Special Policies
Study Abroad & Financial Aid for Penn Sponsored Programs

To Apply

  • Notify your School, College House and Dining Service of your plans
  • Apply early for a Federal Direct Loan.


A study abroad program is Penn Sponsored if administered by Penn Abroad with charges billed through your student account. In compliance with University policy, a student will receive Penn credit only if they participate in an approved Penn sponsored study abroad program. The charges for participation in a semester or year long study abroad program are equivalent to on-campus tuition and general fee charges. The cost of meals, housing, study materials, and personal expenses is additional, just as it is on campus.

Financial Aid Eligibility

As a Penn-sponsored study abroad participant, you will be eligible for financial aid as if you were on campus, with the exception of Work-Study. The normal FWS component of your aid package will be covered with other forms of assistance. If you are eligible to receive Penn grant on campus, the increase in your student loan requirement toward covering your Work-Study component will be limited to $500 per semester, funds permitting. For information regarding scholarships from PennAbroad, please visit their website.

Payment Options

You and your family may use financing and/or payment options for Penn-sponsored study abroad programs, just as if you were on campus.


For most programs, only tuition and fees will be billed via your Penn student account. For certain programs, non-tuition charges, in addition to tuition and fees will be billed through your Penn student account. Penn Abroad provides cost estimates for each program. These estimates indicate the total budget for the program and the amount you will be billed on your Penn student account.


If your financial aid exceeds your charges (and any past-due balance), you are entitled to a refund to cover expenses not billed to your Penn account.

If you will be leaving the country prior to the time when your actual financial aid is credited, SFS will advance funds to you upon request, based on pending aid. Aid is considered pending if all application requirements have been completed (e.g. to receive an advance from a pending Direct Loan, a Master Promissory Note must be on file). If for any reason the pending aid is not eventually disbursed to your account, you will be responsible for repaying the advance.

If you think you are eligible for a refund, please email the SFS Undergraduate Financial Counseling department at

Direct Loans

Obtaining the Direct Loan check endorsement required in order to credit the loan to the student account poses special challenges for students in study-abroad programs. By federal regulations, Penn is not permitted to refund Direct Loan proceeds prior to 10 days before the beginning of the term.

If you are expecting a credit refund while they are participating in a Study Abroad program, SFS strongly advises use of our Direct Deposit option. Transfer of actual credit refunds to your bank account allows you easier and quicker access to your refunds. Many foreign locations have Money Access Machines with favorable exchange rates.


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