Money Matters

While studying abroad is a privilege, we believe that every student should have the opportunity to participate in a learning experience abroad and that the experience is worth the cost. While we’ve created this page to help you understand the costs and funding opportunities for study abroad, our office and the financial aid office are happy to meet with you to answer any questions.  

Determining Costs

We’ve tried to make it clear on the program-specific pages what all is covered by the program fee as services vary by program.  Please review these carefully and feel free to reach out and ask us additional questions about what is and isn’t covered.

For most semester-long programs students will be charged a program fee in addition to their regular Aquinas tuition. There are a few programs where only the program fee is paid and Aquinas tuition is waived - again, we’ve tried to make it clear on the program-specific page if this is the case, but if there are any questions about this please let us know. 

For all the semester-long programs, students will not be charged Aquinas College housing fees (depending on accommodation, roughly $2,500 - $4,000) or Aquinas College meal fees (depending on plan, roughly $300 - $3,300) for the semester they are abroad. 

We also have a budget worksheet that you can use to help you think through various funding sources as well as estimate the potential expenses of participating in a study abroad program.

Internal Scholarship Opportunities

AwardSpring is Aquinas College's online database and application for scholarships that are privately funded/endowed. Our office works closely with the Financial Aid Office to ensure that they know who is participating in a study abroad program and so can apply relevant study abroad specific scholarships. Additionally, there are a number of other scholarships that could be applied towards tuition. Some program-specific scholarships (like for musical performance or athletics) require active involvement - check with the Financial Aid Office to see if studying abroad affects your eligibility for those scholarships or if you have any other questions about scholarships. 

Study Abroad Specific Scholarships

  • May Beth O'Neil Weber '76 Memorial Scholarship
    Purpose and Criteria: This is a restricted fund that will be awarded to a student who has been accepted into the Ireland Study Away program and demonstrates financial need.
    Annual Award Amount: approx $2,000
  • Fitzgerald Scholarship for the Ireland Studies Program
    Purpose and Criteria: Financial assistance will be offered to full-time junior or senior students participating in the Ireland Studies Program. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students who are studying international marketing, economics or business administration and carry a minimum 3.0 GPA.
    Annual Award Amount:approx $500 - 2,500
  • Gertrude Horgan Ireland Alumni Scholarship
    Purpose and Criteria: Gertrude Horgan was a teacher of Irish literature who established the Ireland Study Abroad Program in 1972. Eligibility is depicted with the following preferences: 
    1. First preference will be given to Irish citizens from the Connemara region and the Clifden Community School. These students will be eligible for a tuition waiver from Aquinas College in addition to the annual award provided by this endowed scholarship. Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA. 
    2. Second preference will be given to Irish citizens studying at Aquinas College. These students will be eligible for the annual award provided by this endowed scholarship. Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA. 
    3. Third preference will be given to Aquinas College students participating in the Irish study abroad program. These students will be eligible for the annual award provided by this endowed scholarship. Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

      Annual Award Amount: approx. $6,000
  • Dr. Harry and Mrs. Sheila Knopke Scholarship for International Study
    Purpose and Criteria: To support the academic, social and personal growth of full-time students in good academic standing who wish to participate in one of the Aquinas College foreign language and cultural immersion programs conducted in another country. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students in good standing with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 who are developing competency in a language other than English and who wish to expand their personal and academic horizons by participating in a credit-granting program of language and cultural immersion offered by Aquinas College in another country. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need.
    Annual Award Amount: approx $1,000 - $3,000

External Scholarship Opportunities

In addition to the internal Aquinas College scholarships, students can apply for scholarships from outside sources to help cover their costs. 

  • Partner-program specific

Some of our partners offer flight vouchers and program cost discounts if you apply by a certain time and some offer other scholarships or funding opportunities. Check the program page or links below for more information.

