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Scholarships and Financial Aid
SIT Scholarships and Your Financial Aid
This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students. We encourage all qualified students to apply for our need-based scholarships. Please note that SIT scholarships are available only for students applying to an SIT Study Abroad program. See list of all SIT programs.
SIT Study Abroad is committed to increasing access to international education and to ensuring you have the information you need to successfully access funding for your study abroad program with us. We offer a broad range of scholarships and grants, including our award winning Pell Grant Match. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.
SIT Study Abroad students finance their study abroad programs through a variety of resources, including but not limited to:
- SIT Study Abroad scholarships and grants
- Financial aid from their home colleges and universities
- Private foundations and organizations
- Personal and family funds
SIT Study Abroad’s Scholarship Office provides guidance on all aspects of funding your program throughout the application process.
- April 1 for summer programs
- May 15 for fall programs
- November 1 for spring programs
If you have questions, please contact:
SIT Study Abroad Financial Aid and Scholarship Coordinator
Tel: 802 258-3503
Tel: 888 272-7881 (toll-free in US)
Fax: 802 258-3296
The SIT Study Abroad scholarship application process has been fully integrated into our online program application.
For all students being considered for SIT scholarships: Please make sure that you provide us with the name and email address of a financial aid officer at your home school and electronically sign and date the FERPA release included as part of the application process. The financial aid officer at your school will be emailed a link to a secure web form where s/he will provide information about your financial aid at your home school. Additionally, if you need SIT Study Abroad to share your information with any other party, please sign and date the FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) release and return it to the SIT Study Abroad Scholarship and Financial Aid Office.
If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, you must complete a FAFSA.
- If you are applying for a spring or summer 2017 program, please complete the 2016–2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). SIT’s federal school code is 008860.
Please note that in order to complete a FAFSA application, you will need a PIN. Visit www.pin.ed.gov.
International students. If you are an international student, you are eligible for SIT Study Abroad scholarships but are ineligible for US federal student aid. Therefore, international students do not need to complete a FAFSA. During the program and scholarship application process, a web-based questionnaire will be emailed to the parent/guardian whose email address you give us. If this individual does not speak English, you may need to assist her/him in completing this form.
SIT Study Abroad only awards need-based scholarships and grants. We do not offer merit-based awards. Average awards range between $500 and $5,000 for our semester programs, and between $500 and $3,000 for our summer programs. Our scholarships and grants are available to all students accepted into an SIT Study Abroad program irrespective of citizenship, national origin, or home school.
We do not require a separate scholarship application for each scholarship fund; eligible students will be evaluated for all funds in which they are eligible.
Please note: SIT Study Abroad scholarships and grants are only applicable to tuition and room/board fees billed by SIT Study Abroad. We do not award scholarships or grants to cover any other expenses, including, but not limited to, immunizations, visa fees, books, or study abroad fees charged by your home school. Additionally, if your home school has an established billing agreement with us, it is your responsibility to communicate with your home school as to whether your SIT scholarship or grant will be passed on to you by your home school. If you are the recipient of a scholarship or grant from us, it will automatically be applied to your bill (this does not apply to scholarship applications received after the application deadline) before it is sent to you or your home school.
This is a partial list of SIT Study Abroad’s scholarships and grants. These scholarships and grants are available only to students applying to an SIT Study Abroad program.
- New African Diasporas Scholarship. SIT Study Abroad will be offering need-based scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 for the New African Diasporas: Transnational Communities, Cultures, and Economies program starting in spring 2017. Scholarships will be awarded as part of a Title VI Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language grant received by SIT in partnership with Morehouse College. Preference will be given to students from HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.
- New Horizons Grant – For students participating in one of SIT’s new programs for 2016–2017. Award amount is $2,500 for a qualifying semester program. See the complete list of new SIT programs for 2016–2017. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible.
- SIT Study Abroad Internship Grant: This grant of $1000 will be offered to one student in each program with internships starting with the spring 2017 semester. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need through the SIT scholarship application. The application deadlines are:
- Oct. 15, 2016 for spring 2017 internships
- May 1, 2016 for fall 2017 internships
- SIT Pell Grant Match Award – SIT matches Federal Pell Grant funding for all SIT semester programs to students who use their Pell Grant to help pay the cost of their SIT program.
- SEO Scholars Award – Students who are Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Scholars will receive a $2,000 award for SIT Study Abroad semester or summer programs.
- The Experiment in International Living (EIL) Alumni Study Abroad Scholarship – To recognize and support alumni of EIL summer high school programs who also participate in SIT Study Abroad programs.
