Undergraduate Financial Aid

Study Abroad & Financial Aid

Financial aid can be applied toward the cost of a study abroad program if all financial aid application requirements are met.

Brown University’s fee structure for study abroad allows all eligible students to study abroad on essentially the same terms as on-campus study. Students who study abroad for academic credit will be charged Brown University tuition (Home School Tuition) and the Student Resources Fee.

Brown University charges are the same for study abroad, therefore, students may choose their overseas programs based on academics rather than the tuition/fee cost. The total expenses (including meals, housing, entertainment, travel, and other incidentals) involved with this program should be taken into consideration when making this decision. You may review and complete the Study Abroad Budget Worksheet to help determine your estimated costs. Financial aid can be applied toward the cost of a study abroad program if all financial aid application requirements are met. In most cases, students are considered enrolled full-time at Brown and not required to take a leave of absence while studying abroad.

Please view the Study Abroad Advising website for additional  information regarding Financial Planning for Study Abroad.


Financial Aid Application Requirements

Regardless of what program you decide to participate in, these requirements must be satisfied to be considered for any federal aid:

  • Academic approval through The College
  • Satisfy all academic year financial aid application requirements for the term or terms you intend to study abroad
  • Submit a Refund Request through the Student Financial Service website if you anticipate receiving a refund
  • Additional requirements as requested by the Office of Financial Aid, students will be notified individually

Additional Information

Student account charges work differently when you are on a study abroad program. Home school tuition and the Student Resources Fee will be charged to your Brown student account and all other expenses (e.g. room and meals) will be charged directly to you, in most cases by your host institution.  

Your financial aid will be applied to your Brown student account, and you will be responsible for paying any remaining balance due. If your financial aid exceeds the home school tuition charge and the Student Resources Fee, a credit balance may be created and that refund can be sent to whomever you designate on the Refund Request Form. This refund may be used for indirect expenses, such as travel, room and board,  and/or personal expenses while studying abroad. Please note that refunds will not be processed until you have submitted all required financial aid materials, and your study abroad program has started.


Students studying abroad will receive the same amount of University Scholarship as they would have received if they were enrolled as a full-time student at Brown during the semester(s). 


Based on the variance of living, travel, and miscellaneous expenses, the study abroad cost may be different than the Brown cost. The Study Abroad Budget Worksheet (accessible on our website under Forms) is available to help you calculate your expenses abroad. You are not required to submit this form, however, it may be helpful in determining out-of-pocket expenses. 

Students cannot receive more scholarship/support for a study abroad program than what they would have received for studying at Brown for the same semester. Additional funding may be available from outside scholarships (see Outside Scholarship Opportunities below) or loans. 

If there is any concern about covering upfront expenses, such as airfare, visa, and/or deposit for your semester(s) abroad, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible. We recommend speaking with a Financial Aid Counselor prior to the end of the previous term to discuss all available loan options.

Students who choose to attend a higher-cost program should seriously consider the amount of this additional expense. Students may not have enough federal loan eligibility to meet the higher cost. In this case, students will need to use other family resources or consider borrowing from private loan sources. Please note that private loan sources may not have the same benefits as need-based federal loan programs.  Students should be mindful of how a more expensive study abroad semester will affect their total loan indebtedness.

If eligible, a refund will be processed 7 to 10 days after the start date of your study abroad program. In order for your refund to be processed, all financial aid application materials must be submitted.  If you are expecting a refund, you should make plans to cover your expenses until your refund has arrived. You may also contact your program and request that the bill due date be deferred until your refund is received. For questions regarding your Brown Student Account and/or the refund process, please contact Student Financial Services at studentfinancialservices@brown.edu or 401-863-2484.


Work-Study or Campus Employment, cannot be utilized during any study abroad period. The work component will not be replaced with additional scholarship. However, a student may choose to replace this with a student loan, if funds are available. If you are interested in covering this with a loan, please contact the Office of Financial Aid to request this after you receive your aid offer.


Depending on the timing of your return from study abroad and when student accounts are generated for the upcoming semester at Brown, you may find that you have not been billed for a meal plan. Because Dining Services assumes that students are no longer on the meal plan when they return to campus, it is crucial that you inform Dining Services at 401-863-3343 as soon as possible if you wish to participate in a meal plan when you return from your study abroad semester(s).

A promissory note and entrance counseling for a first-time Federal Direct Loan and/or a 20th Century Loan should be completed with the Brown University Loan Office before leaving for a study abroad program. The Loan Office will send the student an email about loan requirements and instructions on how to complete the forms. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements are completed and received by the Loan Office before departure. For questions, please contact the Loan Office at loans@brown.edu or at 401-863-3296.


Outside Scholarship Opportunities

Outside scholarships/resources must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. They should be reported via the Outside Scholarship Reporting Form, available after May 1.

Specific outside scholarship opportunities that may be available for studying abroad:

Available for U.S. Citizens or permanent residents accepted to a program based in certain Asian countries who demonstrate a verifiable need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); deadlines are generally in March of each year for the upcoming summer and academic year.
Additional information regarding outside scholarship opportunities for study abroad can be found on the Study Abroad Advising website under National Scholarships.