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.
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 3-5 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.
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.
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. Start your research early and be conscious of deadlines.
- Many scholarships request that you complete a minor project when you return that helps promote international education.
- Scholarship deadlines vary dramatically so early application is key.
- Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Scholarships & Fellowships for Global Education.
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.
- Students are not billed regular RIT tuition and fees on top of their study abroad expenses.
- Students pay a deposit to confirm participation directly to the study abroad provider - either RIT or an affiliate.
- Deposits are non-refundable and other fees may also be non-refundable depending on cancellation timing.
- 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.
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 like the Honors Program or MCAS may have funding available for their students; talk to them or your college about funding opportunities.