Financial aid that has been awarded to UMass students is available for approved study abroad programs. Students who plan to use financial aid for a semester or year abroad should start preparing as soon as possible. Non-UMass students must apply for financial aid from their home institution.
Study Abroad Financial Aid Checklist
- Go to your SPIRE account to understand your current financial aid package. Log in to SPIRE with your UMass Amherst ID and password, click “Finances” and then “View Financial Aid.”
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Direct questions about the FAFSA to the Financial Aid Office. Complete the FAFSA using UMass as your home university even if you know that you will be attending an overseas institution.
- Financial Aid can be used toward your study abroad costs; however, students are responsible for managing these payments. If the program fee is being billed through the UMass Bursar (UMass/Exchange programs) the process is the same as when the student is on campus (though the amounts will be different). Students participating in Partner Programs will receive Financial Aid funds via Excess Express as funds are refunded by the Bursar directly to the student. Upon receipt, the student must use these funds to pay any outstanding balances owed to the Partner Provider. Any financial aid in excess of what is owed to UMass or the Partner Provider can be used for additional study abroad expenses.
- Students are encouraged to attend drop-in hours with an advisor from the Financial Aid office, and meet with their Education Abroad Advisor or Kate Smith, Student Accounts Manager, to discuss the specifics of this process.
Do you have questions about using your financial aid for education abroad? Financial Aid Staff are available to answer your questions on Wednesdays from 12:30pm - 4:00pm in the Financial Aid Office 243 Whitmore. No appointment is needed.