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Financial Planning and Resources Workshop

An in-depth session designed to help you maximize the study abroad experience and minimize the burden of paying for it.

Korbin Dimmick

on 5 January 2016

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Transcript of Financial Planning and Resources Workshop


An in-depth session designed to help you maximize the study abroad experience and minimize the burden of paying for it.
Before leaving the U.S. make sure you have a game plan for personal spending on site:
Examples of affilate programs' resources:
Auburn Abroad
We will discuss:
• Understanding the cost of study abroad
• Developing a budget
• Choosing the right program
• Paying for your program
• Financial resources and funding opportunities
• Additional funding and applying effectively
• Ways to cut costs on site

Start with a program of interest to get an idea, then adjust as needed

Estimate all expenditures as accurately as possible

Round up all costs to cover any surprise overages

Budgets may be required for scholarship/funding applications

Plan costs without factoring scholarship/funding assistance
Here are critical components to maximizing your potential for finding funding opportunities and creating an effective essay or application explaining who you are and why you deserve the financial support:
Study abroad prices vary dramatically by location, duration, and services included.

Compare Auburn costs and study abroad costs side by side to gain perspective on the similarities and differences between the two.

You are not double charged tuition, housing, or dining at Auburn University on top of your study abroad program fees.

Auburn Abroad works hard to try to eliminate surprise costs.
Managing expectations:
What are we not going to do today?
• We won't provide you with a completely comprehensive list of scholarships.

• We won't do the work for you.

• We won't give you money.

You may not know:
• The most effective money saving strategy is planning ahead and selecting the right program.

• Finding the funds to pay for studying abroad may not be as difficult as you think!

• Funding that is applied to your home institution can be applied to a study abroad program in many cases.

• There are many different types of funding sources that can provide you with financial assistance.

• Keys to success:

Once you get abroad, it’s so tempting to buy every single souvenir or indulge in that extra special meal at the restaurant.
However, sticking to your budget while on your program is an important factor in financial planning!
• What all do I pay for here at Auburn University (tuition, fees, books, housing, food, football tickets, fun stuff, etc.)?

• How do I pay for things here at Auburn University (scholarships, financial aid, parents, myself)?

• What is included in the study abroad program cost?
Here are questions to consider:
Regular term budget worksheet
Payment methods worksheet
Knowing how much you have to spend can increase your chances of successful budget/program matching
Additional tips for developing your budget
Questions to ask when developing your budget
Are there charges from Auburn University that I need to be aware of?

How much should I budget for contingency (surprise costs)?

Are there programs that are more affordable or that fit my budget better?

What are the payment dates and withdrawal penalties?

Compare program budgets and your regular term costs at Auburn University side by side.

Remember the exchange rate between U.S. Dollars and the local currency for personal spending and/or items that are not included in program costs.

Take advantage of discounts wherever you can! Some programs offer discounts just for completing the application early, if you bring a friend, being affiliated with Auburn, etc.

Contact your bank/credit card companies when making your budget. You will want to know if there are any foreign transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees.

Pay for items in advance!
Passport (get it now – valid for 10 years!)
Luggage and gear

There are plenty of program choices available that are economically efficient, and
choosing the right program is key.
Program Provider
• Narrow your search to an area with a lower cost of living. Smaller cities or suburbs instead of the major cities.

• Remember the exchange rate for your budget planning!

• Calculate the value of included services and support (housing options).

One round-trip plane ticket regardless of length of program.
Cost of plane ticket doesn't always correlate to the cost of the term abroad.

Longer terms may be more economical in the long run.

Weigh the program price per credit earned.
Most affiliated programs operate on a program-fee model.
May be more flexible on when charges are due to accommodate different payment plans.
May have scholarship funds available just for Auburn students.
Important note: most Auburn University tuition scholarships may not apply to non-auburn programs. Please double check with the Office of University Scholarships regarding your specific award.

*Keep in mind that all programs vary!
Select a program or two

Establish a realistic budget for each program

Determine your current financial resources

Identify the financial need or target amount you intend to cover
At this point you should:
What are the items you can pay for out-of-pocket, at discounted cost, or in advance?

Passport (get it now – valid for 10 years!)
Luggage and gear
Key considerations:
Keep your program's payment and withdrawal dates in mind.
Costs may be due before the release of funding resources.
Exercise open communication with your program provider about your financial situation.
FAFSA / Financial Aid / Loans
Many applications require candidates to demonstrate financial need through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year in which they are planning to study abroad.

Regardless of how high or low your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) amount turns out to be, you may still be required to submit this information with an application.

Federal Student Aid (Financial Aid):
Pell Grant, Work Study, Federal Student Loans, PLUS loans
Private Loans can fill the gaps:
Banks, Sallie Mae, PNC Solution Loan
Keep in mind that you will have to pay these back (with interest)
Contact Student Financial Services - Financial Aid for more information: www.auburn.edu/finaid
Utilize your campus and community resources
Search high and low for funding opportunities
Sign up for alerts on google and other websites

Be cautious of scams. It may be difficult to find out if a funding source is legit, but you will at least want to do background research on the organization sponsoring the scholarship or funding opportunity. You can always ask your university resources if they are familiar with the funding source.

