Study Abroad Financial Aid Policy

What is a Penn-Sponsored Study Abroad Program?

A study abroad program is Penn-Sponsored if administered by Penn Abroad with charges billed through your student account. In compliance with University policy, a student will receive Penn credit only if they participate in an approved Penn-sponsored study abroad program. The charges for participation in a semester or year-long study abroad program are equivalent to on-campus tuition and general fee charges. The cost of meals, housing, study materials, and personal expenses is additional, just as it is on campus.

Financial Aid Eligibility

If you are studying abroad for a full semester or academic year, you will be eligible for financial aid as if you were on campus, with the exception of Work-Study. The normal work-study component of your aid package will be covered with a mixture of grant and loan funding, with a maximum loan amount of $500 per semester. For information regarding scholarships from Penn Abroad, please visit their website.

If you are participating in a Penn Global Seminar course, SFS will first increase your Parent Contribution by 5% to help cover the difference in cost. For any remaining financial need, we offer 60% of the funding in the form of a grant and 40% as a loan. You can read more about Penn Global Seminar costs on the Penn Abroad website.

Payment Options

You and your family may use financing and/or payment options for Penn-sponsored study abroad programs, just as if you were on campus.


For most programs, only tuition and fees will be billed via your Penn student account. For certain programs, non-tuition charges, in addition to tuition and fees will be billed through your Penn student account. Penn Abroad provides cost estimates for each program. These estimates indicate the total budget for the program and the amount you will be billed on your Penn student account.


If your financial aid exceeds your charges (and any past-due balance), you are entitled to a refund to cover expenses not billed to your Penn account. We strongly recommend enrolling in direct deposit to ensure any student account refund is easily accessibly while you are abroad.

If you will be leaving the country prior to the time when your actual financial aid is credited, SFS will advance funds to you upon request, based on pending aid. Aid is considered pending if all application requirements have been completed (e.g. to receive an advance from a pending Direct Loan, a Master Promissory Note must be on file). If for any reason the pending aid is not eventually disbursed to your account, you will be responsible for repaying the advance.

Direct Loans

Obtaining the Direct Loan check endorsement required in order to credit a loan to your student account poses special challenges for students in study-abroad programs. By federal regulations, Penn is not permitted to refund Direct Loan proceeds prior to 10 days before the beginning of the term.