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Off-Campus Study

Financial Aid and Other Scholarships

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Aid for off-campus study, including loans, is adjusted for total costs associated with off-campus study. Student aid awards for OCS programs are based on information submitted by the program on the on-line OCS Budget Form, which will be sent to all aid recipients and is available on the Student Aid Office website. The student is responsible for completing their sections of the Budget Form and ensuring that his or her program completes their on-line section and forwards it to the Student Aid Office.  If you are filing for financial aid for the first time, request a form directly from the Student Aid Office. Email or mail the form to your program or university, which should fill in the requested information on costs and return the form to Student Aid. Your aid application remains incomplete until Student Aid receives the budget form; the program should return it to Student Aid by 15 June for full-year or fall programs and by 15 November for spring programs.

For study at English-speaking universities, Bowdoin awards are based on the cost of direct enrollment. The additional cost of enrollment through third-party providers is not covered, except for Cambridge and universities in South Africa, in which direct enrollment is tricky to manage without assistance.

Off-campus study students are still enrolled at Bowdoin and thus not permitted to apply for or accept federal funds, including federal Stafford Loans, at any institution other than Bowdoin. The same is true for FPLUS Loans to parents.

Determining your award. You may use your financial-aid award for any College-approved program, in the U.S. or abroad. If the program costs more than Bowdoin, your aid award will not increase; if you will be studying abroad (not in the U.S.), however, you and your parents may be eligible for additional federal Stafford or FPLUS loans to make up the difference. You must apply for all federal aid, including Stafford and FPLUS loans, through Bowdoin.

Bowdoin does not provide aid to or reduce the summer earnings expectation of students attending summer programs.

Air travel, health insurance, books and personal expenses (equivalent to what you would be offered at Bowdoin), 19 meals per week, and the off-campus study fee are all included in your cost of attendance. In choosing housing, please be aware that your award will be based on the cost of the program’s basic housing, not the more expensive options that are occasionally offered. Application fees, incidental expenses for passports, visas, immunizations, etc., and additional vacation-period expenses are not covered by financial-aid awards.

Bowdoin has some limited loan funds to help extremely needy students with program or university deposits. Ordinarily, however, you should plan for such advance payments when you apply to your off-campus study program or university. Such deposits or early payments range from about $300 to $2,000 and may be required at the time of admission. Check carefully to determine whether deposits are refundable or not. Late withdrawal can also make you liable to charges for housing, travel and other costs already incurred.

Transfer of aid. Awards are announced around 1 July for students away for the fall or full year, and around 2 January for students away for the spring.

When Student Aid has notified you of your aid award, you should return to the Bursar’s Office the Off-Campus Study Disbursement Worksheet that you will find on the Bursar's Office website. Distribution of funds begins around 15 September for the fall semester and around 15 February for the spring, and accounts are reviewed monthly thereafter for any new sources posted.

Awards cannot be confirmed earlier, or disbursed earlier than scheduled. You and your family will have to make your own arrangements if there is a conflict. The sole exception to the September disbursement date given above is made for students attending fall semester programs in the southern hemisphere, since the academic calendars of these programs do not usually coincide with Bowdoin's. In such cases, the aid awarded for the fall would be released to the program in July. You should make the necessary arrangements with the Student Aid and Bursar's Offices as soon as your aid has been awarded.

If you will be away for the full year, half of your aid award will be available for use each semester. When costs differ substantially between semesters, the aid will be prorated in relation to the cost each semester.

If you are enrolling directly in a foreign university, your aid can be sent by wire transfer to the university if you provide the following on the Disbursement Worksheet: (1) name of bank to receive funds; (2) bank sort code number; (3) bank account to be credited (account holder's name, address, and account number); (4) IBAN no.; and (5) your Program ID or account number, if known.

Stafford and FPLUS loans are disbursed to Bowdoin by federal law half each semester. Most loans arrive at Bowdoin via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). There is no check to be endorsed. Be sure to include these types of loans when completing the Disbursement Worksheet.

Grant or scholarship funds are not available directly to you unless you have prepaid the program; provide a receipt with the Disbursement Worksheet.

For further information on the disbursement process, go to the Bursar's Office website.

You are strongly advised to look into the possibilities of winning an external award, whether or not you are a recipient of Bowdoin aid, especially as applicants' success rate is often reasonably high. The OCS office will send out information periodically; if you see something that you are interested in, please let us know; in some cases we need to endorse the application. You can use the IIE Passport website for more extensive scholarship searches, although the principal sources are listed below.

Sources of merit- and need-based aid include the Boren Scholarships, Rotary Foundation (very early application deadline), Gilman International Scholarship (eligibility restricted to recipients of Pell Grants), and the US-Japan Bridging Scholarships.

Some programs, especially the large providers (Arcadia, CIEE, IES, IFSA-Butler, SIT, etc.), offer financial aid of their own. The aid can be need-based, merit-based, or aimed at attracting under-represented groups; some programs or universities offer inducements for full-year enrollment. Apply early, as some awards are made on a rolling basis. You can usually submit an aid application along with your application for admission.