- HACU Scholarships – For students enrolled at HACU member Hispanic-serving institutions who demonstrate financial need, SIT will award a $3,000 scholarship for participation in a semester program and $2,000 for a summer program.
- HBCU Scholarships – For students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
- The Middle East and Islamic Studies Scholarship – For students participating in programs with significant Middle Eastern and/or Islamic studies content.
- SIT Bonner Scholar Award – To recognize students participating in this community service program.
- SIT Boren Scholar Award – To recognize students participating in the National Security Education Program (NSEP) funded award, which focuses on study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to US interests and underrepresented in study abroad.
- SIT Fund – For students with demonstrated financial need who enroll in any SIT Study Abroad program. The SIT Fund aims to help promote study abroad opportunities worldwide.
- SIT Study Abroad Alumni Scholarship – This is an automatic scholarship to recognize and support students who participate in two or more SIT Study Abroad programs. The scholarship will be applied to a student’s second term of study with SIT. The scholarship is $1,000 for a semester program or $500 for a summer program.
These scholarships are available through the generous support of individual donors and foundations:
- The Compton Fund – For students enrolled in SIT programs with environmental, post-conflict transformation, or sustainable development themes.
- Jean Winchell Scholarship. For students with very high financial need. Preference will be given to students from public colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions. Awards range from $3,000 to $7,000.
- John Sommer Scholarship – An average of $5,000 (amount varies) is awarded each semester to a student participating on a program in South or Southeast Asia.
- The Richard and Dale Levy India Scholarship – $5,000 is awarded to one student participating in a semester program in India.
- Sally Bragg Baker Scholarship – An average of $4,500 (amount varies) is awarded to one female student, 22 years of age or younger, who demonstrates international awareness and a desire to create a more peaceful world through international exchange. This scholarship is available for summer programs only.
- Sarah B. and Clarence J. Gamble Scholarship – For students on a program which includes a focus on population studies, women’s health or population-related health and nutrition work. Students on any program choosing to design their Independent Study Project to focus on these areas may also be eligible.
- SIT Bergstrom Foundation Scholarships – These scholarships ($25,000 divided between seven students annually, with an average award of $3,500 per student) are for students who wish to study in Latin America and focus primarily on health and/or other topics such as girls' education, poverty, social justice, ecology, or regional integration.
- SIT Robert Kantor Memorial Scholarship – This $10,000 scholarship opportunity is for one student per year. The student must demonstrate extreme financial need, attend an HBCU (or other minority-serving institution), be a first-generation college student, and have never previously traveled abroad.
Recipients of these scholarships may be asked to submit additional materials such as a thank you note, short reflection paper or a copy of their Independent Study Project.
Are you a veteran of the US military, a recipient of a Federal Pell Grant, or an SEO Scholar? If so, you may be eligible to have your application fee waived and/or your deposit fee deferred until your final bill is due. If you think you qualify, please contact the SIT Study Abroad financial aid and scholarship coordinator.
SIT Study Abroad began its award winning Pell Grant Match program in 2010. The program offers matching funding to Pell Grant recipients to help pay for their SIT Study Abroad programs. Through this program, SIT provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to any SIT Study Abroad semester program.
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. SIT Study Abroad is committed to making its study abroad programs affordable for a diversity of students, including low-income undergraduates who might otherwise not pursue international opportunities. The Pell Grant Match Award allows us to place SIT’s high-quality, field-based study abroad programs within greater financial reach of a wider range of undergraduate students.
How to receive the SIT Pell Grant Match Award
- Please begin by ticking the scholarship box and completing the scholarship section of your program application.
- Provide SIT with the name and email address of a financial aid officer at your home school.
- Sign the Consent to Release Student Information Form (FERPA).
- SIT Study Abroad will then send a link to a web-based form to the indicated financial aid officer at your home school.
- As part of your scholarship application, you will also want to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) per the scholarship instructions. Add the SIT School Code: 008860 to your existing FAFSA. Please do not eliminate the existing School Code for your home school.
- Once the indicated financial aid officer completes the SIT Study Abroad web-based Financial Assessment Form with proof of your Pell Grant and your FAFSA is received, SIT Study Abroad will match the amount of the Pell Grant dollar for dollar for that semester’s program. You will also be reviewed for additional scholarships, if eligible.
Special Note for Summer Program Students: The Pell Grant Match is available for students who are eligible for summer term Pell Grants as verified by the home school’s financial aid office. Typical students in this category include students enrolled at quarter system schools.
When is my scholarship application complete?
The scholarship section of your application is complete when we have your FAFSA and the financial aid data submitted from your home school. If you are an international student, you are exempt from submitting the FAFSA.
How long does it take to review my scholarship application?
