Financial Aid Study Abroad Policies

Before you partake in a study abroad experience, we strongly encourage that you review the following policies.  We also advise you to schedule an appointment with the Financial Aid Counselor who is assigned to counsel you on financial aid matters well in advance of your departure.

RIT Institutional Aid (grants and scholarships)

Typically to qualify for RIT grants and scholarships, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits per semester.

  • RIT tuition-based programs (Faculty Led, Global Campus, Exchange Semester Programs)
    Students can receive their RIT grants and scholarships if enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits.
  • Non-RIT tuition-based programs (Affiliated Programs)
    Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits. RIT grants and scholarships will be prorated based on the tuition amount assessed, if less than RIT’s full time standard tuition rate. An exception to this proration rule is the Nathaniel Rochester Society Scholarship (NRS). RIT grants and scholarships will not exceed their maximum amounts awarded if the affiliated study abroad program’s tuition is greater than RIT’s full time tuition rate.
  • Independent Study Abroad
    No RIT institutional aid will be awarded.

Federal Grants

  • Federal Pell Grant
    Federal Pell Grant funding can be awarded to those students who demonstrate need per federal regulations as determined by filing the FAFSA. The funding will be prorated based on the number of credit hours the student is enrolled within a term.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    Federal SEOG funding is awarded to students that demonstrate exceptional financial need.  Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.  The student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to qualify for a Federal SEOG award.

State Grants

  • New York State Grants
    New York State awards such as Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence can be granted to a student participating in study abroad program.  The student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits and be meeting all other eligibility criteria. TAP funding can only be allocated towards the tuition portion of a study abroad program.
  • Other State Grants
    Contact the state education department of your home state.


  • Federal Direct Student Loans
    The Direct Subsidized Loan (awarded to students with financial need) and the Direct Unsubsidized Loan (not based on financial need) can be awarded to a student participating in a study abroad program.  The student must be enrolled at least half-time (minimum of 6 credits), and the amount of the loan(s) will be based on the total number of terms the student will be enrolled in throughout the aid year.
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Parents of Undergraduate Students
    Federal Direct PLUS Loans are provided by the federal government to help parents of dependent undergraduate students finance their education. Parents may borrow up to the full annual cost of education less any other financial aid for each dependent undergraduate student.  The student must be enrolled at least half-time (minimum of 6 credits).
  • Alternative Educational Loans (non-federal)
    Alternative Educational Loans are private, non-federal loans offered through private lenders to supplement financial aid awards. Some lenders may allow students to borrow for programs that are less than half-time. RIT is required to certify these loans to ensure that the loan amount does not exceed the cost of attendance less all other financial aid.

Tuition Exchange

Tuition Exchange can be used towards the tuition portion of the program’s expenses. Tuition Exchange follows the same rules as the RIT Institutional Aid (grants and scholarships) listed above. If used during a study abroad semester will count as one semester of a student’s Tuition Exchange eligibility.

Tuition Waiver

Please consult RIT’s benefits policy (page 5) for the most updated policy on tuition waivers as it applies to study abroad. Students receiving an RIT tuition waiver should contact RIT Education Abroad to notify their office of this information.

Part-time Study Abroad and Part Time RIT

Students receiving part-time credits through any study abroad program that is charged at a different rate than the standard RIT tuition rate and adds additional RIT credits (charged at the standard RIT tuition rate) will only be eligible to receive their RIT scholarship/grant funding pro-rated on the standard RIT portion of their tuition charges.

Other Types of Financial Aid

Please contact the Financial Aid Counselor assigned to counsel you on financial aid matters for information pertaining to other types of financial aid not mentioned in these policies.

Other Study Abroad Policies

  • Independent Study Abroad
    RIT will not certify any financial aid for an Independent Study Abroad program.
  • Aid Disbursement
    All aid disbursement occurs after the semester drop/add period has ended.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
    Students must be meeting satisfactory academic progress standards towards their degree for consideration of federal and state financial aid resources.
  • Failure to Complete a Study Abroad Program
    Review the policies and information page on RIT’s Financial Aid Refund policy for student’s taking a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal