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Study Abroad Programs: Best Practices in Financial Aid PASFAA Conference 2008


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Title: Study Abroad Programs: Best Practices in Financial Aid PASFAA Conference 2008

Study Abroad Programs Best Practices in
Financial Aid PASFAA Conference 2008
  • Greg Gearhart
  • Director of Financial Aid
  • Messiah College
  • With many thanks to
  • Wendy Lippert, M.S.
  • Director of the EpiCenter
  • Associate Director of International Programs
  • Messiah College

Why is international education important?
  • Research shows that participating in
    international education is a valuable experience.
    The Institute for the International Education of
    Students conducted a 50-year study of students
    who participated in their programs from 1950 to
    1999.1 Drawing from information compiled from
    3,400 students about the benefits they received
    from their study abroad experience, the report
    showed growth in four areas personal
    development, academics, intercultural
    competencies, and career development.2
  • 1 Mary M. Dwyer and Courtney K. Peters, The
    Benefits of Study Abroad, Transitions Abroad,.
    March / April (2004)56.
  • 1 Ibid., 56.

Why is international education important?
  • Interestingly, 97 percent said studying abroad
    served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96
    percent reported increased self-confidence, 89
    percent said that it enabled them to tolerate
    ambiguity, and 95 percent stated that it has had
    a lasting impact on their world view.3 And 98
    percent of the students indicated that their
    experiences helped (them) better understand
    (their) own cultural values and biases.4
  • 3 Ibid.
  • 4 Ibid., 57.

Why is international education important?
  • "My world view has completely changed. I see
    past the small life that I live here and know
    that there really is such a huge world out there
    . . . each culture is different, and it really
    changes (how you) look at things.
  • Traci Hanna 09, Messiah College Human
    Development and Family Sciences Major
  • University of Gloucestershire - Fall 2007

Who is going?
  • While, international education is flourishing
    in the United States, the numbers of women who
    participate clearly outnumber the number of men
    (just like PASFAA). The Institute for
    International Education releases a yearly report,
    Open Doors Report on International Education
    Exchange, that shows the disparity. In
    2001-2002, 160,220 United States students1
    studied in countries around the world. That
    number jumped significantly from 10 years earlier
    when only 71,1542 spent time studying in an
    international setting.
  • What has stayed the same, however, is that 63 to
    65 percent of these students were women.3
  • 1 Hey-Kyung Koh Chin, ed. Open Doors Report on
    International Education Exchange (New York
    Institute of International Education, 2003), 58.
  • 2 Ibid.
  • 3 Ibid., 62.

Credit-Bearing Off-Campus Study Statistics
Messiah College 2004 - 2008
  • Student Participants 2004-2005 2005-2006
    2006-2007 2007-2008
  • Total Off-Campus Programs 829
    841 811 772
  • Total International Programs 469
    444 429 380
  • Total Semester-Long Programs 215
    241 211 235
  • Semester-Long International Programs 198
    231 187 226
  • Source Messiah College EpiCenter / International

Semester Long Off-Campus Study Participation at
Messiah College 1994-2008
Source Messiah College EpiCenter / International
  • Student Enrollment for the 2007-2008 Academic
  • Students University or Program
  • 18 AuSable-Great Lakes, Institute of
    Environmental Studies Mancelona, MI
  • 1 AuSable-India, Bishop Heber College Tamil
    Nadu, India
  • 1 American Studies Program, Washington, D.C.
  • 7 Australia Studies Centre, Wesley Institute
    Sydney, Australia
  • 3 China Studies Program Xiaman, China
  • 24 City University Athens, Greece
  • 3 Contemporary Music Program Martha?s Vineyard,
  • 15 Creation Care Study Program Cayo District,
  • 10 Creation Care Study Program New Zealand and
  • 201(43) Cross-Cultural Courses (ie Costa Rica,
    Ghana, Germany, Nepal, Zambia)
  • 2 Gaiety School of Acting Dublin, Ireland
  • 1 Guadeloupe Internship
  • 3 Hokusei Gakuen University Sapporo, Japan
  • 1 Hollins University Paris
  • 16 International Business Institute (Ten
    countries Russia and Europe)
  • 1 International Studies Abroad Mexico, Peru,
  • 147 Internships (ie Cure International, New
    Yorker Magazine, Tyco Electronics)

