Scholarship News

Because Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees


July 20, 2010
by Derrius Quarles
If only money grew on trees. This is a feeling that can be popular among college students. As I write this entry from Accra, Ghana, I have the aforementioned feeling, but I also realize how salient and life-changing traveling outside one’s country truly is. It is an experience everyone should be able to have at least once during their life. However, anyone who has ever done a study or volunteer abroad program during their undergraduate career will tell you how strenuous and tedious the entire process can be. Obtaining your Visa, getting the required immunizations and medication, and most of all, securing the money for the program tuition and fees. No matter where in the world you may be traveling, these fees can quickly add up and, on average, you will have to pay out at least $2,000 to participate in a volunteer abroad program, $5,000 for a summer study abroad program, and $10,000 for a semester abroad program. I think I speak for most college students when I say that college is expensive enough as it is, and $2,000-$10,000 is a substantial cost—a sum that cannot be casually given away. So, how can you get over the fact that money can’t be found on tree limbs in order to go about funding such potentially life-changing international experiences? Well, the first thing you need to do is have an understanding of your options.

If only money grew on trees. This is a feeling that can be popular among college students. As I write this entry from Accra, Ghana, I have the aforementioned feeling, but I also realize how salient and life-changing traveling outside one’s country truly is. It is an experience everyone should be able to have at least once during their life. However, anyone who has ever done a study or volunteer abroad program during their undergraduate career will tell you how strenuous and tedious the entire process can be. Obtaining your Visa, getting the required immunizations and medication, and most of all, securing the money for the program tuition and fees. No matter where in the world you may be traveling, these fees can quickly add up and, on average, you will have to pay out at least $2,000 to participate in a volunteer abroad program, $5,000 for a summer study abroad program, and $10,000 for a semester abroad program. I think I speak for most college students when I say that college is expensive enough as it is, and $2,000-$10,000 is a substantial cost—a sum that cannot be casually given away. So, how can you get over the fact that money can’t be found on tree limbs in order to go about funding such potentially life-changing international experiences? Well, the first thing you need to do is have an understanding of your options.

ADVERTISEMENT

Just as there are a variety of undergraduate international programs, there are a variety of ways to fund such experiences. Depending on the description of the program you are doing including: length and time of stay, location, if you are taking courses, if you are performing research, etc your financial-aid options will change. In order to better help you visualize your options I will use a list to break international programs up into three types: Semester Programs, Summer Programs, and Volunteer Programs.

Semester Programs

  • Governmental Aid (Federal Pell Grant)
  • Institutional Aid (Merit or Need-Based Scholarships and Grants)
  • Aid from academic departments
  • Aid from the study abroad organization/company*
  • Outside Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships*
  • Fund-raising*

Summer Programs

  • Aid from academic departments
  • Aid from the study abroad organization/company*
  • Outside Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships*
  • Fund-raising*

Volunteer Programs

  • Aid from the study abroad organization/company*
  • Outside Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships*
  • Fund-raising*

* Denotes aid that can be used for any program type

Semester programs have the largest amount of funding options. What makes them the most ideal type of program is the fact that you will be taking classes abroad at the same time you would be taking them at your home institution, which allows almost all of the financial aid that you have received from the government and from your school to be transferred over to the school located abroad. If you have been accepted into this type of program, you should contact your school's financial aid office in order to start the process to transfer both your governmental aid and institutional aid, including your Pell Grant and merit- or need-based scholarships and grants. Another fairly simple way to receive funds is to meet with the chair of your major’s department and the director of international affairs to give them a description of the program you have been accepted to and to make your case as to why you should receive funding.

Summer programs have fewer options than semester programs, but they are less expensive. You will not be able to use any governmental or institutional aid that has been designated for the academic year; however, this does not mean you cannot receive funds from your school. Like semester programs, you can schedule meetings with your major’s department chair and director of international affairs in attempts to receive funds. In addition to this, you can utilize the aid listed below in the *Aid that Can be Used for Any Program section.

Volunteer programs have the least amount of options for funding, but fortunately, they are also the cheapest type of international program. Options that can be utilized for these types of programs are listed below in the *Aid that Can be Used for Any Program section.

*Aid that Can be Used for Any Program

Most international programs are handled by some type of company that specializes in sending students abroad and providing needed services abroad such as insurance, transportation, housing, etc. These companies almost always have opportunities to apply for scholarships and grants. These opportunities will be very scarce so you must apply for them very early. In addition to these opportunities from the specific study abroad company, you can use outside scholarships you have received to fund your program. For instance, if you have received a scholarship from an organization in your hometown, you can ask the organization to allow you to use your funds for an international experience. Also, there are scholarships and fellowships that are specifically for students who want to study abroad, such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Lastly, fund-raising can be the difference between having just enough to complete your international program and staying at home. You can raise funds by drafting a letter that describes your program and why it is important for you to go. This letter can be given to family members, professors, churches, businesses, etc., and should illustrate that you are passionate about going abroad. It should move people enough to give you a small or generous donation. Fund-raising can also be done via social networking sites.

