Financial Aid

State and federal financial aid from your home institution can often be applied to the costs associated with studying or interning abroad.

This includes Stafford Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Pell Grants and more. Read below to learn how you may be able to apply your financial aid to your study or intern abroad program.


Financial aid is any aid that you can receive to study towards your degree at your home university.

This includes ALL Loans, Grants and Scholarships (Federal, State, Institutional and Private). Under Federal Law, all Federal Financial Aid that you qualify for (loans and grants) can be used to study abroad if the program you are attending has been approved for credit by your home institution. With State or Institutional Financial Aid, your home institution will decide if the aid can be used to study abroad.

How to Use Financial Aid for Your CIS Abroad Program

Step 1 – Fill out your FAFSA Application
If you haven’t used Financial Aid previously, submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid) application. All students who apply for Federal Student Aid, must complete the FAFSA process.
Step 2 – Meet with your University Financial Aid Office

After submitting your FAFSA application, prepare to meet with your home institution’s Financial Aid Office.

Before you set up an appointment, it’s best to calculate your proposed costs for your study abroad. CIS Abroad Program Fees may include Tuition Fees, Accommodation and there are additional items like Housing Deposits, Program Deposits, Excursion or Single Room Add-ons. 

You should also consider other expenses besides your Program Fees like Flights, Food and Entertainment, Visa Applications and Textbooks.

You can find guidelines about these costs on our budgeting page.

Once you have a budget, meet with the Financial Aid office and ask the following questions:

  • Does your home institution allow institutional aid to be used for study abroad?
  • Does your home institution require a Verification of Enrollment (VOE) before Financial Aid is disbursed to you?
  • Does your home institution require a signed Consortium Agreement from CIS Abroad?
  • Will the financial aid you are applying for cover the entire cost of your CIS Abroad program?
  • What documents does your home institution require to facilitate the process?
  • When will the Page 2 of CIS Abroad Financial Aid Forms be ready for submission to CIS Abroad’s Finance Support Team?

Don’t forget to bring a copy of the CIS Abroad Financial Aid Forms with you to the meeting!

Step 3 – Complete and submit your Financial Aid Forms to CIS Abroad Finance Support

The Financial Aid Officer at your home institution will complete Page 2 of the Financial Aid Forms. This form will list all of the different types of aid that you will be receiving, the Gross Amount, the Actual Amount (minus processing fees) and the Disbursement Dates. They may submit this directly to CIS Abroad or send this to you.

You’re responsible for filling out the rest of the pages. Please ensure that you use the TOTAL ACTUAL AID amount that is listed on Page 2 and the disbursement date to complete the requirements on Page 3.  (If there is more than one disbursement date listed, please use the last calendar date).

Scan your completed Pages 2, 3, 4 and email these documents to

Important: Always follow up with your home institution if there are any delays in your Financial Aid paperwork process.

Step 4 – CIS Abroad confirms and updates your Balance

Once you’ve submitted your Financial Aid forms to CIS Abroad, we will check the forms and upload the paperwork to our system. If there are any discrepancies (no signature, incorrect totals/dates), we will be in touch with you.  If everything is correct, the amount of financial aid you will be receiving will be separated from the total balance that you owe for Program Fees. If the Financial Aid you are receiving from your home institution does not cover the entire balance of your Program Fees, you will have to pay the remaining ‘Personal Balance’ by the Final Payment Deadline. Please contact if you have any questions.  

Important: Please ensure that you pay for all Program deposits/ Housing deposits before your final payment deadline. These deposits are used to secure your spot on a program or housing earlier than Payment deadlines and before you travel abroad.

Step 5 – Paying your Financial Aid Disbursement to CIS Abroad

Financial Aid is often disbursed from your home institution after the start of the semester – this means you might already be abroad. While you might be enjoying your time abroad, it’s important to keep track of whether the Financial Aid has been disbursed to you and make the necessary arrangements to pay for your program fees using your Financial Aid Disbursement. If your school needed a Verification of Enrollment, ensure that you reach out to your Program Coordinator or the Finance Support team to get the right documentation in order to receive your disbursement. 

You can submit payment to CIS Abroad at our Make a Payment page.

Important Financial Aid Definitions

Consortium Agreement
A contract between two educational institutions that recognizes your registration at each location for financial aid purposes.

 Verification of Enrollment (VOE)
Documentation to prove enrollment and attendance at an academic institution.

 Disbursement Date
The date that funds become available to the student/parent taking out the Financial Aid Loan.

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