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While studying abroad may be one of the most memorable and exciting times in your academic career at Wilkes, it also requires a certain level of personal responsibility to ensure that necessary paperwork is completed in applying for study abroad programs and even after you have been admitted into the program. Some of the paperwork may be a little time-consuming but is well worth it in the end.
There are specific forms that must be completed for financial aid, prior to departure and others may need to be completed in your absence. Some study abroad programs cost about the same as semester at Wilkes, with the exception transportation costs, visas (when applicable), and personal expenses. While your Wilkes scholarship may not be applied toward study abroad (except for exchange programs), you can use your state and federal grants and loans to cover your overseas expenses.
The Financial Aid Office is not able to offer extra grants or scholarships to help cover the additional costs of study abroad programs. However the Financial Aid Office may be able to offer additional student or parent loans after making adjustments for costs associated with study abroad. For more information on how to apply your financial aid to study abroad contact the student service desk in UCOM to make arrangements to speak with a financial counselor.
Estimate the cost of study abroad
Before you go to the Financial Aid Office, you need to have a sense of how much studying abroad is going to cost you.
The Study Abroad Cost Planner Form helps to highlight for you various expenses you are likely to incur while studying abroad. It also enables you compare the cost of studying abroad , which would help provide you with a realistic cost estimate for your study abroad program, as compared to other
Visit the Financial Aid Office
It is a good idea to visit the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible once you decide to participate in a study-abroad program. If you normally receive financial aid, there will be special paperwork that must be submitted for study abroad. There is also paperwork that needs to be signed, such as loan promissory notes which will need your signature before aid can be processed. Signing all of the necessary paperwork will ensure your financial aid for the semester. At least three weeks before departure, double check with a Financial Aid Officer to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is in order.
Select someone to have Power of Attorney
While you are away there may be additional documents that require your signature, such as checks, award letters, financial aid verification forms, and residence hall contracts. Power of attorney will give authority to another person - preferably a member of your immediate family - to sign documents on your behalf.
Visit the University Business Office
You may be expecting a refund check before you depart. If so, the University Business Office will need a letter from you to request that the check be mailed to an off-campus address. Make sure that your semester account is paid in full or that proper payment arrangements have been made. Any outstanding debt to the University may block future registration.
Taxes and FAFSA forms
Students traveling during the spring semester must file their tax returns before departing the country if they choose to file. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must also be completed. Without a completed FAFSA, you cannot receive financial aid for the next school year. Wilkes University will begin awarding financial aid in Mid April. Special Note: Students who in the past have received a dependency override must once again supply supporting documentation to a financial aid officer for approval before the FAFSA is submitted.
Student Loan Borrowers
Your loan service may try to verify that you are a full-time student for the period you are abroad, whether you are registered at Wilkes or another outside institution. As a result, your loan agency will probably send you a letter requiring that you prove your full-time status. If you or your family receives such a letter, contact the Registrar's Office requesting that the loan agency be provided with proof of enrollment.