  • USAC (Lüneburg, Germany Semester): Once you apply, you will receive access to the “USAC Student Gateway Account” where you can apply for all their scholarships.
  • CEA (Argentina): Offers flight credit if you apply by specific deadline, additional “Opportunity Grants” are also available
  • CAPA (short-term, faculty-led programs): Focus your attention on the “Need Based Scholarship,” “Diversity Advocate Grant” and “Blogger and Vlogger Grant.”  Application deadlines depend on program date and typically are due a few months before leaving.
  • Gilman Scholarship
    For Federal Pell Grant eligible students, this scholarship award amounts based on the student's recommendation group in the selection process, their financial need and length of program. Can award up to $5,000. Typically 2 application cycles: August - October for programs starting in the coming Winter term, Spring semester, Summer term, Fall semester or Academic Year. January - March for programs starting the coming Summer term, Fall semester, Academic Year or Spring Semester.
  • Fund for Education Abroad (FEA)
    You will be considered for various scholarships after completing just one application.They consider financial need, demographic factors, and academic plan and preparedness to decide our scholarship recipients. Application cycle typically begins  mid-November.
  • Boren Awards
    Only available for students studying Spanish going to Argentina if they are enrolled in a STEM program and have already achieved intermediate or advanced levels of proficiency. Verification of level will be made through testing. 
  • Economic Club Business Study Abroad Scholarship (through the Grand Rapids Community Foundation)
    Awarded to a student that is a full-time second year or above undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in Business and is studying abroad through a public or private college or university. Must be a resident of Kent, Allegan, Ottawa, or Muskegon County (3 year minimum) or a resident student at a college/university in the West Michigan area (2 year minimum) with financial need and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Application cycle is typically December - February.
  • Alliance Française de Grand Rapids Scholarship
    The Alliance awards the scholarship each year in April to a rising junior or senior student who has shown interest and proficiency in French language and Francophone culture. The scholarship award stipulates that the monies should be used for a related academic endeavor, so students typically apply the funds to an upcoming study abroad opportunity or their tuition payments.  
  • Diverse International Women Of Color Study Abroad Scholarship
    Scholarship award of $500 to assist women of color who are exceptional in their studies and in need of financial assistance to study abroad. Award cycle for fall semester programs typically open early June to mid-July. Award cycle for spring semester programs typically open early October to mid-November.
  • The Passport Portal
    Scholarship to cover passport application costs. Application and award cycle is typically November - January. Once you apply, they’ll also send you additional scholarship opportunities.
  • Expanding Boundaries
    Scholarship to cover passport application costs. Students must be applying for their first US passport and apply for it within 2 months of receiving funds.
  • Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship
    Recipients receive $1,000 that can be applied to tuition, room and board, books, or travel and one of their travel backpacks. Applications are open twice a year - typically due mid-November and mid-April.
  • Diversity Abroad Overseas Ambassador
    This program offers a $500 stipend for current students or recent graduates to share their experiences and motivate others to go abroad. If chosen, ambassadors are expected to document their experiences to be shared on Diversity Abroad platforms, write one article per month on a topic related to education abroad and your identity/location/career/major, share your experiences on social media on a weekly basis and share about your experiences upon return. 
  • Ling: Learning Beyond Borders Scholarship
    While students studying abroad with one of the language programs are highly suggested to consider this scholarship opportunity, anyone studying abroad can apply and preference is given to those going to a non-English speaking country. Applications are typically due at the end of October for spring semester programs, end of March for summer programs, and the end of June for fall semester programs.
  • First Trip
    Scholarship opportunity for first time travelers (first time traveling outside of the US) to study abroad in Argentina. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis
    Passport Voucher: for students who demonstrate financial need and participate in their (virtual) passport workshop 
  • Travel Scholarship: Volunteer Forever
    Twice a year Volunteer Forever offers 2 scholarships to 2 people volunteering, studying, interning, teaching, or working abroad. This scholarship is open to travelers embarking on all kinds of meaningful trips: no matter where you’d like to go and can be used for anything related to your travel, including the program fee, airfare, travel insurance, etc.

Explore more study abroad specific or general scholarship opportunities on the following sites: 

Other Ways

Look into using a crowdfunding platform like FundMyTravel or GoFundMe to help fund your expenses. Or host different fundraising events - maybe you make a dinner with foods from the country you’ll be studying in, have a bake sale, or host a trivia night.  Get creative and consider different ways you can show appreciation to those who donate - maybe send them a postcard while on your study abroad or bring them a small souvenir as thanks.

Consider creating a special savings account to begin to put money aside to help fund your travel. Grandma sends you money for your birthday? Set some of it aside in that special account. Look at your current spending habits - are there areas where you could cut back in order to save more for studying abroad?  Maybe you split the cost of a streaming service with a friend or limit the number of times you go out each week.

Find other ways to make money to help fund your study abroad experience. Host a rummage or closet sale, pick up odd jobs like mowing lawns or babysitting, or find a part-time job or side hustle.

Finally, it is possible to take out additional loans, either from federal loan programs or private lenders. Just make sure you fully understand the terms of the loan and don’t borrow more than you’ll absolutely need. The Financial Aid Office has additional resources available.