One of the great myths of study abroad "I can't possibly afford it" or "Studying abroad is going to be so much more expensive than a semester at Simmons." While the expenses of studying abroad are different than the expenses incurred in Boston, when students review their financial aid package with a financial aid officer they are often surprised to find out that they can actually afford travel courses — and even a semester or year abroad. Below are the main points to know about financial aid at Simmons as it relates to study abroad.
Talk to the Experts
All students are encouraged to meet with their financial aid officer to review their account and determine if additional financing is needed to cover their costs. Students should meet with their financial aid officer prior to choosing a program or making a deposit. The financial aid officer will be able to inform students of their options and guide them in the appropriate direction to get their finances in order.
Financial Aid 101
Financial aid eligibility is based on the cost of a program. As part of the financial aid application process, a budget is put together for each student. A budget includes direct and indirect expenses. Examples of direct expenses are tuition and fees; indirect expenses include living expenses, books, travel expenses, and personal expenses. A student's total financial aid cannot exceed their budget. When a student participates in a travel course, the cost of the travel course is added to the budget, enabling the student to apply for financial aid to include this cost.
A student will be charged a program fee for a Simmons travel course. In addition, depending on the type of student, there may be tuition fees on top of the travel program fee:
- Dix Scholars and graduate students are charged the cost of tuition for the credits earned in addition to the travel course program fee.
- Traditional undergraduate students are charged just the program fee. In other words, they will not incur any additional tuition fees because they are charged a flat tuition rate as a full-time student (12-20 credits).
Deadlines & Next Steps
Because a student is charged for a travel course a semester in advance, meeting deadlines (for financial applications, for deposits and payment, etc) is important. Students are notified of the deadlines depending on which semester (i.e. Fall, Spring, or Summer) the travel course is to take place.
Make sure you've completed all the documents and requirements as listed your online EAO account. To be eligible for financial aid for study abroad, Simmons students must complete all requirements for both EAO and Financial Aid Office. Students must be enrolled as full-time students while abroad and participating on approved Simmons and/or Partner Programs. Once EAO has all required documents, including required e-signature documents, students are registered for "SA 101" in AARC. Check your EAO online account for your checklist and check in with the EAO manager before leaving campus. Submit the necessary documentation to the Financial Aid Office before you leave campus.
- Housing & Meals: Housing (Accommodations) may be a separate bill, depending on the program. Be sure to check if housing costs or meals are included in all cost estimates.
- Location & Length of Program: It's important to keep in mind where you are going and for how long. Living and traveling abroad incurs costs above what you pay in Boston. Prices are also subject to the exchange rate. For specific program costs, see specific program details on this website and/or your Partner Program website.
- Individual Travel & Excursions: Most students take advantage of this global opportunity to travel! Think realistically about what you'd like to see and do--put educational excursions into your educational budget so you can realistically plan your spending. REMEMBER: you do not need to do the "big travel" in order to fully maximize the experience.
- Work Abroad-not while studying abroad: Do not plan on working abroad to supplement your experience. If you work while in school at Simmons, then you must factor in loss of that income while studying abroad. In most countries, it is not possible to work while studying as a foreign student. Do not count on working abroad to support your experience--focus on being a student first and then, consider if working or volunteering could enhance your experience abroad.
- Exchange Rates: Currency Exchange Converter, OANDA or www.xe.com