Now that you are aware of your options, it's time to get your international experience funded. Even if you will not be going abroad in the near future it is best to plan early so that you will be able to take advantage of all your options. Though there may not be any money on the trees outside your dorm, you can still find money to see the world.

College is expensive, Scholarships.com is completely free. Pay for your college education with as much free college scholarship money as possible. By applying to all the awards you qualify for, you can be sure to not miss a single opportunity in paying for your college expenses - including tuition, fees, room and board. Get matched to college scholarships instantly and start applying today by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
President Biden and Congress are debating on cancelling thousands of dollars in student loan debt. As that discussion continues to unfold, it’s worth noting that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, student borrowers have collectively saved over $90 billion dollars in federal student loan debt.

Student Borrowers Have Saved Billions During Pandemic

May 6, 2021 9:56 AM
by Izzy Hall
President Biden and Congress are debating on cancelling thousands of dollars in student loan debt. As that discussion continues to unfold, it’s worth noting that since the start of the coronavirus
A growing number of colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend college this fall. More than 200 colleges across the country have made COVID vaccinations an official requirement for the Fall 2021 semester, including Rutgers University, Notre Dame, Cornell College and Duke. It’s a unique case for colleges who, while requiring students to have certain immunizations in the past, have not faced a challenge quite like COVID.

Attending College in Fall 2021? You May Need a Vaccine

May 4, 2021 1:31 PM
by Izzy Hall
A growing number of colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend college this fall. More than 200 colleges across the country have made COVID
This Saturday, students across the country will be making a big decision: Where will they go to college? National College Decision Day is May 1st, when students formally accept admission at a college and make it official with a deposit. Last year, many schools pushed their decision day back from May 1st to June 1st, but this year most colleges and universities returned to the traditional May 1st date.

College Decision Day 2021 is Nearly Here

April 29, 2021 9:01 AM
by Izzy Hall
This Saturday, students across the country will be making a big decision: Where will they go to college? National College Decision Day is May 1st, when students formally accept admission at a college
After all the essays, letters of recommendation and entrance exams are finally done, college applicants may find one question creeping up in their minds: What now? Below are our recommendations on how spend your time after applying to colleges.

Our Post-College Applications To-Do List

April 27, 2021 8:29 AM
by Scholarships.com Staff
After all the essays, letters of recommendation and entrance exams are finally done, college applicants may find one question creeping up in their minds: What now? Below are our recommendations on
Spring is in full swing! It’s a time of growth and a time of anticipation for both warmer weather and college acceptances. While you wait to hear back from colleges and prepare for College Decision Day on May 1st, take a breather and apply to these late April and May scholarships! You’ll discover refreshing opportunities to win free money towards college tuition that you don’t have to pay back. Looking for more scholarships? Be sure to log in to your Scholarships.com account to update your profile and try a free scholarship search!

April Showers, May Flowers and Spring Scholarships

April 22, 2021 9:42 AM
by Izzy Hall
Spring is in full swing! It’s a time of growth and a time of anticipation for both warmer weather and college acceptances. While you wait to hear back from colleges and prepare for College Decision
Test-optional admissions defined the college application season for 2021, and lead to many competitive schools seeing record application numbers. A few colleges and universities that adopted the policy during the pandemic have decided to continue test-optional admissions for the foreseeable future. Other institutions are waiting for hard data to make a decision on whether to keep test-optional admissions or return to requiring SAT and ACT scores as was standard for college admissions before COVID-19. A new study reveals some positive trends for schools that went test-optional prior to pandemic.

New Study Shows Benefits to Test-Optional Admissions

April 20, 2021 8:41 AM
by Izzy Hall
Test-optional admissions defined the college application season for 2021, and lead to many competitive schools seeing record application numbers. A few colleges and universities that adopted the
Let’s say you’ve made it. You are enrolled in college, or have been for a year or two. You’re receiving some financial aid, or even a scholarship, but something’s missing. It’s money. No matter how generous the package you’re receiving is, there’s always one more book to buy, one more activity fee, one more dining hall bill…

Scholarship Search in College? Scholarships for Undergrads

April 13, 2021 9:09 AM
by Scholarships.com Staff
Let’s say you’ve made it. You are enrolled in college, or have been for a year or two. You’re receiving some financial aid, or even a scholarship, but something’s missing. It’s money. No matter how
When students hear back from colleges in the coming weeks, they may not get a firm acceptance or rejection, but rather get put on the wait list. Getting waitlisted is a normal part of the college admissions process, but some experts say that this year the wait list could turn into the longest it has ever been. A combination of the effects of the coronavirus on colleges, changes in application policies and an increase in applications at top colleges may contribute to a difficult wait list period.

The Longest Wait List Ever? What to Expect

March 31, 2021 3:09 PM
by Izzy Hall
When students hear back from colleges in the coming weeks, they may not get a firm acceptance or rejection, but rather get put on the wait list. Getting waitlisted is a normal part of the college