The Scholarship Committee generally meets weekly to review completed applications. You can expect a decision within two weeks, possibly sooner. (Exceptions to this include scholarship applications from colleges and universities whereby SIT offers a special institutional scholarship. Decisions regarding special institutional scholarships typically will take longer to process because they also include an independent scholarship application review at the home school. Please contact the study abroad or international programs office at your home school if you have any questions about this.)
Is the status of my scholarship application available to view in the Student Portal?
At this time, SIT Study Abroad does not have the capacity to do this.
I am a Pell Grant recipient; do I still need to complete a scholarship application?
Yes. Please see the instructions under Pell Grant Match
My home school reviews all SIT accepted students for SIT special institutional scholarships. Do I still need to complete an SIT scholarship application?
This depends on your home school. If you know that your home school has an SIT special institutional scholarship, please contact your study abroad or international programs office to double check on their recommended process.
What is the amount of a typical scholarship?
Typical awards for semester students range between $500 and $5000. Summer awards are generally $500 to $3000. SIT Study Abroad may offer a few special awards that allow for larger scholarships. Please check the scholarship list to see if there are any that may apply to you. This list is subject to change depending on the semester to which you are applying.
I’m applying to an SIT Study Abroad summer program. Is the process different for me?
The process is the same for you. The only significant difference is that for many students applying to SIT summer programs from semester system institutions, their institutional and/or federal financial aid may not be applicable to summer programs, even if it is allowed to be used for a semester program. For students at quarter system institutions, however, institutional and/or federal aid may more likely be available to transfer to an SIT Study Abroad summer program.
Your financial aid package at your home college or university may be transferrable to pay some or all of the costs associated with your SIT Study Abroad program.
Wondering where to start?
Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your home institution to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants, and federal and state aid programs, will be applied to your SIT Study Abroad program. Each college and university establishes its own policies for applying financial aid to study abroad. SIT is committed to working closely with the financial aid and study abroad offices of each student’s home institution to coordinate the financial resources available for a student’s international experience.
You should be aware that many colleges and universities require students to complete a consortium agreement in order for their financial aid to be transferred to SIT Study Abroad. If your home institution requires SIT to complete a consortium agreement, please contact your financial aid office and request that they forward their institutional consortia form to the SIT Study Abroad financial aid and scholarship coordinator (email@example.com or fax to 802 258-3296).
If you wish to transfer your institutional financial aid, you may be required to complete either a Transferable Funds Information Sheet or a Proof of Aid Letter by the SIT student accounts office. (This requirement varies depending on the home institution.) These documents may enable a portion or all of your bill to be deferred until your financial aid is disbursed by your home institution. If you are required to complete one of these forms, you will be informed of this after you have been offered admission to your SIT program.
Please note that it is each student’s responsibility to understand the policies of his or her home institution and to follow the home institution’s designated procedures related to financial aid and study abroad in a timely manner.
SIT Study Abroad has identified a list of organizations that provide scholarships for undergraduate study abroad. If you feel you may qualify for any of these scholarships, you should contact that particular organization directly.
National Scholarships – General
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
The Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for US citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such international study is intended to better prepare US students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. Undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at 2-year or 4-year colleges or universities are eligible to apply.
Boren Awards for International Study
Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to US undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to US interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and countries in western Europe are excluded.
Boren Scholars study less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.
Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. Applicants should identify how their study abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to US national security, broadly defined. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
More information and application materials are available on the Boren website.
Foundation for Global Scholars
At the time of applying for any of the Foundation for Global Scholars scholarships, you must be enrolled in a North American college or university where transfer credit from an academic program abroad will be applied to your degree being earned. You also must be a US or Canadian citizen.
Fund for Education Abroad
The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) was created in order to open doors for deserving education abroad students; FEA awards funds for students planning to study abroad on any academically rigorous programs. Designed by the FEA Advisory Board, FEA scholarships are intended to meet the financial needs of students who might not be eligible for government grants or existing funds limited to specific programs or groups of students.
GSF Student Grant (The Global Studies Grant for Student Travel and Study Abroad)
Designed to support foreign language training and other academic studies abroad, this grant provides supplemental funds for American students who already are studying abroad under the auspices of an official study abroad program conducted by an accredited academic institution.
Go Overseas Scholarships
Go Overseas scholarships are available to students currently enrolled in, or in the process of applying to, study abroad programs and award up to $1,000. Go Overseas also has a Teach Abroad Scholarship and a Volunteer Abroad Scholarship for students with a focus on international studies and/or education.
In an effort to make international travel more accessible to student and youth travelers, STA Travel has partnered with the Foundation for Global Scholars to create the Start the Adventure Scholarship. A scholarship will be awarded to a deserving student and a matching donation will be made to the student's home university or college to award to an additional student of their choice for study abroad.
