Step 8: Apply for Scholarships
A popular myth surrounding education abroad is that students cannot afford it; however, every year, CCU students work closely with staff to fund international experiences without breaking the bank.
The truth is that some international programs cost LESS THAN or the SAME AS CCU tuition and fees.
Conversely, some programs cost more than the cost of attendance at CCU for an entire academic year. For this reason, it is imperative that students carefully research program options and are transparent with campus advisers about existing financial restraints. An early discussion about a student's plan to pay for the experience allows staff to connect students with funding resources and help students choose a program that makes sense for their budget.
CCU recognizes that not all students who want to participate in education abroad are financially able to do so; however, this is often because students are unwilling to consider more affordable program options and/or do not give themselves enough time to apply for financial aid, loans and multiple scholarships. Funding is available, but students have to find it and plan far enough in advance to meet application deadlines.
The Education Abroad team is committed to supporting students by helping them to access academically relevant AND affordable international education experiences that take their degrees to the next level. All CCU students are encouraged to consider building study abroad into their degree plan. We welcome students of all socioeconomic statuses who meet CCU Education Abroad eligibility requirements to participate in our programs. Education abroad does not have to be financially out of reach. The key is to plan early and, as you plan, consider how you will balance your goals for studying or interning abroad with the realities of your financial situation.
To assist with keeping international education affordable, CCU is committed to do the following:
- Invite all eligible education abroad students to apply for the CCU Education Abroad Scholarships.
- Share resources and information about external (non-CCU) scholarships.
- Work closely with Financial Aid and Scholarships regarding the application of aid to international programs as well as opportunities to obtain loan and grant money.
- Include discussion in advising appointments and pre-departure orientations about financial need and budgeting.
- Assist students in understanding program costs, currency and foreign exchange rates, and cost of living differences between the host country and the South Carolina.
- Partner with institutions that are also committed to providing support to students with high financial need by providing transparent program costs, low application fees and opportunities to set up payment plans.
Some students make great efforts when applying for grant money, whereas others do not submit a single scholarship application. We consistently see the students who cast a wide net by applying to several funding sources pay their way successfully.
Even when parents, guardians or mentors are able and willing to cover the cost of a student's education in full, we encourage students to invest in their own education by contributing a portion, however large or small, to the total program cost. With skin in the game, students may be more likely to accept responsibility for planning their own experience. Upon return, students who help pay for their international program – sometimes by picking up a part-time job, taking out a loan, and/or receiving scholarships – may be able to recognize more readily the many benefits of having studied or interned abroad program with CCU.
It is also important to remember that scholarship money does not always have to be exclusively for an education abroad experience. For example, a student may find a scholarship for “college women from South Carolina studying science,” and that scholarship could apply to their education abroad budget. Furthermore, a student may not receive a scholarship prior to going abroad but can offset the cost of their international experience retroactively by submitting applications when they return.
Typically there is not an enormous amount of money available from one single source, but a focused effort by a student can yield a substantial amount of funding to apply toward an international program! For more information, contact Financial Aid and Scholarships. To schedule an appointment, call 843-349-2313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.