Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Aid
We do more to put study abroad within reach.
IFSA is deeply committed to making study abroad accessible to as many students as possible. We believe that cost should never be a barrier: that’s why we offer financial support to a larger proportion of our students than any other organization.
That concept of inclusive excellence—embracing and empowering all students regardless of background—is central to our mission of making studying abroad available to all those who choose to pursue it. Together, we can find a way to make it happen for you.
Opportunities for students who want to study abroad with IFSA:
- Scholarships – 14 need-based and program-linked scholarships, ranging from $500 to $2,500
- Grants – Automatic, application-free funding for up to $2,000 for eligible groups
- IFSA student marketing correspondents – A special offering open to all, enabling you to earn a stipend by documenting your study abroad experience, and even get the funds as an advance to offset up-front costs
- Affordable program offerings – We also offer IFSA-taught programs designed specifically to be more accessible and less expensive than direct enrollment at host universities—a great option for those who don’t qualify for a scholarship or grant.
- Financial advising – Many students don’t know that the financial aid they already receive from government programs can be applied to study abroad. We’ll show you how.
IFSA General Scholarship Application Deadlines
|Program Term||Priority Deadline||Final Deadline|
|Fall Term / Academic Year||March 1||April 1|
|Spring Term / Calendar Year||October 1||November 1|
|Summer Term||March 1||April 1|
|January Term||October 1||November 1|
Additional IFSA Scholarships
IFSA First-Generation Scholarship
Designed to: Give first-generation college students a chance to benefit from the life-changing experience of studying abroad
Up to $2,500 for Fall, Spring, and Year Programs
Up to $1,500 for January and Summer Programs
This achievement-based scholarship program offers first-generation college students significant financial, academic, and pre-professional support for study abroad on a January, summer, semester, or year-long IFSA program.
Recipients receive up to $2,500 to help them cover the cost of airfare, visas and passports, and housing.
Summer, Fall, and Academic Year Programs: March 1
January and Spring Programs: October 1
IFSA Diversity Scholarship
Designed to: Make study abroad accessible to students of high financial need and/or students from traditionally underrepresented groups, such as first-generation college students or minority students
Awards: Up to $1,250 for summer, $5,000 for semester, $10,000 for year-long programs
This need-based scholarship program, offered in collaboration with the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA), provides significant funding for minority and/or high financial need students seeking to experience study abroad. To apply, visit the FEA application website.
You’re encouraged to check the FEA website for up-to-date information on application deadlines.
IFSA State School Grant
All state school students (regardless of in-state or out-of-state status) will automatically receive a $2,000 grant for any IFSA semester program. The grant will be applied to the overall tuition/housing costs during billing. There is no application process; state school (including community college) students automatically receive the discount.
The IFSA State School Grant may not be combined with the IFSA Minority Serving Institution Grant. This grant cannot be applied to January Term or Summer Term programs.
IFSA Minority Serving Institution Grant
All minority serving institution (MSI) school students will automatically receive a $2,000 grant for any IFSA semester program. The grant will be applied to the overall tuition/housing costs during billing. There is no application process; students who attend a minority serving institution automatically receive the discount.
The IFSA Minority Serving Institution Grant may not be combined with the IFSA State School Grant. This grant cannot be applied to January Term or Summer Term programs.
IFSA Student Marketing Correspondents
Opportunities for Fall and Spring Terms
Are you a creative content curator with the potential to inspire others to study abroad? As an IFSA Student Marketing Correspondent, you can earn a stipend to document your IFSA experience through a variety of photography, videography, and digital storytelling (journalistic writing or vlogging) while abroad. These positions are a wonderful opportunity to develop professional skills and build your resume.
Designed to: Help students fund and gain valuable work experience from their study abroad program and enhance their experience.
Eligibility: Open to all students who participate in a Fall or Spring term.
To Apply: All students who have submitted their Fall or Spring applications to study abroad will receive an email invitation to apply from IFSA. This is a competitive award with limited appointments.
Awards: Stipend of $750 is awarded via PayPal or direct deposit.