National Scholarships – Specific to Region
The Brazil Initiation Scholarship (BIS)
BIS is a key component of the Brazilian Studies Association’s (BRASA) agenda to expand Brazilian Studies in the United States. BRASA invites applications from graduate and undergraduate students for a one-time $1,500 travel scholarship to do exploratory research or language study in Brazil. This scholarship targets aspiring Brazilianists with relatively little or no experience in Brazil. It seeks to contribute to the student’s initial trip (for a period from six weeks to three months), to heighten the student’s interest in Brazil, and deepen his/her commitment to Brazilian studies in the United States. Students are encouraged to combine this scholarship with other grants or awards. Recipients will be recognized during the awards ceremony of the next BRASA international congress in Brasilia. Funding will be disbursed prior to travel. BRASA will award up to four fellowships in this competition.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA), are made possible by generous support from the Freeman Foundation. Created to assist U.S. students with demonstrated financial need and limited prior experience in East and Southeast Asia, Freeman-ASIA will fund approximately 400 students over the next two academic years, with awards ranging from $3,000 per student for summer study and $5,000 per semester, to a maximum of $7,000 for a full year abroad.
For more information, prospective students should visit the Freeman-ASIA website for eligibility requirements, full application instructions and deadlines. Student application deadline for spring 2017 programs is October 13, 2016.
National Scholarships – Specific to Diversity
The Marion Wright Edelman Scholarship (for a person of minority background)
Please visit the following websites for more information:
The National Italian American Foundations
For Italian American students who demonstrate outstanding potential and high academic achievements. Area of study: open.
Point Foundation – The National LGBT Scholarship Fund
Point Foundation provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. You do not need straight A's to apply but we are looking for individuals who have proven leadership skills, excellent scholastic achievements and want to make a difference in the world. All applicants are evaluated on the totality of their situation including, academic accomplishments, financial, emotional and social need, extracurricular activities, personal circumstances and goals for the future. This website provides link to a number of different resources geared towards LGBTQ students.
Pride’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight-allied scholarship program is one of the largest of its kind in the country. We partner with the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), to administer and award scholarships. Together Pride Foundation and GSBA have awarded more than $2.2 million to over 650 recipients since 1991. For Pacific Northwest students (WA, OR, ID, MT, AK).
Study Abroad Funding Websites and Databases
- University of Minnesota Scholarship Database
- IIEPassport Study Abroad Funding
Comprehensive Database of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, and grants.
For US and International Students
- Financial Aid Scholarships
- Best of the Web – Scholarships
Thank you for your interest in SIT Study Abroad. We are honored that you and your family are considering one of our experiential, field-based programs.
We understand that you may have funding questions and that you may want more details about scholarships and financial aid.
Please be aware that SIT Study Abroad is committed to student privacy and that SIT is legally bound by the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The conditions specified in the FERPA regulations have to be met before a school may non-consensually disclose personally identifiable information from education records in connection with any of the exceptions mentioned in the excerpts from FERPA’s website below.
If your child is considered to be an “independent student” as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, SIT Study Abroad is obliged to request that your child sign a FERPA release for us to share scholarship and financial aid information with you.
From the FERPA website:
FERPA […] permits a school to disclose personally identifiable information from education records of an "eligible student" (a student age 18 or older or enrolled in a postsecondary institution at any age) to his or her parents if the student is a "dependent student" as that term is defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, if either parent has claimed the student as a dependent on the parent's most recent income tax statement, the school may non-consensually disclose the student's education records to both parents.
There are […] other exceptions to FERPA's prohibition against non-consensual disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records, some of which are briefly mentioned below. Under certain conditions (specified in the FERPA regulations, 34 CFR Part 99), a school may non-consensually disclose personally identifiable information from education records: […]
- in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or received; […]
- to organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the school making the disclosure for the purposes of […] administering student aid programs […]; […] and
- in connection with a health or safety emergency.
Please note: SIT Study Abroad scholarships and grants are only applicable to tuition and room/board fees billed by SIT Study Abroad. We do not award scholarships or grants to cover any other expenses, including, but not limited to, immunizations, visa fees, books, or study abroad fees charged by your student’s home school. If your student’s home school has an established billing agreement with us, it is their responsibility to communicate with their home school as to whether their SIT scholarship or grant will be passed on to them by their home school. If your student is the recipient of a scholarship or grant from us, it will automatically be applied to their bill (this does not apply to scholarship applications received after the application deadline) before it is sent out. SIT Study Abroad does not disburse scholarships or grants in the form of cash, checks, electronic transfers, or other means.