Apply for a study abroad program and indicate on your application that you are interested in applying for financial aid or student loans.
Complete a FAFSA form for the appropriate academic year, if you have not done so already. The summer semester is part of the current academic year, not the following year, i.e. summer 2008 is part of the 2007-2008 academic year.
Talk to a counselor in the Financial Aid Office. Let them know that you are planning to attend a study abroad program and what your student status is, i.e. Undergraduate, Graduate, Student at Large, etc. If you have met with the International Programs Business Manager and have a sample budget, bring that to the meeting with the Financial Aid counselor. He or she will let you know about the timing of the process and possibly how much you are eligible to receive.
After notification has been received from the Study Abroad Office, the International Programs Business Manager will send a Study Abroad Budget to the NIU Financial Aid Office on your behalf. This budget is what is used to determine financial aid eligibility for the term of study abroad, as it indicates the total amount you will need to study abroad, rather than what you would need if you were to take classes on campus.
Once your financial aid budget has been processed by the Financial Aid Office, you will receive an offer letter emailed to your NIU Z-ID email address. This offer letter will include any grants or loans you are eligible to receive. You will make your choices and submit them back. Students can log into their MyNIU account, go to Student Center, Accept/Decline Awards, choose the academic year for study abroad, and they will be shown their awards for that semester. If you don’t receive any notification of an award, contact the NIU Financial Aid Office to see if there is any additional information they need. NOTE: If you select an alternative or PLUS loan, you must contact the loan provider directly to set up the loan. This WILL NOT be done automatically.
IMPORTANT! Once your choices have been received, you will receive a subsequent email confirming the choices you made and the amounts of aid you are receiving. Please submit a copy of that email confirmation to Pamela Rosenberg, Business Manager of International Programs. You can either forward the email to Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can make a copy of that email and drop it off at the Study Abroad Office. The copy of this letter will be put into your file to tell us that you are receiving financial aid, and so that we know when to expect payment.
If you are receiving financial aid, and you owe program costs to the Study Abroad Office, the balance that you owe will be put your Bursar account a few days to a week prior to those funds being released. Then, when the financial aid is released, it will take care of paying your program costs. If you end up with a credit balance after all Bursar charges have been paid, then the excess funds will be disbursed to you in the manner you have set up with the Bursar’s Office, i.e. direct deposited into your account, or a paper check sent to your address. These remaining funds are for you to use as you wish on your study abroad program.
If you have any questions, please contact Pamela Rosenberg at 815-753-9530 OR email@example.com.