Off-Campus Study Implements Financial Aid Changes

Many Colgate students turned in their Off-Campus Study applications last week for the 2014-2015 academic year. Although the application has stayed largely the same as past years, there are several significant changes being implemented to the Off-Campus Study program itself. The new Approved Program/Portable Aid Policy, which was adopted in March 2011, will be in effect for students studying off-campus in Fall 2014.

“This policy created an approved list of approximately 100 programs in 50 countries throughout the world. Students continue to pay Colgate tuition and are eligible for Colgate financial aid and grants when studying on an Approved Program,” Senior Associate Director of Off-Campus Study Carol Drogus said.

For students applying to be on an approved program rather than one of Colgate’s study groups, a Transfer Credit Application must be completed and turned in to the Registrar’s Office so that students remain enrolled at Colgate while studying at a separate university.

Therefore, the coursework fulfilled at other universities while studying abroad is considered transfer credit and does not factor into a student’s Colgate GPA.

The Off-Campus Study Office also wants to make it easier for students who receive financial aid to choose their preferred place of study.

In order to achieve this goal, the Financial Aid Office will review the cost of attendance of the off-campus program and base the award on each student’s need.

On average, if the cost of attendance of an approved program is more than the cost of Colgate, a student’s financial aid will increase; if it’s less than Colgate, the financial aid package will be reduced.    

Although the Off-Campus Study Office has organized a list of approved programs by major, students are not restricted to their certain field of study. However, students are expected to choose from the list of approved programs as selected by Colgate. Petitions to study at a university not approved by Colgate are only accepted if a Colgate administrator deems that a student’s academic goals cannot be achieved otherwise.

With these changes to the approved program structure, students may have been surprised to see that very little had changed in the way students apply for Off-Campus Study.

“The application process remained largely the same. Students submitted a form indicating the semester and approved program they wished to apply for, and this form required the approval of the major adviser,” Drogus said.

The Off-Campus Study Office hopes that these changes in the application process will improve the quality of the study abroad experience and provide better opportunities to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Contact Kelsey Soderberg at [email protected].