Financial Aid for Off-Campus Studies

BerlinMany students at Carleton College participate in an off-campus study (OCS) program sometime during their college experience. It is to their advantage to be concerned and aware of how their financial aid will transfer to their program. In addition, students should plan ahead, as there may need to be correspondence between Carleton College and the sponsoring institution. It is recommended that students begin planning 6-12 months before the off-campus experience by reading through the information below. If more questions occur, students should contact the Student Financial Service Office to make an appointment to visit with a Financial Aid Officer.


Important Notice for Summer 2019 Carleton Programs

If you are interested in attending one of the Carleton Off Campus Studies Program Summer 2019 and wish to apply for additional Carleton Scholarships you need to have your financial aid application completed by the Round 1 Deadline of Jan. 6, 2019.  Click here for more information on the 2019-20 application process.

Program Expenses

For Carleton seminars, the comprehensive fee for a one-term seminar covers tuition, room and board, and program-related expenses. Travel to the seminar site, books, and personal expenses are your financial responsibility, as they are when you are studying on campus.

CalculatorFor non-Carleton programs Carleton charges a $500 Administrative Fee to your tuition account.  In addition, you are responsible for paying the deposit required by the program. You must pay that deposit directly to the sponsoring institution, often to confirm your place in that program. Check with the institution regarding billing procedures and deadlines. It is your responsibility to convey that information to your parents and to Carleton's Business Office before you leave campus. Program fees are charged at rates established by the sponsoring institution.

Fifteen-week semester programs are more common than 10-week programs. This means that participation in a fall semester program may be more expensive than a term at Carleton, because you are paying for up to 27 credits and 15 weeks of room and board compared to Carleton’s 18 credits and 10 weeks of room and board. Conversely, a spring semester program may be less expensive because it is replacing two 10 week terms at Carleton.

Talk with your family and with students who have participated in the program to learn more about realistic budgeting. Program expenses can be influenced by cost of living at the program site, the exchange rate, additional travel and personal expenses, damage deposits, foreign registration fees, etc. Gather together as much financial information as you can, develop a budget, and determine what you can afford.  If you need additional financial assistance for your off-campus study program, complete and submit the Off-Campus Studies/Financial Aid Scholarship and Loan Application.Financial Aid

Financial Aid for Off-Campus Studies Programs

If you receive financial aid through Carleton, you may apply your aid to any Carleton program and ONE non-Carleton off-campus studies program approved by the college. The Student Financial Services Office adheres to the following polices:

  • Your financial aid package will be available for use toward an off-campus studies program only after your OCS petition has been approved by the college prior to departure on your OCS program and the Student Financial Services Office has been notified by the OCS Office.
  • If you enroll in a Carleton Summer off-campus study program, you must take a required leave of absence during the same academic year following your return from the study abroad program.
  • Carleton students may use their financial aid package for any Carleton sponsored OCS program. Financial aid will transfer to ONE non-Carleton sponsored, OCS approved program.
  • Financial aid is not available for any Non-Carleton Summer programs.
  • Your entire financial aid package, including grant, loan, and student employment is based on the cost for a year at Carleton College.  If you participate in a program which is more expensive than Carleton, your grant funds will not be increased, but you may request additional loan funds. If your total program expense is less than the cost at Carleton, your financial aid package is subject to review, and may be reduced.
  • Program deposit fees and expenses not included in the program fee, such as travel, are your responsibility. Students receiving need-based aid may request additional loan assistance to cover those costs directly associated with the program which exceed those incurred for a comparable period of time on campus.
  • Normally, your annual financial aid is applied 33% to fall term, 33% to winter term, and 34% to spring term. The exception is the academic year in which you participate in a semester off-campus studies program for 27 credits and attend Carleton for only one term. In this case, you may request, in writing, that 50% of the aid be applied to the semester program and 33% to your Carleton term, for a total of 83% of the annual aid package.
  • If you participate in a fall semester program and return to Carleton for both winter and spring terms, you should expect your expenses to be more than that of a regular academic year. In this case, financial aid is applied at the rate of 33% to the fall semester, 33% to the winter term, and 34% to the spring term.
  • During terms in which you are enrolled on campus in the SAME academic year as your program, you may work UP TO 15 hours per week to make up lost work earnings.  Contact Student Financial Services if you would like to make up lost hours.  If it is not possible to earn close to the full amount awarded in student employment due to the length of time you will be off campus, you may request, in writing, a loan for the unearned amount.
  • If you need additional financial assistance for your off-campus study program, you must complete and submit the Off-Campus Studies/Financial Aid Scholarship and Loan Application along with the appropriate budgetary information to the Student Financial Services Office.  For OCS Scholarship consideration, the form must be received by the deadline listed on the application.  OCS scholarship funds are limited and awarded at the discretion of Student Financial Services.  Students who do not receive a scholarship can apply for additional loan funding.  For loan assistance, the form must be received no later than 30 days prior to departure.
  • You must maintain your full-time student status (enrolled for at least the equivalent of 15 Carleton credits for Minnesota State Grant recipients and 12 Carleton credits for other financial aid recipients) in order to qualify for financial aid.
  • Students that participate in a Non-Carleton OCS Program & receive financial aid other than work study should have their Non-Carleton OCS bill sent to the Business Office as soon as possible.  Once received at the Business Office, Carleton will pay the amount due by the invoice due date.  This amount will then be charged to your student statement along with the OCS $500 Administrative fee.  Your aid for the term will then be paid to your student statement when billing is completed for the term or when the term starts for federal and state aid.  If after aid is paid the results is a balance due you would pay Carleton by the term due date.  If the result is a credit balance (negative balance that is result of your aid being more than the billed cost) you can contact the Business Office to request the funds be sent to you.  Reminder: you can only use your financial aid for one Non-Carleton OCS program and it can’t be used for a Summer Non-Carleton Program
  • If you want your financial aid to apply to non-Carleton programs, and if you are paying Carleton College through the AMS monthly payment program, you must make the following arrangements with Carleton's Business Office:
    1. Ask the sponsoring institution to send the bill or invoice (not program brochure) with your name and the program name to the Carleton Business Office with complete information as to the address of the sponsoring institution and the schedule of payment dates.
    2. Make those arrangements before leaving campus. Remember that it is your responsibility to see that bills are paid and to supply the necessary information.
    3. Carleton College will pay the program sponsor the amount billed by that program, and then bill you the difference between the program fee and the amount of your financial aid (excluding work).

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Normally, additional loan funding is available to students receiving need-based aid to meet direct costs of an off-campus study program, the cost of travel associated with the program, and/or to replace unearned student employment income. A complete loan application must be submitted to Student Financial Services to have the loan proceeds considered part of the payment for off-campus study.

You may need additional funding to help cover the costs of an off-campus studies program. Organizations and institutions may offer program and travel scholarships. The competition for them is stiff, and the lead time for applications is often 6-9 months. Plan early and write your proposal carefully. Individual departments may also have information about grants and scholarships for a particular area of study.