Using Your Financial Aid
You can apply most federal financial aid toward study abroad. This includes financial programs like Guaranteed Student Loans (GSL/Stafford), Pell Grants, and Parent/PLUS Loans.
We recognize and support those who have served in our armed forces, and we are prepared to help facilitate your study abroad experience. Generally, veterans or their dependent students can apply the Post 9/11 GI Bill toward study abroad, although the amount will depend on the benefit type and whether study abroad is required for your major (in which case the VA may pay more).
It’s important to speak with your financial aid officer and study abroad office early on to determine which scholarships, grants, loans, and other tuition-assistance programs are transferable from your home university. Institutional aid like presidential or endowed scholarships may not apply, but you may be able to fill that gap with one of IFSA’s many scholarship and financial aid programs. As part of our scholarship determination process, please be prepared to send us your home campus award letter.
Steps for Using Financial Aid for Study Abroad
1. Make a Financial Aid Appointment
While IFSA accepts any transfer of financial aid, we are not able to process it ourselves. This must be done by your home university. Your financial aid officer will be able to explain how much and what type of aid you can transfer and how you can get that process started. When you go to your appointment, make sure to bring:
- Your most recent financial aid information
- Your IFSA program fees (see your IFSA program page)
- Your IFSA program estimated costs (like airfare, visas, etc., also on your IFSA program page)
2. Ask Your Financial Aid Officer for a Contractual/Consortium Agreement
IFSA has contractual/consortium with institutions whose students participate on our programs. With this agreement, IFSA will confirm your status as a full-time student on your program and your home school will approve your financial aid to transfer to your program fees. This form is the best way to guarantee that your aid will be transferred to IFSA.
3. Submit Your Payment Deferral Form to IFSA
If your financial aid won’t be dispersed until after the payment deadline, you’ll need to complete the Payment Deferral Form. Your financial aid officer will need to complete this and return it to IFSA directly.
4. Apply for IFSA Scholarships
IFSA offers a variety of scholarships and grants with varying deadlines and application processes. For all the possibilities, jump to the Scholarships section of this page.
5. Payment Plan
Decide if you’d like to enroll in our monthly payment plan (semester or year programs only). See Billing, Payments, and Refunds for complete details.
6. Pay Your Program Fees
If you’re not using the payment plan option or deferring your payment to wait for financial aid, make sure to note the payment deadline for your program! You can see this when you log into the IFSA Student Portal.
For payment questions or assistance, please contact our IFSA Finance Team.
Managing Upfront Costs
Some of the most immediate costs of study abroad can be the most daunting. Processing charges like housing deposits and airfare can be the most burdensome for your budget—especially when you’re dependent on financial aid to cover program costs. In an effort to help you pay those over time, and to minimize the stress of all those out-of-pocket expenses, IFSA is pleased to offer the UpFront Advance. Inspired by our award-winning partner, the University of Minnesota’s Bridging Loan program, UpFront allows you to bill certain fees to your IFSA student account. You can then pay these expenses with financial aid or with our monthly payment option.
IFSA Upfront Advance
The Upfront Advance covers the following expenses:
- Program deposit ($500)
This program is available for any IFSA semester and full year program. Download the Upfront Advance Request Form and complete the instructions to apply.
Upfront Auckland Scholarship
The University of Auckland offers several scholarships (up to $7,500) to help IFSA students cover some of the upfront costs of studying abroad. All interested students should apply; however, students with high-financial need and first-generation college students (neither parent has a four-year degree) will be given preference in the selection process. You must be applying to IFSA’s University of Auckland program in order to be considered.
The Upfront Auckland Scholarship covers the following expenses: Program deposit ($500), Airfare, and Cash (any remaining funding will be disbursed directly to you at the beginning of the program)
Deadlines: Applications are reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis, until funding has been exhausted or until April 1 for fall/academic year and November 1 for spring/calendar year.
To Apply: To apply for the IFSA Upfront Advance, complete the Upfront Advance Request Form. To apply for the Upfront Auckland Scholarship, complete an IFSA scholarship application in the Student Portal.
