Study abroad

Most types of financial aid may be used for study abroad opportunities, including grants, scholarships, and student loans. However, National Scholarship and reciprocity and tuition waivers do not apply to study abroad programs.

You must be admitted to a degree-seeking program to receive financial aid for study abroad programs available at the University. You must also apply to study abroad with UMD Study Abroad.

Apply for financial aid

Financial aid is available for most students who qualify for study abroad programs. You must comply with the general eligibility requirements and the credit requirements for financial aid awards.

If you already receive financial aid, you can use most of your UMD financial aid toward studying abroad; however, you must still complete the procedures outlined here. If you have not received financial aid in the past, you should consider applying as soon as you decide you want to study abroad.

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have already submitted a FAFSA for the same academic year you intend to study abroad, do not complete another one.

Available aid

Once you have applied and are accepted into a study abroad program, UMD Study Abroad will inform the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of the anticipated cost of your chosen study abroad program. If your program cost is estimated to be more than the cost to attend UMD, you may be eligible for additional financial aid funds to help cover your expenses. If your program is lower than your current cost to attend UMD, your financial aid will be reduced. Additional financial aid is generally awarded in the form of loans, such as Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Parent PLUS Loans, or private loans. Grants and University scholarships administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships are not increased for your study abroad session. Most students’ federal and state financial aid is not enough to cover study abroad expenses. Many students use private bank loans to supplement their financial resources. You can refer to our Private Education Loan section for information on loans through private lenders.

The University of Minnesota offers scholarships specifically for study abroad. Other scholarships and funding are also available. Information can be found at UMD Study Abroad Scholarships.

You must report to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships any outside or private scholarships that you receive during the year.

Financial aid disbursement

Your financial aid, including federal and private education loans, is disbursed into your student account. Study abroad program fees that are billed through the University are the first charges that will be paid. After your program charges are completely paid, any remaining funds are refunded to you as a credit balance. Direct deposit is recommended.


While you study abroad, you are not eligible to receive work-study during the semester(s) you are away. However, you may request that other aid, usually a loan, replace your work-study.

Reciprocity benefits

Everyone, regardless of the state of residence, is charged the same program fee for their study abroad program. If you are currently receiving reciprocity and you will be abroad for a full academic year (fall and spring semesters), you must reapply for reciprocity when you return from your study abroad program. If you will be abroad for only one semester, you do not need to reapply for reciprocity when you return.

Winter break and/or May session

Financial aid is available to meet costs related to courses established through UMD during winter break (late December–mid-January) and studies during May session (mid-May—early June). Please be aware that winter break courses are classified as part of the spring session and May session courses are classified as part of the summer session for registration and financial aid purposes. As a result, winter break financial aid is disbursed in mid-January and May session financial aid is disbursed in early June. For information on summer financial aid, review the May/Summer section under Financial Aid.

Grades and credit load

To be eligible for financial aid, you must meet the standards set forth in the University of Minnesota Duluth financial aid policy on satisfactory academic progress.

This policy is determined by federal and state guidelines and includes a variety of grants, loans, and scholarships sponsored by federal and state programs and the University of Minnesota, as well as many private loans.

As a study abroad participant, you will be impacted by SAP guidelines in several ways, including the following:

Late posting of grades

  • If your grades are not posted in a timely manner, which may occur, you may receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships stating that you have been placed on either financial aid warning or suspension.
  • If you receive a letter indicating that you are on financial aid warning, do not panic. Once your grades are posted, contact One Stop Student Services immediately to determine if the warning code can be removed from your record.
  • If you are studying abroad for an entire academic year, you may receive a suspension email, since grades from both semesters may not have been posted. Please contact One Stop Student Services to resolve the matter.

Number of credits

Your aid will be adjusted based on the actual number of credits taken. You will be responsible for any repayment of financial aid resulting from a drop in credits. For example, if you have a Minnesota State Grant and are registered for 15 credits but only take 12 credits, once your grades transfer back to UMD, you will be billed for three credits of Minnesota State Grant.

Veteran benefits for study abroad

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has set limitations on the use of veteran education benefits for the payment of study abroad programs. The VA will only cover tuition on University of Minnesota faculty-led programs or via direct enrollment at a VA-approved university that is listed under the VA WEAMS database of approved institutions. Veteran education benefits cannot pay any fees related to a study abroad program offered by a third-party/study abroad program providers/companies. Additionally, veteran education benefits cannot be used to pay study abroad related fees (program fees) unless study abroad is a required part of your degree.

In order for a study abroad program to be eligible for benefit payment, these conditions must be met:

  • Study abroad programs must be approved for payment by the VA (UMN Faculty-led program or at a University listed on the VA WEAMS database).
  • Students must be enrolled in courses that will apply to their degree program.
  • The courses at the "host" school in the foreign country must be approved and apply towards degree.
  • VA cannot pay any fees specific to studying abroad (study abroad program fees) unless the student is required to study abroad as part of their degree.

If you are a veteran or a dependent of a veteran and are interested in using your funding for a study abroad program, please contact University Veterans Services to confirm that your program of interest is qualified for veteran education benefit payment.