Scholarship Help and FAQs

Scholarship Help and FAQs

Connect with the IPO Scholarship Advisor

Drop-in hours are also available in ONSA in the Commonwealth Honors College Mondays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Education Abroad Advisor Carol Lebold helps with scholarship applications (including essays) by email or in person.


To be announced for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I apply?

You should apply EARLY. The study abroad scholarship search should be one of the first things you consider when planning your study abroad experience to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines. Some scholarships have deadlines a year in advance of when you would study abroad. When planning your study abroad experience, research the scholarship opportunities that may apply to you, your program, country destination, etc. and organize them by deadline to keep track of these opportunities. This will help maximize your scholarship potential. No scholarship can be guaranteed, so the more you apply to, the higher the chances of your receiving one may be.

Applying early isn’t always realistic, and you can often submit a scholarship application in the days leading up to the deadline. However, be conscientious of other people’s time when asking for additional materials like letters of recommendation, transcripts, essay feedback, etc. Applying EARLY is always highly recommended.

Can I apply for scholarships for a faculty-taught program?

Generally, you cannot apply for any IPO-administered scholarships for a faculty-taught program. However, you can still apply for other external or national opportunities, as well as fundraise for this type of study abroad.

What do I need for a scholarship application? 

Each scholarship application has different requirements. You should prepare a number of things ahead of time so that you don’t have to interrupt your application to get more information. Some of the information you should prepare ahead of time includes, but is not limited to:

  • Student Aid Report (SAR) from SPIRE
  • A copy of your transcript
  • An essay or short-answer responses that address the scholarship prompt, which often includes articulating your personal, professional, and academic goals
  • Budget Sheets for your program (usually found on the program page)
  • A list of the courses you will take abroad that will count toward your major or minor
  • A list of the language courses you have completed prior to study abroad to demonstrate your level of proficiency

If selected, when and how do I receive scholarship money?

This will often depend on your program. If attending a UMass Exchange program, the scholarship will be added to your financial aid package and visible on your UMass account. If directly enrolling in an overseas university or partner program, the scholarship may be applied to your program’s bill, and not through your UMass account. Most students are notified of their scholarship award around a month after the deadline, but this will vary depending on the scholarship/organization administering the scholarship. All students should receive notice of their award status prior to studying abroad.

Does receiving scholarship money impact my financial aid? 

If the scholarship you receive is applied to your UMass financial aid package, it may impact your aid if it increases your total aid award amount above the UMass Amherst Cost of Attendance (COA). If this situation arises, the Financial Aid Office will usually reduce the amount of your loans so that you can accept the full scholarship amount. This should help you save money on loans after graduation. We strongly encourage you to come to the Education Abroad Advising Center on Tuesdays from 12:30-4:30pm to meet with Financial Aid Counselor Sharon Ruth, or speak to Financial Aid directly about your questions.

Can I get help with my scholarship planning, applications, or essays? 

Yes to all three! Please contact Education Abroad Advisor Carol Lebold for a scholarship advising appointment.  IPO also hosts workshops throughout the semester on the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship and on scholarship writing for study abroad. See the Education Abroad Events page to register for these workshops.