the following criteria must be met:
- You must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits.
- You must take at least 12 credits worth of courses that fulfill specific degree requirements (major, minor, Pathways or free electives). Please note: If you enroll in more than 12 credits during the semester abroad, the extra course you take in addition to these 12 credits does NOT have to fulfill a specific degree requirement.
- All students who wish to have their TAP award applied to study abroad will need to meet with the TAP Certifier in the Bursar’s Office and complete a completed StudyAbroad TAP Information Sheet and Acknowledgment Form, which is available from the TAP Certifier or the Study Abroad Office.
- Unlike for students who are studying at Baruch, if you are eligible to receive TAP and are studying abroad, you will receive your TAP award only after you have returned from study abroad. You will need to pay up front the amount of your tuition that would be covered by TAP. You will receive your TAP award retroactively, and only after the TAP certification official has verified that you have met all the requirements. It is therefore vital that you plan carefully, to make certain that the courses you take abroad on a TAP-eligible program actually fulfill degree requirements.
Additional Credit Requirements for the Excelsior Scholarship
Among the conditions Excelsior Scholarship imposes is the requirement that students complete a minimum of 30 credits per year. The Study Abroad Office recommends that students take only 12 academic credits while abroad, in order to allow more time for them to explore the local culture outside the classroom. If students who receive the Excelsior Scholarship enroll in only 12 credits while studying abroad, they may need to enroll in a summer or winter program to make sure they meet this 30-credit requirement. Students may, however, request permission to enroll in 15 credits while abroad. Students who wish to do so should speak to the Director of Study Abroad.
Please consult with the Office of Financial Aid Services and the Registrar’s Office to determine the precise eligibility requirements for TAP and the Excelsior Scholarship and whether your chosen Study Abroad Program meets them.
Once you have been submitted your Baruch Application to Study Abroad:
- Complete a Consortium Agreement/Cost of Attendance Form and submit it, along with the requested documentation, to the Director of Study Abroad for his signature. (If you plan to apply to study on one of our exchange programs, please consult the appropriate Exchange Program Information Leaflet for information about estimated costs.) The Consortium Agreement form can be completed using your computer, but it may NOT be signed digitally: it must be signed manually. The Director of Study Abroad will notify you when the Consortium Agreement/Cost of Attendance is sent to the Office of Financial Aid Services.
- Meet with a Financial Aid Administrator in the Office of Financial Aid Services responsible for processing of aid for study abroad.