Study Abroad & Financial Aid
If you are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at the University of Nevada, Reno and plan to participate in the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC) during the academic year, you may apply for financial aid and be considered for all aid programs except Work-Study. This includes all federal funds through the FAFSA, including the Pell Grant and Direct Loan Programs. You can also use other financial opportunities such as University scholarships, University grants, and, for certain programs only, the Millennium Scholarship. Students using university funds must continue to meet institutional requirements for funding (such as 30 to Complete), satisfactory academic progress standards, and initial eligibility requirements.
In order to utilize funds from our office, you must be enrolled in degree applicable classes that either directly transfer into your degree program or are approved for substitution by your academic advisor. Although there is nothing restricting you from taking classes that are not degree applicable, non-degree applicable classes will not be considered for financial aid purposes.
If you file a FAFSA, or receive some sort of other financial assistance from our office, then you will most likely have financial aid for your abroad trip. While planning your trip, visit the Financial Aid Office and speak to an advisor about your financial options.
In order to be considered for financial aid you will need to submit supplemental documentation to the Financial Aid Office for processing. Generally, this documentation is due at least one month prior to departure to ensure adequate processing time. The documentation will vary depending on your program:
For USAC A - Specialty Programs:
Budget Revision Request - The federal government requires the Financial Aid Office to establish a standard student budget as a basis for awarding financial aid and scholarship funds. We refer to this as your "financial ceiling." In other words, it is the maximum amount of aid we can award you. For example, if your total cost of attendance is $20,000 and you are offered $10,000 in aid from the University, and apply for a $15,000 school-certified private loan, legally we can only certify $10,000 of the private loan, because that's what we can "justify" to cover educationally-related expenses. Most times students do not make it to this limit. As studying abroad has different costs than attending the University of Nevada, Reno, the Budget Revision Request allows us to adjust your budget to account for those costs. A budget revision does not affect the methodology in determining need-based Pell and Access Grants. The Budget Revision Request form can be found in the General Forms section of our website.
Program Cost Sheet - The interactive Program Cost Sheet is available on the USAC website and must accompany the Budget Revision Request. Use this form to estimate your abroad costs. You may submit estimations on this form so as long it is within the specified ranges. Costs outside the specified ranges must be reasonable and accompanied with additional documentation justifying the additional expenses. Airfare above economy class will not be considered as a reasonable expense.
Degree Applicability Certification - This form will need to be signed by your academic advisor to show that the classes you intend to enroll in are degree applicable. Non-degree applicable classes will not be considered by financial aid. The Study Abroad Degree Applicability Certification form can be found in the General Forms section of our website.
For USAC B - Partnership Programs:
Contractual Agreement - This form is an agreement between you the student, USAC, and the University of Nevada, Reno. This form outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party. It must be signed by you, a USAC registration representative, and your academic advisor. A budget revision will be performed with the submission of this form (see above). Classes in the partnership category cannot be confirmed by the University of Nevada, Reno and therefore must be indicated on the form for approval. If a schedule adjustment occurs while abroad, the student must notify the University of Nevada, Reno within 10 business days. Schedule adjustment from the previously approved classes may result in financial aid adjustment or cancelation. The Contractual Agreement form can be found in the General Forms section of our website.
Program Cost Sheet- The interactive program cost sheet is available on the USAC website and must accompany the Contractual Agreement. Use this form to estimate your abroad costs. You may submit estimations on this form so as long it is within the specified ranges. Costs outside the specified ranges must be reasonable and accompanied with additional documentation justifying the additional expenses. Airfare above economy class will not be considered as a reasonable expense.
Funds will be disbursed on the disbursement date determined by the University of Nevada, Reno in conjunction with the academic calendar. If the abroad start date is after the University's start date, funds will be disbursed 10 days before the start date of your classes abroad.
Funds will be disbursed directly to the student and if the student still has a balance with USAC at the time of disbursement, it will be the student's responsibility to pay USAC. You should consider setting up direct deposit with the Cashiers Office, which allows any refund from your student account to be deposited into your bank account, instead of having a check mailed.
Before you leave to go abroad, you should consider designating someone here in the U.S. with a limited Power of Attorney form. Power of Attorney gives legal rights to the designated person to sign documents on your behalf. The person you choose should be someone you trust explicitly, such as an immediate family member. Friends or boyfriends/girlfriends are not recommended. The form must be notarized and presented to the office by the designee whenever they contact the office on your behalf. The Power of Attorney cannot be used to sign a Perkins, Garvey-Rhodes, or Blundell Loan promissory note.
For additional information or questions concerning financial aid for abroad students, please contact Michael Johnson, Financial Aid Study Abroad Coordinator, at Johnsonm@unr.edu or 775-682-8096.