October 19, 2003 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Some students have passed up the opportunity to study abroad because they think it is too expensive. Most students don't realize that the use of financial aid and scholarships can make study abroad more affordable. Many students and parents are seriously overestimating the costs of college in general.

According to an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a survey found that 65 percent of students and 58 percent of parents were unable to estimate yearly tuition fees and actually overestimated the costs by 25 percent or more.

Likewise, many students and parents overestimate the costs of study abroad.

Depending on the university a student attends, the cost of some study abroad programs are very comparable or less than the cost of attending their domestic university.

Average tuition costs for many students fall around $12,841 for in-state tuition and $19,188 for out-of-state tuition, as calculated by FinAid. INFOZEE, a comprehensive website for students studying abroad, reports that study abroad prices are quite comparable, with average fees totaling $12,810 for U.K. bound students.

Based on a student's needs and preferences, federal aid, loans, grants, and scholarships may be applied to completely fund a study abroad program as well as a full college education. Just as federal aid and scholarships are applicable to a college education, they are also applicable to a study abroad program.

Cultural Experiences Abroad, a study abroad organization, has implemented procedures to help students obtain aid to attend host universities. CEA, found online at, works closely with the domestic universities' study abroad offices to help ease the process of obtaining aid. CEA provides students with advisors to help them through the process so the student can afford to study abroad.

In addition to helping students find and receive aid, CEA also awards more than $60,000 in scholarships every year.

According to the 1965 Higher Education Act, re-authorized in 1992, federal financial aid may be applied towards study abroad programs as long as the program is for credit. Students must get the credit pre-approved prior to departure to ensure funds.

Cultural Experiences Abroad's Student Services Manager, Alissa Bogutz, had the following advice to give students when it comes to obtaining financial aid for studying abroad: "The best piece of advice I can give a student who is using financial aid for study abroad is to work closely with your study abroad and financial aid advisors. They are the people with the most knowledge about how the university runs its study abroad programs and can be a student's best advocate.'

Students apply for financial aid in the same method that one would for a domestic university program. The first step is to fill out a FAFSA (Free Applications for Federal Student Aid). Students must then decide on courses, and once approved, supply a summary of the costs to attend school in the city of their choice. This report should include cost of housing, meals, transportation, tuition, fees, and other expenses.

To find out more about scholarships and financial aid for study abroad, visit:

To learn more about Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), visit:

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