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Bursar's Office

Off-Campus Study Programs FAQ

Also refer to information posted on the web site of the Office of Off-Campus Study at http://www.bowdoin.edu/ocs.

How will I be billed for my Off-Campus Study (OCS) program?
The program bills the student directly for its tuition and fees and the student pays the program. However, Bowdoin does bill the tuition and fees of the ISLE (Sri Lanka), SITA (India), and CHP (Prague) programs, in July for fall semester and in December for spring semester. All students are billed an OCS fee of $1,000 per program by Bowdoin. The fee is considered in calculating Bowdoin and federal student aid awards for programs. Revenue from the OCS fee is used to subsidize some of the cost of maintaining and enhancing off-campus study as an option for Bowdoin students.

Can I use a payment plan to pay my program bill?
Programs based in the U.S. may offer payment plans.  If the student enrolls directly in a university abroad, payment may be expected well in advance of departure or within a few days of arrival. Invoicing policies vary by institution.

Can I use 529 plan funds to pay the program?
According to the IRS 's site, 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 list of schools for 2014-15 may be found here http://ifap.ed.gov/fedschcodelist/attachments/1415FedSchoolCodeList.pdf.  If the school is not on this list, there may be penalties if 529 plans are used to pay such a school.  Please consult with a professional tax advisor for clarification in individual circumstances.    

What if I receive student aid?  How does it reach my program?
Student aid awards for OCS programs are based on information submitted by the program on the OCS Budget Form, which will be sent electronically to the program directly by the Student Aid Office ( 207.725.3144 or studentaid@bowdoin.edu).  An aid award for studying off-campus will not be made until this step has been completed. Fall semester student aid sources are paid to the programs about September 15 and spring semester sources about February 15.  This schedule of payment is usually acceptable to programs if students communicate their aid awards to the program business office by the program's payment due date.  A snapshot of the aid web portal sent with payment of the balance of the program bill may be acceptable proof.  For specific information about bills and payment deadlines, please contact the program's business office directly.

Is billing and payment handled differently by direct enrollment programs abroad?
Direct enrollment means that a student has worked with the university or college they will attend without any American agent, such as the Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University or IES Abroad. If a student enrolls directly in a university abroad, he or she handles the logistical and financial arrangements that would ordinarily be carried out by a sponsoring agency. Invoices for universities abroad may be delivered before the student departs or after the student arrives and immediate payment is expected. 

OCS Disbursement Worksheet: This is an important document for students expecting aid (grant or loan) funds to come through Bowdoin for payment to an OCS program. The form will be distributed electronically to student aid recipients and should be submitted as soon as possible.


Information about OCS programs: Office of Off-Campus Study, 207.725.3473, offcamp@bowdoin.edu

Student aid applications, OCS budget forms, awards: Student Aid Office 207.725.3144, studentaid@bowdoin.edu

Billing questions for programs billed by Bowdoin and student aid transfer for other programs: Bursar's Office, 207.725.3249, bursar@bowdoin.edu