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Financial Aid

The MTSU Office of Financial Aid provides students with information about federal/state aid, scholarships, and private/alternative educational loans.  Financial Aid may apply to study abroad programs.  

It is essential that students pursue information about their aid before fully committing to a study abroad program.
  • There are federal, state, and institutional policies that regulate aid and each student has a unique aid situation. 
  • Students will be held to these policies even if they do not research them before going abroad.  Aid is ultimately the responsibility of the student. 
  • The Office of Education Abroad can only provide guidance based on Office of Financial Aid direction and policies 
Ultimately, students should direct all study abroad financial aid questions to
This includes questions about federal aid such as the Pell Grant, federal loans, HOPE/Lottery, Buchanan, and other forms of federal, state, or MTSU aid. It is better to be over-informed than not informed at all when it comes to financial aid and study abroad! 

All education abroad participants must take courses abroad which are required to complete their MTSU degree
How does a student know if the courses will count as 'required'?  By first working with the academic advisor to check course equivalencies, entered on the course approval form.  

In order to receive financial aid, minimum credit hours must be met: equivalent of 6 U.S. credit hours summer, equivalent of 12 U.S. credit hours per semester.  Please see the MTSU Office of Financial Aid website for more information.

After selecting an education abroad program, students should email the Office of Financial Aid to schedule an appointment to understand financial aid options.   In the appointment, students can learn what forms of aid are available to them for study abroad, receive an estimate of aid that may be received (assuming the courses are required for the degree plan), and receive other important financial aid information from that office.  Cost estimate 
The Office of Education Abroad can provide a cost estimate for the education abroad program to help you understand the overall costs that may be incurred. 
  • Email your study abroad advisor to request the cost sheet at least two weeks in advance of the financial aid meeting
  • Bring the program cost estimate to the financial aid appointment.
  • We can send this cost sheet directly to the Financial Aid Office on your behalf.  If you prefer this, let us know!

Financial Aid and Programs

MTSU Affiliated Programs

  • Program providers such as USAC, ISA, CIEE, CCSA, or ISEP
  • 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 will transfer to MTSU on an official transcript (not a certificate)
  • Transcripts must be received in a timely manner to process aid for the next semester 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 Office of Financial Aid. 

Academic Year (two-semester) Study Abroad Participants 
Academic Year (two semesters) study abroad participants 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. 

Withdrawal from Course/Program Abroad
Students who choose to withdraw from a course or program abroad while in the semester (having started already) need to ensure that this action does not negatively affect their financial aid.  It is important that students ask the Office of Financial Aid for guidance.  The goal is to ensure students meet aid requirements at all times and understand how adding/dropping a course or from a program mid-stream might affect the awards.  We want to avoid a situation where a student has to return (pay back) aid! 

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 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 Office of Financial Aid can make exceptions or change this.  Please be aware this can affect federal and Lottery, or other aid.  

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information on the grace period, satisfactory academic progress, and other questions about aid. 

Financial Aid Reminders

Course enrollment & confirmation 
Course registration is required for study abroad and is tied to financial aid.  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 may be a no-cost placeholder course provided by the Office of Education Abroad to keep semester, exchange, or program provider students active in the MTSU system.  All MTSU study abroad students must enroll in the course provided by the Office of Education Abroad or academic department.   Failure to enroll in the course will have financial aid and transcript processing implications. 

It is imperative that all students enroll in and confirm their classes by the MTSU fee payment deadline or their classes will be dropped.  The 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 for study abroad, 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 requirementsStudents expecting a financial aid refundDirect 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 MTStudents 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. 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.

  • Questions about registering for the next semester are best answered by the academic advisor.
  • Questions about financial aid for the next semester (including the grace period) should be asked to the Office of Financial Aid.  
Frequently Asked Questions 

Please read out frequently asked questions linked below.  Questions? Contact the Office of Education Abroad any time.