Financial Aid – Frequently Asked Questions

How do education abroad costs work? Do I pay my regular CSU tuition?

CSU-Sponsored Programs

You pay the actual cost of your education abroad program, which can vary greatly between programs. To quickly find the bottom line cost for any CSU Education Abroad program, visit the budget sheets, using the Program Search Feature, for each program page.  Costs are broken down into billable and non-billable costs, and students should plan for the total cost. Total costs are used for Financial Aid Cost of Attendance. The total program cost should include the cost of tuition & fees, room & board, health insurance, books & supplies, airfare and personal living expenses.

Affiliated and Non-CSU Programs

Refer to your program’s web sites for program costs and what is include. Keep in mind that program providers may only list billable costs (such as tuition, housing, and fees) so make sure to budget for additional out-of-pocket expenses, such as airfare, meals, personal expenses, passport and visas, etc. You may use the Budget Template in the CSU Education Handbook to help you create a more realistic budget. You will be billed by CSU for the EA Admin charge and University Tech Fee.

When will I pay for my education abroad program?

CSU sponsored program payments are due at the same time as regular CSU tuition, but some affiliated and direct enroll programs may have different deadlines. If you are attending affiliated or direct enroll programs, confirm your payment deadlines with the provider.

Please note, that some costs such as program deposits, plane tickets, visa fees, immunizations, and possible housing costs will need to be paid sooner than these dates. For more information about possible additional costs, please see the FAQ below called “How much does it cost to participate on an education program, what am I paying for when I go abroad?”

Timeline for CSU Charges and Credits for Education Abroad Programs:

Charge Fall Semester Winter Break Spring Semester Summer Semester
EA Application Deadline Mid-February Last week of Sept. Last week of Sept. Mid-February
Deposit Charged Week after Spring Break Mid-October Mid-October 1st week of March
Program Fees and CSU EA Fee Charged Last week of July 1st week of January 1st week of January 1st week of May
OIP Scholarships Posted 2nd week of August 2nd week of January 2nd week of January 3rd week of May
Financial Aid Posted 10 days prior to the first day of CSU classes Part of Spring Semester package 10 days prior to the first day of CSU classes 10 days before the 1st day of CSU classes

Can I use my CSU financial aid on an education abroad program?

Yes. Typically programs which offer full-time credits are eligible to use most of their existing financial aid (such as Pell and University grants, all loans types, most scholarships, etc.)  Some exceptions include the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) and some private scholarships. Full time credits for undergraduates include 12 credits per semester or 24 credits per year, 6 credits for summer. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss how your aid can apply to Education Abroad.

How much does it cost to participate on an education abroad program, and what am I paying for when I go abroad?

To view detailed costs of each specific program, please visit the budget sheets for each Individual Program page for CSU Sponsored programs. Visit the program pages directly for all affiliated and non-CSU programs.

You do not pay your regular CSU tuition during the term in which you are abroad. You pay the actual cost of your education abroad program, which can vary greatly from program to program.

Why do program costs vary so much?

Program costs vary greatly because of two factors: location and program infrastructure. Programs located in countries with a comparably low cost of living are generally more affordable.  Programs located in countries with a higher cost of living or exchange rate (such as Australia, New Zealand, or countries in Western/Central Europe) can generally be more expensive.

Programs with more infrastructure and numerous built-in services contribute to a higher program cost. However, programs with low infrastructure costs still offer good support for students and sometimes offer opportunities such as field trips and volunteer opportunities. There is not necessarily a direct correlation between program cost and level of quality, but as you are looking at program options, program support and services is an important consideration (for personal comfort as well as financial reasons).

How does the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) work with education abroad?

Education abroad programs are not COF eligible, nor will the credit earned be deducted from the 145 lifetime credit hour limit.

  • COF funding cannot be used to pay education abroad costs, since those costs have never been subsidized by the state. Students on education abroad programs do not pay tuition to CSU while abroad.
  • Because you cannot use COF funding for CSU education abroad programs, the credit hours earned while abroad will be exempt from the 145-hour lifetime credit limit.
  • Even though credit earned on education abroad programs does not count toward the COF limit, it is posted on the CSU transcript and may be used to satisfy core, major, or elective requirements.