Finance FAQs

What's Included in the Program Fee?

CIEE Study Center fees typically include tuition, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions and field trips, as well as medical and emergency insurance and services. Many program fees also include room and board and visa fees. See your specific program's information section on fees for details about what is included in your fees and what the estimated additional costs of your program are.

Am I Billed for My Program Fees by My University or CIEE?

Please check with your home school study abroad office to verify the specific billing arrangements for your program of study. Once you've determined whether you're being billed by CIEE, your home school, or that you will be paying a portion of your fees to both, please visit the Billing Procedures page for more information about the billing process for CIEE programs.

Will I Lose My Financial Aid If I take a Semester to Study Abroad?

Typically, you remain enrolled as a full-time student at your home school while studying abroad, so you won't lose your financial aid eligibility. Moreover, at many schools financial aid can be directly applied to study abroad programs (and depending on where you plan to study, it can actually be cheaper to study overseas). Please be sure to check with both your home school study abroad office and financial aid office for proper procedures and to find out about any documentation you may need to submit to maintain your financial aid eligibility.

What Kind of Financial Assistance Can I Get?

CIEE has programs to fit a variety of budgets. For many students, studying abroad is only possible with financial assistance.

Each year, CIEE awards scholarships to students who plan to study overseas on our programs. You do not need to have already been accepted into a program to be considered for a scholarship award, but you do need to apply early. See the section on scholarships for a list of available aid and application deadlines. Of course, you should discuss all financial planning with your campus financial aid officer well in advance of applying as well.

Does CIEE Have a US Department of Education (DOE) School Code?

No. As a non-profit organization, rather than an accredited US institution of higher education, CIEE is not eligible to apply for a DOE School Code.

What Should I Use to Fill in the School Code Section of My FAFSA Forms?

CIEE does not have a DOE School Code that you can submit on the FAFSA, and even though the overseas university associated with the CIEE program may have a DOE School Code, you should not use that code when completing any forms or documents.

What Do I Need to do to Get My FAFSA Properly Updated for My Term(s) Abroad?

If you plan to apply for any federal financial aid (grants or loans) for your time abroad, you will need to work with your home school financial aid office. You should use their DOE School Code on your FAFSA forms, as usual, if you are participating on a program that is approved by your home school for credit transfer toward your degree.

If your CIEE program is not approved for credit transfer to your degree by your home school, and/or they will not enter into a Consortium/Contractual Agreement with CIEE or CIEE's School of Record, you will not be eligible to apply for any federal funding for your study abroad program, and any loans that you may have previously taken may go into early repayment while you are abroad.

What is a Financial Aid Consortium/Contractual Agreement?

US Department of Education federal guidelines require that universities who approve students to participate on study abroad programs for credit transfer toward their degrees need to have a Written Agreement with the study abroad organization or sponsoring-institution in order to process financial aid for those students. Essentially these agreements set up the relationship between the home school and the visited institution or organization (i.e. CIEE) to ensure that the home school has all of the information they need to process financial aid for their students, such as: dates and location of the study abroad program, costs (the actual program fees as well as the estimated additional costs) associated with the program, and the number of credits or enrollment status required for the program. They also guarantee the home school that any changes to this information will be forwarded to them, and that the visited institution or organization will not also request or process any financial aid on behalf of the student (and that they will be informed if any scholarship funds are awarded to the student).

Your home school financial aid or study abroad office will have these forms available for you to send to CIEE for completion (in some cases, the school will automatically send them on your behalf, but please don't assume this…ask). Please note that CIEE is unable to complete these agreements until after you have been accepted to your program and after the program fees for the program in question are available.

What do I Need to do if My Home School has Agreed to Process Financial Aid for Me, but I Won't Get the Money Until After My Bill is Due to CIEE? 

If your home school has a billing agreement with CIEE such that you are being billed directly by your home school for ALL of your study abroad fees, you do not need to do anything to notify CIEE of pending financial aid. However, if you are being billed directly by CIEE for any portion of your program fees, and you will not be able to submit payment for any portion of those fees until you've received your financial aid from your home school, you will need to submit a CIEE Financial Aid Deferral Form in order to request a deferred payment date for the portion of your bill that's being covered by financial aid. This form is only for CIEE's purposes and is required to obtain the deferred payment date for any related fees you are paying directly to CIEE. The Financial Aid Deferral plan is available at no cost for students participating on CIEE programs offered during any term of study. You will likely also need to submit additional paperwork with your home school financial aid office to finalize your award and disbursement of funds, so be sure to follow-up with them to ensure they have everything they need as well. Please note students who are autonomous are not eligible for either the Standard Payment Plan or the Financial Aid Deferral.

