Finance Your Experience - Life at Colby - Colby College, Waterville, ME

Off-Campus Study works closely with Student Financial Services and DavisConnects to ensure that students understand how to finance their global experiences and what resources are available to them, both on and off campus. 

For questions regarding your individual financial aid package and how those funds will translate to off-campus study, please consult Student Financial Services directly. For questions about funding summer or Jan Plan experiences, please contact Scott Lamer at DavisConnects. 

Financial aid for off-campus study is available for any program on Colby’s approved list, and those that are approved by petition. Colby is committed to help make eligible students’ pursuit of global experiences affordable.

Financial Aid is portable, however it does not transfer automatically. Your eligibility for OCS Financial Aid is based on the expected cost of attending a Colby-approved program. The annual estimated family contribution will remain the same regardless of the off-campus program costs. Keep in mind that you can’t receive more Financial Aid than if you were attending Colby. If the off-campus program is less expensive than Colby’s tuition and fees, Financial Aid will be reduced accordingly.

Note: Work-study (federal or institutional) earnings are considered part of the student contribution and will not be replaced.

Off-Campus Financial Aid is processed and administered by Student Financial Services. Please visit their Study Away Finances page for comprehensive information, and contact SFS by email to schedule an appointment.

WATCH: “The Finances of Study Abroad: How to Use Your Colby Aid Off-Campus”

What to Expect

This section should provide you with general information to help you plan financially for your off-campus experience. Please consult Student Financial Services to learn more about your specific aid package and how it would transfer to your desired program. 

What to expect? 

The cost for approved semester and year-long programs varies widely. There are up-front, clear-cut costs, as well as personal expenses and spending you should consider comprehensively. 

Program Fees
Essentially, the overall cost of your off-campus experience will depend on what program you attend. Location, type of housing, and the type of program (direct enrollment, study center, field-based program etc.) will all influence the cost. Many of the programs Colby approves are less expensive than Colby’s tuitions and fees. 

Colby Fee
Colby does not charge home school tuition for non-Colby programs. Instead, students pay the fees set by their off-campus program provider (the program fee, referenced above) directly to them. In addition. Colby charges an Off-Campus Study fee of $1,500 per semester. This fee is charged to account for the support OCS provides students during pre-departure, in-country, and reintegration back to campus, as well as the processing of forms, applications, and handling credit transfers. 

Note: Students attending Colby-run programs (Dijon, Salamanca, Bigelow) continue to pay their Colby tuition as usual. 

Off-Campus Study Financial Aid

  1. COMPLETE FORM: After you’ve been approved by OCS to apply for your program, send the signed “Study Away Statement and Agreement” (found on the SFS website and completed by your program provider) to SFS directly. SFS will use this form to calculate your off-campus financial aid package. 
  2. RECEIVE FUNDS: Colby does not pay programs or universities directly. Financial aid is distributed to the student or a parent/guardian with the student’s permission and students are responsible for payments to their program/university.
  3. PAY YOUR PROGRAM: OCS financial aid is released from Student Financial Services within 10 days of Colby’s first day of classes each semester and only if all necessary documents have been submitted. If your program begins earlier, or the funds are needed in advance, please note that most programs/universities are willing to wait for the portion of the payment covered by OCS Financial Aid sent to them by SFS. SFS can provide you with an anticipated OCS Financial Aid Sheet to submit to your program/university if necessary. 

Payment Plans and Refunds

Check with your program or foreign university if you would like to use a Tuition Payment Plan or Tuition Insurance Plan to see if it is available. Additionally, an employer-contributed fund or College Saving Plan might be used. Please contact the Student Finances Services office for more information.

Please be aware of the refund policy of your program before you send any payment. For Colby Programs refunds policy, please refer to Colby’s policy on off-campus program cancellation.

Other Resources and Scholarships 

There are scholarships and grants available for study abroad administered by governments, organizations, and study abroad programs. Please check this list for some ideas and ask us if you need help!  Some of scholarships recommended by students:

Your study abroad program provider may also offer “in-house” scholarships or awards, depending on your program. 

You can also contact Allyson Hawkins, OCS Assistant Director, with questions about fellowships and scholarships for international travel or research. See our Domestic and International Fellowships page for more information.

Financial Aid FAQ

Only when studying on a Colby program (i.e. Colby in Salamanca, Dijon, St Petersburg, Bigelow Laboratory, and exchange programs), you will be billed in the same way as a semester or year on-campus. If you are studying on a non-Colby program ( majority of students) fees will be billed by the host institution, and paid by you (your family), not Colby. The specific program fees vary..

Essentially, the overall cost depends on what program you will attend. Many programs on Colby’s approved list cost less than Colby’s tuition and fees. Read the Financing Off-Campus study and use our(click here : Off-Campus Study Budget Planning Worksheet. )

Students going on non-Colby programs will be billed by Colby for a $1,500 off-campus study fee for each semester they are away. The charge covers direct and indirect costs for off- campus study and will be billed by the Office of Financial Services. For students on financial aid, this charge is considered part of the cost of attendance.

Applications for financial aid for study away are addressed on a first come first served basis. The (click here: Study Away Budget Statement and Agreement ) should be filed as soon as possible before you are scheduled to depart for your study away.

Yes! Financial aid status should not deter you from considering study off-campus. If you receive financial aid at Colby, your aid is portable. Your aid will be recalculated based on the actual cost of the program up to a maximum of Colby’s student expense budget. The evaluation of the aid includes consideration of direct educational costs incurred while classes are in session including tuition, required fees, room & board, books, airfare and necessary personal and local transportation expenses.

This will vary, it is depending on your financial situation and where you are going. Your financial aid award will be recalculated based on the cost the off-campus program/university you are attending. If the off -campus program costs less than Colby, financial aid will be reduced accordingly. Therefore the amount of your aid may differ from what you receive when you are on campus.

According to federal regulations, Colby cannot disburse aid funds until within 10 days of Colby’s first day of classes each semester.  Aid funds will be released only if the necessary paperwork and electronic processing have been completed.

The Student Financial Services office can provide a (click here: Financial Aid Information Sheet ) with anticipated aid information and disbursement dates that you can show to your program/university. Most study abroad programs are willing to wait for the portion of the payment covered by financial aid.

It is your responsibility to assure that program/university fees are paid. Financial aid will be released directly to you (or parent/guardian) not the program.

Most likely, yes and you should always be prepared for unanticipated costs. How much money you will spend while off-campus will depend on where you go, how much you travel and go out, as well as on the local financial systems in the country in which you are studying. Your program will provide information on managing these matters as well as what may be included in your program fee. Consider costs of personal travel, personal spending, sightseeing and souvenirs in your budget.

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