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The essence of off-campus study finances at Macalester is simple enough: students pay Macalester tuition for the off-campus study semester, plus the room and board of the program or overseas university. Even if the program or university tuition is less than Macalester’s, Macalester students pay Macalester tuition. On the other hand, if the off-campus tuition is more than Macalester’s -- a rare event -- the student pays the higher sum.
The corollary to this policy is that all Macalester financial aid (except work study) goes with the student during the off-campus semester.
All international students are eligible to study off-campus at Macalester. Macalester financial aid can be applied to off-campus study costs for international students only in the following circumstances:
- Off-campus study if required for a formally declared major or minor (Studying at Macalester fulfills the study abroad requirement for international students majoring in International Studies. Consequently, international students may not apply financial aid to study abroad for that major.); or
- The student has been approved to study on the Macalester Perspectives on Globalization Program; or
- Effective for off-campus study in the academic year 2014-2015: The student has been approved to participate in a Macalester exchange (not all qualified students may be approved because of exchange balance requirements). Please note that this policy is an interim measure.
Students who have permanent residence status or dual U.S. and other citizenship are eligible for Macalester financial aid when studying off-campus. In some cases, international students may be eligible for merit scholarships from the program provider.
In practice, most students find the financial differences between a regular semester and the off-campus semester to be marginal. The biggest difference comes in the cost of transportation; after that come incidental costs such as passports, visas, pre-departure medical exams, living costs of the destination (Paris, Tokyo, Oslo and others are expensive), walking-around money, and discretionary travel. All of these vary enormously from place to place.
Every student approved by Macalester will receive a Cost Sheet. The Cost Sheet estimates a student’s educational expenses for the semester -- tuition, living costs, travel, etc. A copy goes to Macalester’s Financial Aid Office for the adjustment of the student’s financial aid for the off-campus semester. Students and parents get a copy too.
This brief summary does not capture all of the individual variations. Students should raise finance questions during their advising sessions at the International Center or with IC staff any time, or with Macalester’s Financial Aid Office. Parents may also call or write the International Center. College policies regarding the financial aspects of off-campus study may be found in the Handbook for Off-Campus Study.
Many scholarships are available specifically for study abroad experiences, and all Macalester students are encouraged to apply for scholarship funds. Planning ahead is key, as the deadlines for some scholarships are before students need to apply for their programs.