Does CIEE Offer Any Payment Plans Other than the Financial Aid Deferral Plan, so I can Split My Payments Up Over the Course of the Semester? 

Yes—the CIEE Standard Payment Plan is available for Spring, Summer and Fall programs (payment plan option is not available for January term programs). Students participating in more than one term and interested in the Standard Payment Plan will need to submit a form request for each term abroad. The Payment Plan allows students to split their bills such that 50% of the balance is due by the original due date on the bill with the remaining 50% balance split between two later payments. There is an administrative fee for this option ($100 for semester programs/$50 for summer programs) , due upon completion and submission of the Standard Payment Plan form. The form and $100 Payment Plan fee ($50 for summer) must be submitted before the plan will be approved. Please note students who are autonomous are not eligible for either the Standard Payment Plan or the Financial Aid Deferral.

Download: Semester Standard Payment Plan Form | Summer Standard Payment Plan Form

I have a Payment Plan with AMA (or Similar Payment Plan Agency) through My Home School. Can I Use that Same Payment Plan to Pay My Fees to CIEE?

Unfortunately, AMA (and similar agency) payment plans will not work with CIEE programs, unless you are being billed through your home school for your fees. These agencies require that payments are sent to accredited universities only, so they will not send payments to CIEE, as a non-profit organization, on your behalf.

I have a 529 or State-Sponsored College Tuition Savings Plan. Can I Use those Funds to Pay for My CIEE Program Fees?

Generally speaking, these types of college tuition savings plans are only allowed to distribute funds for eligible tuition costs billed by institutions with a US Department of Education (DOE) school code. Since CIEE is not eligible to apply for a DOE school code, if you are being billed directly by CIEE for your program fees, it is entirely possible that you will not be able to use your tuition savings plan funds to pay your program fees.

However, the rules for each fund do vary from one sponsoring state/agency to another. We encourage you to talk to the savings fund agency to determine whether they will release the funds directly to you to pay your fees to CIEE.

Some of the different processes for college tuition savings plans could be:

  • Some agencies who will allow the funds to be applied toward your program fees may expect you to pay your fees to CIEE up front, then once your grades have transferred back to your home school, they'll reimburse you per the terms of your plan.
  • Other agencies who will allow funds to apply to your program may agree to release the funds to you, if the overseas institution associated with your program has a US Department of Education school code and is eligible to participate in US Federal Grant and Loan programs. (You can check the list of eligible institutions at 1-800-4fedaid or
  • If, however, the agency requires that the funds be disbursed directly to the eligible institution, or that a copy of the bill from the eligible institution is forwarded to them, you will need to verify that they will work with CIEE, since you are billed for all program fees by CIEE not the overseas institution.

Does CIEE Issue 1098-T Forms To Students for Tax Purposes? 

CIEE is a non-profit organization, not a Department of Education “eligible” higher education institution, and as such cannot issue 1098-T forms. If the student's home school bills the program fees—particularly the tuition portion of the fees—the home school should be issuing the 1098-T form for the student. If the student pays CIEE directly, there is no guarantee that the student will be able to use the CIEE Educational Costs of the program to file for the Education Tax Credits, since CIEE does not report these costs to the IRS as eligible tuition costs. If a student who paid CIEE directly for his/her program fees would like a copy of his current account statement to take to a professional Tax Advisor to see whether the statement can be used as documentation of tuition paid, since the credits for the program are being accepted by his/her home school, s/he should contact the CIEE Billing Coordinator to request a zero-balance account statement.

I'm Not Studying on a CIEE Program Through a 'Home School' (Either because I Will Have Graduated by the Time I'm Studying Abroad, or because I don't want to Transfer My Credits Back Toward My Degree). Can I Apply for Financial Aid? 

Generally speaking, your credits taken abroad must be approved for evaluation and transfer toward an approved degree-program at a US institution in order to apply for grants or loans. Additionally, CIEE only recommends undergraduate credit for coursework completed on our programs, so if you have already completed one undergraduate degree by the time you study abroad, you will not be eligible for financial aid for your CIEE program.

Please also be aware that if you are not eligible, or do not plan, to transfer course credit back to a US institution to apply toward a current, first-time undergraduate degree program, you will not be able to have your enrollment certified for any lender to keep any prior educational loans in deferred payment status. This means that you may have to start repaying your student loans while you are abroad—be sure to plan and prepare accordingly.