Financial Aid

What Financial Aid Can Be Applied?

Financial Aid, in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans may be applied to approved study abroad programs through EdAbroad. However, financial aid in the form of Work Study, Western grants, and Tuition Waivers, including the Western Achievement Award (WAA) scholarship, the Western Award for Excellence (WAE) scholarship, and the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) scholarship do not apply.

College Saving Plans like Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) (WA529) funds may be applied to Exchanges, Global Learning Faculty-led Programs, and some applicable programs.

Will I be able to use my GET account to study abroad?

You can use GET directly to cover qualified higher education expenses (tuition, room and board, etc.) at any of the schools in foreign countries that are listed on the FAFSA website. There are many international schools listed; just choose “State,” then “Foreign Country” in the search menu to view the complete list. Also, if tuition or other qualified higher education expenses for a study-abroad program will be paid directly to your university (for which GET is already approved), you can use GET as you normally would to cover them. The payment must go to an eligible institution of higher education. GET is unable to pay study abroad programs directly, or reimburse out-of-pocket expenses paid directly to these programs. Also, please note that travel to and from your destination is not considered a qualified higher education expense.

What Are The Most Affordable Options?

Let’s face it—studying abroad can get expensive, but there are ways to bring the price tag down. Start with considering a WWU Exchange, ISEP Exchange, or National Student Exchange. Exchanges waive non-resident tuition, so that you’re paying a rate that is closer to WWU in-state tuition or the host university’s resident tuition. Alternatively, our study abroad provider partners offer programs that range from affordable to expensive—review EdAbroad’s Affordable Program Options guide to cut right to the programs we’ve found most affordable. Finally, consider the cost of living of the city and country where you will study. While Western Europe is lovely, the Euro is consistently more expensive than the US Dollar, and cost of living in those countries is generally high. Your money will go further for longer in more affordable countries in other wonderful regions of the world.

When Do I Receive My Financial Aid?

Financial Aid disburses funds to your Student Account the Friday before the first day of the quarter OR the first day of your program, whichever is later. Financial aid is disbursed to the student, WWU will not pay program costs directly. If your program requires payment before you receive your aid, it is your responsibility to make arrangements with the program regarding any deferments and your payment schedule. If you have financial aid you can have a deferment form completed through the Financial Aid office.

Education Abroad & Taxes

Students and/or their parents may wish to obtain a 1098-T form for the education abroad experience. Only in some cases will WWU generate a 1098-T form. When a student pays WWU for a study abroad experience, such as through traditional exchange programs or study abroad programs led by Western faculty, WWU is allowed to generate a 1098-T form for qualifying, education expenses. However, many students study abroad through excellent, third-party providers and pay tuition and fees directly to those organizations and, in some instances, even directly to host universities abroad. In such cases, WWU is not permitted to include such expenses on a 1098-T because those payments were not made to WWU. Students and parents are encouraged to check in with provider program contacts they may be using for study abroad to see if they are a Title IV organization that is allowed to generate 1098-T forms. Some are not and may be willing to generate a list of qualifying expenses that you can present to your tax preparer.

To Do:
Financing Information

Visit the Travel Resources web page to review informational links in the Finances section.