IFSA offers numerous scholarships that reflect our strong relationship with overseas partners and honor the legacy of our colleagues and students. These scholarships are specific to certain programs, countries, or terms:
Diverse International Women Of Color Summer Scholarship is a $500 award designed specifically to assist women of color who are hoping to study abroad on a summer program. Applications typically open around March 1 annually. Visit DIWCfund.org for more information about how to apply.
The University of Technology, Sydney offers a merit-based Study Abroad Excellence Scholarship for commencing study abroad students. Selection is based on academic excellence at the tertiary institutions you have attended. When your IFSA University of Technology, Sydney application is submitted, you will automatically be considered for this scholarship. You do not need to submit a separate scholarship application or documentation in addition to what is required for the IFSA University of Technology, Sydney application.
Queen’s University Belfast offers The Norman Houston Award for study abroad students. The award includes one semester of tuition, university accommodation, and air travel expense. You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify. Find further details regarding eligibility and application requirements on the The Norman Houston Award webpage. Please contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor for instructions on how to submit your application.
Trinity College Dublin offers travel grants and scholarships between €1,000 and €2,000. Awards available to IFSA students include the Study Abroad STEM Scholarship, the Global Study Abroad Excellence Scholarships, and the Trinity College Dublin Generation Study Abroad Scholarship.
UpFront Auckland: The University of Auckland offers several $5,000-7,500 scholarships exclusively to IFSA students to help cover some of the upfront costs of studying abroad (airfare, program deposit, cash deposit). See the IFSA Upfront Advance tab for more information.
University of Canterbury: Canterbury awards multiple scholarships exclusively for IFSA students who attend the IFSA University of Canterbury Partnership program. Awards range from NZ$1,500 to NZ$2,200, and the university also gives “general awards” to select students upon arrival.
University of Otago: Otago is offering IFSA first-generation college students the exclusive opportunity to apply for one of two full housing scholarships available for Fall semester only. Apply for the award by completing the IFSA scholarship application by April 1.
Education New Zealand has partnered with the U.S. Department of State to provide additional funds for the Gilman New Zealand Scholarship. Applicants must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant to be considered. Learn more about the eligibility requirements and application processes.
The Victoria University of Wellington Study Abroad Scholarship is open to international students who plan to experience New Zealand culture through a study abroad programme at Victoria University of Wellington. The value of the scholarship is up to NZ$1,000 to each successful applicant as a one-off payment towards the student’s study abroad tuition fee.
New Zealand International Correspondent Scholarship: Students who want to build their resume while studying abroad in New Zealand should apply for projects in the New Zealand International Correspondent Scholarship program. Award amounts depend upon the scope and depth of projects completed. Scholarships are distributed via PayPal. Students must apply for open projects and will be selected by IFSA based availability and skill set. Application requirements and details for Fall 2022 will be posted soon.
University of St. Andrews: The University of St. Andrews offers several scholarships up to £4,000 each semester, which can be used toward either housing or tuition. The university also offers one tuition scholarship up to £9,000. This scholarship, usually awarded in the fall, requires applicants to provide a letter of support from their home institution.
You must already be accepted to the University of St. Andrews program to be eligible for these scholarships. University of St. Andrews emails all eligible students with further information once the scholarship application period opens. Accepted students can find information regarding St. Andrews scholarships and submit applications via St. Andrews student portal, MySaint. Contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor for further application details.
The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) received a gift of $50,000 from The Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation (CTCF) to fund scholarships for students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to study in the United Kingdom. Named the Cyril Taylor Memorial Scholarship and typically available for summer, semester, and year terms, the gift funds multiple scholarships and is administered by FEA. The named scholarship will fund academic-year scholarships of up to $10,000, semester scholarships of $5,000, and summer scholarships of up to $3,750 for deserving undergraduates to study in the United Kingdom on programs that best meet their educational objectives. The deadline to apply for the Spring 2023 term is Sept. 15, 2022.