Funding is one of the most important factors in study abroad decision making. Often students assume that studying abroad is cost prohibitive or is more expensive than studying at RIT. However, study abroad program costs vary dramatically by program due to length, number of courses, location, etc. As a part of your application process, the Education Abroad office will provide you with a detailed budget worksheet outlining the actual and estimated out-of-pocket costs of studying abroad.
Costs vary by program and location and typically include:
- Tuition: The educational cost per credit. The RIT tuition rate is charged for RIT global campuses, exchanges and faculty-led programs but affiliate programs set their own tuition rate (usually comparable, but sometimes less than RIT tuition).
- Program fee: An additional fee charged to cover living and travel expenses. Often includes housing, in-country orientation, airport transportation, and excursions built into the program. May sometimes include insurance, visa, flights, etc.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Real costs of participating, but not billed to the student account. Often includes airfare, personal spending money, meals, in-country transportation, books, etc.
- RIT External Program fee (for students going on affiliate programs): for the administrative costs associated with affiliated programs.
Federal Aid such as Pell grants, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, etc. and RIT aid such as merit scholarships may often be used to help fund your study abroad experience.
To be eligible for federal aid, you must maintain half-time status, which is 6 semester credits. Keep this in mind especially when exploring short term programs which are often less than a month abroad and often only offer 3-6 credits.
To be eligible for RIT Aid as well as federal aid, you must maintain full-time status which is a minimum of 12 semester credits.
The Education Abroad office will provide you with a budget worksheet that outlines your expected costs for the program you are interested in. You will need to make an appointment with your financial aid advisor and provide them with your program budget worksheet to understand how much aid you may be eligible for. It is important to do this early in the application process prior to the application deadline.
Scholarships & Fellowships
RIT, affiliate study abroad programs, and several national organizations offer scholarships and fellowships for studying abroad. Find out what scholarships and fellowships are available and how to apply by going to our International Fellowships page.
- It is extremely important to search and apply for scholarships early in your application process - many scholarship deadlines are early, so don't miss out!
- Suggested scholarships to consider include:
- Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship - you must be receiving a Pell Grant to be eligible to apply (ask your RIT financial aid advisor)
- Fund for Education Abroad
- Diversity Abroad Overseas Ambassador
- Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship
- Many affiliate providers offer excellent scholarship opportunities
- Education Abroad Travel Grants
RIT students participating in an RIT Global Campus direct enroll, faculty-led, exchange and certain affiliated programs may be eligible for Education Abroad travel grants between $500 and $1000. The scholarship was created in an attempt to reduce traditional barriers to study abroad and support student engagement in international education. To be considered for a travel grant, fill out the compass application for your desired study abroad program by the appropriate deadline. Make sure to “opt-in” for scholarship consideration and complete the essay requirement.
Sites like GoFundMe.com and FundMyTravel.com provide online fundraising platforms to ask your friends and family to help contribute to your abroad experience. Be aware of possible fees for using these websites.
Tips for Cutting Costs
- Short-term RIT programs during intersession and summer may be offered at a discounted RIT tuition rate; however by participating in a longer term program, you may be more likely to earn financial aid and scholarships.
- Cost of living varies dramatically by location, so consider a more affordable destination.
- RIT programs and colleges including the Honors Program, College of Liberal Arts, College of Art & Design, College of Engineering Technology, Saunders College of Business and NTID have funding available for their students.
Billing & Deposits
- Students are not billed regular RIT tuition on top of their study abroad expenses.
- Students pay a deposit to confirm participation directly to the affiliate study abroad provider. Deposits are typically non-refundable - consult with your affiliate provider for their cancellation/refund policies.
- The remainder is billed to the RIT Student Financial Services account and payment is usually due two weeks from posting to the account.
- Payment plans can be arranged with Student Financial Services. Contact Student Financial Services for details.
- If something changes in your class schedule while you are abroad, e.g. you drop a course, withdraw, or a pre-approved course is full, you must contact your study abroad and financial aid advisors as it may impact your financial aid.
RIT Programs (Global Campus, Faculty-Led, Exchange)
RIT study abroad programs may not follow the typical RIT calendar and therefore do not adhere to the Rochester campus’ standard Add/Drop dates and refund policies.
Once a student is selected for an RIT program (Global Campus, Faculty-Led or Exchange), they must confirm their participation by logging into their Compass application and completing Step 3: Participation Confirmation. By electronically signing, they have committed to paying the deposit which will appear on their eServices account a few days later. The deposit amount is listed on the student budget worksheet and is non-refundable once they have completed Step 3. The students will typically have one week from acceptance to make their confirmation decision. The deadline for confirmation will be clearly communicated in their acceptance email. It is the student’s responsibility to have considered all factors (such as financial aid, interpreting services, academics, logistics, etc.) that may affect their participation prior to signing their confirmation agreement.
If a student decides to withdraw from the program less than 6 weeks before the departure date, he/she will also be responsible for paying the remainder of the program fee.
If a student fails to comply with the requirements of the program at any time and therefore cannot participate in the overseas trip, he/she is responsible for paying the total program fee. These requirements could include but are not limited to:
- Failing to secure a passport or renew your passport if necessary in advance of the departure date.
- Failing to secure a visa if necessary in advance of the departure date.
- Failing to attend/participate in all required meetings, classes and events such as Pre-Departure.
- Failing to adhere to curricular requirements as outlined by the faculty director in the syllabus or otherwise.
- Failing to remain in good academic standing or going on academic probation.
- Incurring a severe conduct violation which results in RIT administrators disqualifying you for participation.
Failing to resolve any RIT holds (such as library, advising or Student Financial Services hold, etc.) which prevent us from billing or registering you in advance of the departure date.
Students are not eligible for refunds for program cancellation or delay due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
Failure to successfully complete the entire program (including any Rochester/online based course work and the international travel portion) could result in student failing course or receiving a W for withdraw.