Source Messiah College EpiCenter / International
  • Student Enrollment for the 2007-2008 Academic
  • Students University or Program
  • 10 NUR 493 Nursing Senior Practicum Zambia
  • 1 ONeill National Theater Institute
  • 2 Oregon Extension Cascade Mountains/Ashland,
  • 11 Oxford University / Scholars? Semester in
    Oxford Oxford, England
  • 2 Oxford University / Oxford Study Abroad
    Programme Oxford, England
  • 123 Philadelphia Campus Philadelphia, PA
  • 10 Philipps University Marburg, Germany
  • 4 Russian Studies Program Moscow, St.
    Petersburg, Nizhni Novgorod, Russia
  • 8(3) Serv 231/232 Foundations of Service,
    Missions, and Social Change (ie Cambodia,
    Chili, Haiti, Honduras, Zambia) 16 Spring
    Semester in Thailand Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • 2 Student Visitor Program Bethel College
  • 1 Student Visitor Program Gordon
  • 10 Student Visitor Program Gordon in Italy
    Orvieto, Italy
  • 3 Student Visitor Program Houghton in
  • 1 Student Visitor Program Taylor University
    Irish Studies Program

Source Messiah College EpiCenter / International
Institutional Policies
  • Approved Off-Campus Programs
  • Added Costs/Adjusting COA
  • Use of Institutional Funds
  • Consortium Agreements
  • Grading Issues

Approved Programs
  • Does your institution have a policy on Approved
    Off-Campus Programs?
  • Many of our Approved Off-Campus Programs are CCCU
    or BCA. These typically have blanket agreements.

  • Some programs are not approved. Professors
    sometimes recommend programs based on specific
    academic interests of the student
  • National Outdoor Leadership School
  • Semester at Sea
  • Eugene O'Neill Theater Institute
  • Other programs of the day

Cost of Attendance Adjustments
  • Added Costs
  • At Messiah A 750 or 950 off-campus study fee
    is assessed for many programs.
  • Cost of Attendance figures obtained from various
  • Professor coordinating a trip.
  • Institutional off-campus studies office.
  • Outside program coordinating agency.
  • Student

Use of Institutional Funds
  • Some institutions will not allow any
    institutional funds to go to these programs.
  • Other institutions have varying policies.
  • At Messiah Two semesters to approved off-campus

Aid for students studying abroad (CCCU Financial
Aid Survey)
How Many Terms? (CCCU Financial Aid Survey)
Other Funding Sources
  • Additional private loans is most common outcome.

  • Switch institutional funds with Campus-Based.
  • Outside Scholarships
  • (See http//
  • Gilman
  • Freeman Asia
  • Bridging Scholarships for Study in Japan
  • National Security Education Program (NSEP) David
    L. Boren Scholarships
  • The programs sometimes have scholarships.
  • Other Ideas?

Consortium/Contractual Agreements
Consortium Agreements
  • Can be difficult to coordinate.
  • Policies between institutions might not match.
  • Who will process the aid?
  • Who will monitor enrollment?
  • What happens when the agreement isnt finalized
    before the program starts?

Consortium Agreements
  • Because of the number of people involved in
    this process, these agreements typically take a
    long time to finalize. You should start this
    process very early so that the agreement can be
    finalized before your enrollment begins.

Consortium Agreements
  • If Messiah College is processing the financial
    aid under this agreement and your enrollment
    begins before the financial aid is processed and
    you owe payments to another school, it is your
    responsibility to make payment arrangements with
    the other school. It is not Messiah Colleges
    responsibility to work out your payments to
    another school.

Consortium Agreements
  • …the United States Department of Education
    requires that your enrollment at the Host
    institution be monitored… Since you will not be
    on the campus of Messiah College, it is obvious
    that we would have no way of monitoring your
    enrollment…Hence, the Host institution must do
    this…Host institutions have a tendency to fail to
    agree to this they sometimes cross it off the
    agreement…the Host institution must agree to this
    or Messiah College cannot participate in this
    agreement. This means that you will either have
    to get the Host institution to process financial
    aid for you, or you will have to find other
    methods of financing the educational expenses.

Grading Issues
  • Time delay in receiving grades from overseas
  • Difficult to determine SAP and scholarship
    renewal in a timely way.
  • Difficult to project institutional expenditures.
  • Claims of unfair or inconsistent grading
    practices at other programs.
  • Equivalency conversion modifications (translating
    the numeric grade to a different letter grade)