Scholarships and Financial Aid

SIT Scholarships and Your Financial Aid

NepalThis year, SIT will award more than $1.8 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. Semester scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000, and summer awards typically range from $500 to $3,000. It is possible that students receiving special SIT scholarships and who are using their Pell Grant for a summer program may receive a partial match award.

Our students finance their study abroad programs through a variety of resources, including:

  • SIT Study Abroad scholarships and grants
  • Financial aid from their home colleges and universities
  • Private foundations and organizations
  • Personal and family funds

Our Scholarship Office is available to provide guidance on funding your program.

Scholarship Deadlines

  • April 1 for summer programs 
  • May 15 for fall programs 
  • November 1 for spring programs

If you have questions, please contact:

Diane Robinson, MEd
Manager of Financial Aid
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.

After ticking the scholarship box in the program application, please complete the following steps:

  • Provide us with the name and email address of a financial aid officer at your home school.
  • 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.

US citizens or permanent residents: If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, you must also complete a FAFSA. If you are applying for a spring 2020 program, please complete the 2019–2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). SIT’s federal school code is 008860.

International students: If you are an international student, you are eligible for SIT Study Abroad scholarships but ineligible for US federal student aid. Therefore, you do not need to complete a FAFSA. During the 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 awards need-based scholarships and grants. We do not offer merit-based awards at this time. 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 for 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. If your home school has an established billing agreement with us, it is your responsibility to communicate with your home school as to how 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, which is available to you via Web Advisor.

Below 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 Horizons Grant – For students participating in one of SIT’s new semester or summer programs. Award amount is $1,500 for qualifying summer programs and $2,500 for qualifying semester programs. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible. The grant will be available for the first two terms of each eligible program.
  • 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. $1,000 for semester programs and $500 for summer. A $400 scholarship is also available to students who indicate that they have an immediate family member who has participated in an EIL or its College Semester Abroad program.
  • Hispanic-serving Scholarships – For students enrolled at Hispanic-serving institutions, including member institutions of HACU 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, foundations, and others:

  • The Compton Fund – For students enrolled in SIT programs with environmental, post-conflict transformation, or sustainable development themes.
  • 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 or Africa and focus primarily on women’s reproductive health and/or other topics such as girls' education, poverty, social justice, ecology, or regional integration. Preferred SIT programs are those based in Bolivia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, or Tanzania.
  • 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.
  • Bradford Frost Memorial Scholarship – Amount of award varies. Preference will be given to high-need students from Detroit or greater Michigan.

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.

Other Opportunities

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.

As part of SIT’s effort to increase access to study abroad and to diversify the locations where students study abroad from our partner institutions, SIT may occasionally identify special scholarship funding that is made available for select programs or for students at select colleges and universities. SIT will communicate those funding opportunities with the appropriate applicants and school partners and make those funds available to any student at the selected institutions.

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. Our Pell Grant Match program provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application.

How to receive the SIT Pell Grant Match Award

  1. Please begin by clicking the scholarship box and completing the scholarship section of your program application.
  • Electronically sign the Consent to Release Student Information Form (FERPA).
  • Provide SIT with the name and email address of a financial aid officer at your home school.
  1. SIT Study Abroad will then send a link to a web-based form to the indicated financial aid officer at your home school.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. It is possible that students receiving special SIT scholarships and who are using their Pell Grant for a summer program may receive a partial match award.

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, can 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.

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 ( or fax to 802 258-3296). 

Please refer to our billing page for information on transferring your home school’s financial aid to SIT.

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

IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants
This program is intended to diversify study abroad and encourage students, especially high-achieving, low-income students, who would otherwise not participate in an international experience as part of their college education to go abroad. The grants are to be used towards travel to and from the country of study and within the region, enabling students to make the most of their international experience. US students from US colleges and universities that are Generation Study Abroad Commitment Partners are eligible to apply.

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.

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.

STA Travel 
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 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. 

National Scholarships – Specific to Diversity

Diversity Resource Search Engine

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

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 Foundation
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

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.


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