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Costs and Funding FAQs

The great news is that in most cases, your regular financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans) can be applied to your study abroad expenses! For more expensive programs, additional loans may be available through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA). There are also numerous Study Abroad Office Scholarships available to help cover higher costs. Check out these amazing scholarship opportunities.

It can also be helpful to ask yourself the following questions when considering more expensive programs:

  1. If I’m not selected for a Study Abroad Office Scholarship, how will I plan to cover extra expenses?
  2. Am I willing to borrow additional loans to help cover higher programs costs?
  3. Do I have other resources that can help cover costs (earnings from a job, money in savings, family or friends’ financial support)?

If you will be participating in a less expensive program, your financial aid may be reduced to match reduced costs per federal and student aid regulations. OSSA will always reduce loans first, to preserve as much grant and scholarship funding as possible.

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) can provide an estimated financial aid package to help you prepare financially for your program. We encourage you to reach out before the application deadline!

Email with the following:

  • your name
  • PID number
  • the term you are planning to study abroad
  • a link to your study abroad program’s budget sheet

The OSSA study abroad team will respond within a few days, on average.

Each program brochure contains specifically tailored budget sheets under the Costs/Scholarships section. These budget sheets outline a program’s entire Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA may vary based on term, program option, NC residency status, UNC student status, etc. The Study Abroad Office and our partners update budget sheet information for upcoming terms as it becomes available.

Line items on the budget sheet are sorted into two sections:

  1. Cashier Billed Expenses (billable subtotal): These are charges applied to your UNC Student Account. Tuition and Program Fees are not paid to the host institution. Each program budget is different and may include some but not all of the following:
    • Study Abroad Fee
    • Tuition & Fees – costs related to the academic delivery of the program
    • Program Costs – can include things such as housing, meals, included excursions, activity fees, and other costs required by host institution
    • GeoBlue Insurance – international health insurance
  2. Out-of-Pocket Estimates (non-billable subtotal): These are costs you pay yourself, and most will vary based on your personal spending habits.

Refer to the Budget Notes at the bottom of the page for details on various line items. Remember that even fixed costs, such as a visa application fee, are subject to change without notice.

Compare the study abroad program total (located at the bottom of the program budget sheet) to the cost of a semester here at UNC Chapel Hill. Typically, the cost of attendance (COA) for a fall or spring semester at UNC for in-state students totals around $13,000; typically, the COA for out-of-state students totals around $27,000.

For summer, typically the COA for a single session (with 6 credit hours) for in-state students totals $4,000; typically, the COA for out-of-state students totals $8,000.

Your updated financial aid package for study abroad will be available to view in your Connect Carolina Student Center late in the term prior to your study abroad term.

Your financial aid (scholarships, grants, or loans) will post to your UNC student account right around when UNC classes begin for the study abroad term (regardless of your study abroad program start date). All funding is first applied to your Cashier Billed Expenses and anything leftover, called a credit balance, is generated as a refund to you to use for out-of-pocket estimates. The Study Abroad Office budget sheets show how to locate these expenses.

Please note that some out-of-pocket expenses will be incurred before this time, such as passport/visa fees or airfare. If you receive a refund, you can use some of this to reimburse yourself for those early out-of-pocket expenses.

Be sure to set up electronic refunds with the Cashier’s Office to receive your refund directly to your personal bank account, especially since you may already be abroad at the time your refund is generated.

Non-UNC students are not eligible for financial aid from UNC. You can work with your home university’s study abroad and financial aid offices to research financial aid and scholarship options.