Off-Campus Study Payment FAQ

You may also refer to the Off-Campus Study website for more information: Paying for Off-Campus Study.

Will Bowdoin send me the bill for my program?

Most programs bill the student directly. Bowdoin bills for the Bowdoin Sciences Po Lyon Exchange.

All students studying away will be billed for the off-campus study fee (see below).

Does Bowdoin charge anything for studying away?

Each participating student is billed $1,000 per program for off-campus study. 

All students are billed for student health insurance in July, which may be waived by visiting If you are eligible for the student aid credit, please contact Cathy Hayes at

Are billing and payment different if I enroll independently at an university abroad?

Students who choose to enroll directly at a university abroad need to be prepared to make payment according to university policy.  Billing varies by institution; please consult the university you will be attending for clarification.

I receive student aid from Bowdoin. How does it reach my program?

Student aid awards for OCS programs are based on program expenses. Bowdoin disburses aid to programs around September 15 for fall semester and around February 15 for spring.  Students should request an extension from the program's business office prior to the payment due date. 

Please see this publication from our student aid office for more information.

Student aid or loan recipients should complete the Off-Campus Study Student Aid Survey. All aid recipients studying away will receive an email invitation in June for fall programs or in December for spring programs. The Bursar's Office collects information in this survey needed to send the student's aid award/loans to the program and/or student.

Can I use a monthly payment plan to pay my program bill?

An installment plan may be offered by your program or institution. Please note, Bowdoin's Tuition Management Systems (TMS) installment plan cannot be used to pay your off-campus study program.

Payment may be expected well in advance of the term or within a few days of arrival.  Billing timing and policies vary by institution; please consult your program for specifics.

Can I buy tuition refund insurance to cover my off-campus study tuition?

Please ask your program or university whether they offer coverage. 

Bowdoin's tuition refund insurance policy through A.W.G. Dewar is only available to students studying at Bowdoin.  If a student is studying away for one semester of the academic year, the student may apply for coverage for the semester enrolled at Bowdoin. Enrollment for the semester must be completed prior to the start of classes.

Can I use 529 plan funds to pay my program?

According to the IRS Publication 970, page 56, use of 529 plans is limited to educational institutions that are eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.  The Department of Education's list of schools for 2017-18 may be found at and includes some schools that are not located in the United States.

What if my program/university is not on the Dept. of Ed. list?

If a program or school is not on the list, other documentation may be submitted to support the use of 529 plan funds to pay tuition and other qualified expenses. These entities are not required, and not eligible, to report tuition on IRS Form 1098-T.

We suggest the following documentation to in place of the 1098-T, which has been used to successfully avoid paying a tax penalty on 529 plan withdrawals.  Consulting a professional tax advisor for clarification in individual circumstances is strongly encouraged.

  • The invoice/bill received for the student's participation in the program and program admission information to demonstrate that enrollment was full-time.
  • Proof from the Bowdoin Registrar's Office that the student obtained Bowdoin credit for the course work at the program.  A transcript may be sufficient for this purpose.  The student needs to request this information from the Registrar's Office.
  • Proof of your payment to the program.

Will the tuition for my off-campus study program be reported on Bowdoin's 1098-T?

Bowdoin cannot report another institution's fees on its 1098-T.  Either the program/university issues its own 1098-T, or the student/parents need to take the three steps listed under the question above to prove their eligibility for a tax credit and/or the legitimate use of 529 plan funds.

Who should I contact with questions?

Information about OCS programs:

Office of Off-Campus Study


Student aid applications and awards:

Student Aid Office


Billing questions

Bursar's Office