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Funding your program

Plan early, plan well! One of the most important - and sometimes confusing - aspects of your education abroad experience is working with your financial aid.  We've provided some information to answer your questions and help keep you on track.  

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It is best to understand how you will fund your education abroad program in the early stages of the process so you can better prepare.  Programs vary by cost and with what is included, so consider the housing, tuition, meals, in-country transportation, and other expenses when comparing program costs.  Be sure to budget for emergencies or unexpected costs and be aware of deadlines for deposits and fees.  

Many students pay for their education abroad programs through a combination of financial aid, personal funds, and scholarships (if earned). 

To find a full cost overview of your chosen program, please view the guide below.  

MTSU Signature Program 
  • Inquire with Faculty-Leader for full program costs
  • MTSU tuition will be paid for these programs in addition to the program fee
Program Provider: CIEE, ISA, USAC, ISEP Direct, Non-Affiliated 
  • Inquire with Program Provider
  • View costs in student portal on provider website (student must log-in)
  • In most cases, tuition will be included in the program fee and will not be paid to MTSU
Program Provider: CCSA
  • Inquire with Program Provider 
  • If course is taught by MTSU Faculty, inquire with Faculty-Leader as well
  • View costs in student portal on provider website (student must log-in) 
  • If course is taught by MTSU Faculty, tuition WILL be paid to MTSU in addition to program fee 
  • If course is not taught by MTSU Faculty, tuition will be included in the program fee and WILL NOT be paid to MTSU 
MTSU Exchange and ISEP Exchange Programs  
  • Inquire with Office of Education Abroad Director 
  • Caen, France and Germersheim, Germany exchange students can also inquire with the Foreign Language Department Chair 

The Office of Education Abroad can provide a cost estimate for your education abroad program to help you understand the overall costs that may be incurred.  Please contact us for assistance. 

Program Cost Comparison Tool 
We've created a helpful tool to assist you with creating a budget after your decision has been made.   
Education Abroad Program Cost Comparison Tool 

Many program providers offer budgeting tools or assistance including fillable worksheets, tips on budgeting for your program, scholarship and grant assistance, and more.  Please see the individual provider websites for details. 

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Scholarships & Grants 
A limited number of MTSU education abroad scholarships are available through: 

  • MTSU Honors College
  • MTSU Jones College of Business
  • MTSU College of Liberal Arts (Ralph Klingenmeyer Scholarship)
Please inquire with the specific MTSU College to inquire about their study abroad scholarship opportunities.

Most of our affiliated programs offer their own unique scholarships to help students with expenses abroad. Please check the program provider website to learn about possible opportunities and procedures for applying.  

Students may receive more than one education abroad scholarship for their specific program.  

There are federal limits placed on the amount of aid a student can receive per term.  We encourage students to apply for more than one scholarship and/or grant and to email to determine if funding limits apply.

Lottery, scholarship, and grant funds while abroad 
You can receive lottery, scholarship, and grant funds while studying abroad. 

  • You must first complete the FAFSA application 
  • If you meet the eligibility requirements you can receive lottery funds, scholarships, and/or grant funds just as if you were attending on-campus
  • Federal work-study is not available to students who study abroad

Most MTSU academic scholarships require students to be enrolled full-time while studying abroad = 6 credit hours for summer, 12 credit hours for a semester.

Students are encouraged to enroll for direct deposit in the Business Office at least one month before departing.

Office of Education Abroad Scholarship & Grant 

The MTSU Office of Education Abroad Scholarship

  • Offered annually for the Fall, Spring, Academic Year, or Summer terms
  • Undergraduate or Graduate 
  • GPA of 2.8 or higher

The MTSU Office of Education Abroad Grant

  • Offered in the Summer term only 
  • Undergraduate students only 
  • GPA of 2.0 to 2.799

Please see our Scholarship and Grant information, including Eligibility Requirements and scholarship deadlines on our Scholarship page: Office of Education Abroad Scholarships 

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MTSU Financial Aid 
The MTSU Financial Aid Office provides students with information about federal/state aid, scholarships, and private/alternative educational loans. Please see the MTSU Financial Aid website for more information: MTSU Financial Aid Department 

All education abroad participants must be taking courses abroad which are required to complete their MTSU degree.  In order to receive financial aid, minimum credit hours must be met: equivalent of 6 credit hours summer, equivalent of 12 credit hours per semester. 

After choosing an education abroad program:

  • Students should email to schedule an appointment with questions regarding aid and education abroad. 
  • Email at least two weeks in advance of the requested meeting
  • Bring the program cost information with you, if available

The Office of Education Abroad can provide a cost estimate for your education abroad program to help you understand the overall costs that may be incurred.  We can send this cost sheet directly to the Financial Aid Department on your behalf.  Please contact us for assistance. 

