Paying for Off-Campus Studies and Related Travel

Carleton’s generous financial aid policy and additional scholarship funding make OCS financially accessible to Carleton students. As you plan for this important part of your Carleton education, you should familiarize yourself with policies and procedures that detail how to finance your study abroad experience. This section will guide you through the process of assessing costs, applying for funding, and planning for additional expenses associated with travel.

1. Determining Program Cost

Students participating in Carleton programs are billed the Carleton comprehensive fee which covers all program expenses EXCEPT airfare and, where required, costs associated with obtaining visas, books, and supplies. Students are also responsible for passports, and immunizations. An Additional Cost Estimate worksheet is provided at the time of program acceptance so you can more accurately assess these expenses.

Students participating in Carleton Global Engagement programs pay the published program fee plus airfare and other additional costs specific to the program site.

Students choosing a non-Carleton program pay that program’s published fee, additional expenses specified by the program provider, and a $500 administrative fee to Carleton. Program fees and an estimate of additional expenses are found on the program’s website.

2. Understanding Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available for multiple Carleton and Carleton Global Engagement Programs, but only for ONE non-Carleton program. Students participating in a summer Carleton program are required to take a leave of absence the following academic year. There is NO Carleton financial aid or Carleton scholarships available for non-Carleton summer programs.

Students participating in Carleton programs who receive financial aid do not need to take additional steps for their Carleton aid to be applied to the program cost. 

Students participating in non-Carleton programs who receive financial aid MUST submit a Budget Worksheet and supporting documentation to Student Financial Aid along with their Application for Approval of the program. Aid awards are adjusted according to program cost. Additional (out-of-pocket) cost mid-range estimates are used.

Students participating in non-Carleton programs who do not receive financial aid are not required to submit a Budget Worksheet, but are encouraged to complete one for planning purposes.

Students who receive work-study as part of their financial aid package are encouraged to consult with Student Financial Aid. Students can work additional hours during their terms on campus, as student work is not usually available during the program. 

3. Applying for Scholarships

Scholarships are available from Carleton, from program providers, federal government grants, and from private organizations. Applying for scholarships requires additional steps, beyond what is required for financial aid transfer. You can make an appointment with OCS adviser who will guide you through these additional steps:

  1. Determining what you are eligible for and which Carleton and external scholarships you want to apply for.
  2. Paying close attention to the application deadlines, requirements, and processes and giving yourself plenty of time to prepare your application, including time to gather financial information and edit your essays. 
  3. Submitting your application on time.
  4. If awarded a scholarship from a non-Carleton source, informing Student Financial Aid.
  5. Writing a thank you letter to the sponsor.

4. Paying for Travel and Personal Expenses

In addition to program fees and other expenses covered by financial aid or scholarships, you can expect to incur some personal expenses associated with travel. These will vary significantly, depending on what your program covers, your personal spending habits, how much additional travel you do, and the cost of living in your host country. Programs usually provide an estimate and you can do some research on what things cost locally before you go. Personal expenses are not generally covered by financial aid so you should plan to save up as much as you can beforehand and budget wisely.

5. Tips for Budget-Conscious Travelers

Travel costs vary widely according to personal habits and choices. For example, there are multiple price points for almost every airline ticket. International cell phone plans with no limitations can be very convenient, but also very costly. Sandwich shops on street corners are cheaper than Michelin Star restaurants. Many museums and cultural events are free while others are quite expensive. And some banks charge exorbitant ATM withdrawal fees while others charge none. 

One must consider safety and convenience when making purchasing decisions and the cheapest option is not always the best one. But, with some advance research and a flexible attitude, it’s possible to have enriching, educational experiences at all points along the expense spectrum. Research, observation, and seeking recommendations from locals are tried-and-true strategies for having a great time at a reasonable cost.