Students should begin researching scholarship opportunities at least one year in advance, as some scholarships have only one deadline each year. At the latest, students should apply for scholarships in the semester prior to their study abroad experience.
There are many scholarship opportunities beyond financial need and academic merit, such as student diversity, program destination or language study. In addition to the lists below, cast a wide net in looking for scholarships for study abroad.
Pro-tip: Apply for scholarships, but don’t depend on them to make your study abroad plans reality. Many UMass students receive scholarships from a variety of sources, but award announcements are often made after commitment deadlines. To ensure success, make a backup plan to cover the cost of your study abroad experience, for example, with loans. Or choose a less-expensive program that you can cover with your existing financial aid.
- IPO/UMass Amherst Scholarships
- Partner Program Scholarships
- Country/Region-Specific Scholarships
- National Scholarships
- Graduate-Level Scholarships
- Creative Funding Ideas
ONSA Scholarship Advisor
The Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) is provides scholarship advising for students applying for Gilman Scholarships and Boren Scholarships. See the ONSA website.
IPO Scholarship Advising
Your Education Abroad Advisor can also help with your scholarship planning and application process, including essay advice.
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. For further questions, make an appointment with Sharon Ruth, Financial Aid Office, by email (sruth[at]umass[dot]edu), or drop in at Whitmore 243, on Wednesdays, 12:30pm-4:00pm
Can I get help with my scholarship planning, applications, or essays?
You can contact your Education Abroad Advisor for help with your scholarship planning and application process.