Financial Aid and Program Providers 
Requirements and information 


MTSU Affiliated Programs

  • Program providers such as USAC, ISA, CIEE, CCSA, or ISEP (exchange or direct) 
  • The financial aid process is the same as for students who remain on campus (in most cases)
  • You must be enrolled in coursework abroad required for your degree plan in some way 
  • Credits earned abroad must transfer to MTSU on a transcript (not a certificate)
  • G.I. Bill benefits generally do not apply to study abroad programs offered by a provider
    • Exception = ISEP Exchange programs 
Non-MTSU Affiliated Programs 
  • Any study abroad program with an institution that does not have a formalized consortium agreement with MTSU 
  • You may need to complete an Individual Study Abroad Consortium Agreement to continue receiving financial aid funds 
  • Original signatures required, minimum of 4-6 weeks must be allowed for processing paperwork 
  • Requests for aid may be denied if sufficient time is not allowed to process the agreement 
  • You must be enrolled in coursework abroad required for your degree plan in some way 
  • Credits earned abroad must transfer to MTSU on a transcript (not a certificate)
  • G.I. Bill benefits generally do not apply to study abroad programs offered by a non-affiliated provider
To determine aid eligibility, meet with MT One Stop or the Financial Aid Department for assistance through this process.

Satisfactory Academic Progress 
All students receiving financial aid must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Students with a financial aid status of Suspension cannot receive financial aid funds whether abroad or at MTSU.  Please discuss your specific situation with MT One Stop or the Financial Aid Department. 

Academic Year (two-semester) Study Abroad Participants 
Academic Year (two semesters) may not be eligible to receive financial aid for both semesters of a two-semester study abroad program.  Academic Year students should refer to the Study Abroad Financial Aid Statement of Understanding and Financial Aid Status Sheet for further information. 

Important! It is possible study abroad students will not qualify for aid/all aid the semester after returning from their study abroad program.  There is currently a financial aid grace period to assist with the transition between your study abroad term and your next term on campus while we wait for your transcript to be received and processed.  Neither the Office of Education Abroad nor the MTSU Department of Financial Aid can make exceptions or change this.  Please be aware this can affect federal and Lottery, or other aid.  

Please contact the Financial Aid Department for more information. 

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MTSU Financial Aid Reminders 
Students should email with questions about financial aid. 

Course enrollment & confirmation 

All students will be required to enroll in a course (or courses) at MTSU while they are studying abroad, regardless if they are paying tuition and fees to MTSU or to a provider program.  In some cases this is a no-charge placeholder course provided by the Office of Education Abroad to keep semester, exchange, or program provider students active in the MTSU system.  In other cases, this is an MTSU course as with MTSU Signature Program courses and certain MTSU Exchange courses. 

It is imperative that all students enroll in and confirm their classes by the MTSU fee payment deadline or their classes will be droppedThe confirmation must be completed, even if registered for a no-charge placeholder course. Enrollment, payment, and confirmation for all MTSU study abroad courses is done the same as if taking classes on campus - through Pipeline MT.  

For additional information about course registration, contact the Office of Education Abroad.
Students receiving federal/state aid and academic scholarships 
  • Verify that your aid has been processed by viewing your Pipeline MT account
  • Ensure that you are enrolled in the appropriate number of hours for aid to be awarded
  • If receiving Federal Direct Loans, you must be enrolled and attending at least half-time (6 undergraduate credit hours/5 graduate credit hours)
  • First-time borrowers at MTSU must complete online Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before receiving loans
  • Typically, financial aid is disbursed the first week of classes if students have met all requirements

Students expecting a financial aid refund

  • Direct deposit is recommended so that financial aid refunds may be directly deposited into your bank account
  • If you expect to receive a refund, please sign up for direct deposit via Pipeline MT

Students are highly encouraged to email to determine aid eligibility, learn about requirements, and to fully understand how study abroad may affect individual financial aid options and benefits. 


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Next term of enrollment - Don’t forget next semester! 

While participating in a study abroad program, you may be requested to complete requirements for your next term of enrollment. 

Beginning in May, fall/spring Email Award Notices will be electronically sent to students with completed FAFSA results on file with the Financial Aid Office.
  • Electronic Award Notices will be sent to your MTSU email address
  • While studying abroad, you may need to access your Pipeline MT account to accept your awards and complete any requirements

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Please see the PDF of Frequently Asked Questions.