Fundraising Events (Spaghetti Diner, Silent Auction, Dance Marathon, etc.)

Go Fund Me (www.gofundme.com)
Fund My Travel (www.fundmytravel.com)

Working jobs

Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, however, there are some differences that you should be aware of:

are awards that are applicable to academic studies. Scholarships can be merit-based (awarded because of personal achievements or excelling in academics) or need-based (indicated by FAFSA or individual need).

are usually need-based awards and often are specific to a project or expected contribution that the student will complete.

are usually one-time money awards that may be designated for a specific expense: housing, books, travel, etc.
Scholarships, Grants, Stipends
Scholarships and grants are financial gifts.
Donors worldwide help students pay for school without expecting anything back. Some donors permit distribution of funds during any semester, while others may request funds to be given during a particular semester or to a specific program.
University/Institutional Scholarships
Freshman Scholarships
Departmental Scholarships
General Scholarships
Study Abroad specific
Auburn University Departmental Scholarships
National Prestigious Scholarships
Program providers
Outside providers

What is the difference between a scholarship, grant, and stipend?
Where and how to look for more funding:
External National Scholarships
Meet with an advisor to discuss your eligibility for a nationally funded scholarship
Dr. Paul Harris (paul.harris@auburn.edu)
• It may be more tricky to find funding if you are not receiving credit for your program abroad.

• Auburn credit vs. transfer credit could affect your funding source.

• Internships can result in academic credit by enrolling in an AU course or if there is a transcript.

Meet with a scholarship, academic, or even your study abroad advisor to discuss options, give feedback, and assist you where possible.

Don’t rely on advisors to search for funding opportunities for you, but if you are in their mind when they come across a funding opportunity, they may send it along to you!

Also, when you are in the process of applying and are writing essays, have someone proofread and provide feedback!
Pay very close attention to the deadlines and take the application questions seriously.

It may take many painstaking hours completing essays, forms, or even projects, but the bottom line is you must apply earnestly for funding opportunities in order to receive anything.

You would be surprised at how few complete, high-quality applications scholarship committees actually receive!
Auburn Programs
Most faculty-led programs include tuition, housing, and excursions to local areas and operate on a program fee model (same cost for in-state and out-of-state students)
Semester long exchange programs charge 12 credits of your regular Auburn tuition.
Tuition scholarships that you receive here on campus might apply directly towards program costs.
Auburn programs are the closest that you will get to paying what you would normally pay here on campus.
Affiliates or Non-Auburn Programs
has a Diversity Abroad Achievement Scholarship for $1000 fall or spring semesters.
offers scholarships for up to $3000 as well as discounts and special offers each year.
awards scholarships ranging from $200 to $800 for programs.
offers a special arrangement called the Good Faith Payment and other scholarships depending on the semester in which you attend your program.
offers need-based and merit-based scholarships each year and also a Public University Grant.

Options change from year to year and many other
program providers offer financial resources and assistance.
Take advantage of these opportunities!
Gilman Scholarship
is available for those students that receive Pell Grant. There are some other stipulations for applying, but if you are chosen for this scholarship you could receive up to $8,000 for your program.
Boren Awards
are scholarships and grants awarded to those students traveling to underrepresented regions (Africa, Asia, Latin America, etc.). Applicants should also have a desire to work in the federal government at least one year after graduation and plan to study abroad 6 months or more. These funds can total up to $24,000 if awarded.
also has scholarships that students can apply for based on eligibility. Here are a few:
SIT Fund
awards scholarships to increase study abroad opportunities. These can reach up to $5,000, depending on your program of choice
awards a scholarship each semester for $500
Leadershipgraphy Essay Competition
is available with the 1st place essay prize totaled at $500
Establish your identity. What makes you, you?
Apply! Apply! Apply!
Write effective essays
Most scholarship applications will consist of essays and may be the primary basis of selection for recipients. If you feel like you are a strong candidate, be sure to write your essay effectively to explain! Follow each prompt of the essay question closely, but keep these pointers in mind:
Establish your identity:
set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants

Demonstrate your financial need:
FAFSA may be required, but you can also describe your situation

Celebrate your success and acheivements:
Merit-based scholarships are all about your academics and contributions within your school and community. Be honest!

Describe how your study abroad program enhances your academic career and future goals:
having an idea of how this study abroad program will contribute to your future success will score major points in the eyes of a scholarship committee.
Utilize your campus and community resources
The Writing Center is a fantastic resource!
Most funding sources (including scholarships) are not going to be granted just so you can travel and have fun.

They are usually granted with a purpose to earn academic credit or provide you with an opportunity that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Service projects where you can give back to the community at home or abroad are very favorable.
Estimate your total amount that you have to spend on items outside of your program costs

Draft out your itinerary and determine which days or weeks you may be spending more money

Determine a maximum limit of spending per week and/or per day

Budget a little extra for unforeseen expenses

Scholarship committees look for traits that set you apart from the rest of the crowd.
Plus, there may be additional funding resources designed specifically for someone like you!
Examples include but are not limited to:

Religious background
Race and/or Ethnicity
LGBT (sexual identity)
First Generation
Greek Life
Your Major
Your home city, county, or state
Financial aid recipient (Pell Grant)
Full transcript